The Early Years Foundation Stage of Learning
Nursery and Reception classes are referred to as the foundation stage of learning, an important stage as it is during this time that attitudes to learning are formed and skills developed which lay the foundations for future education.
Young children learn most effectively through structured play, and our staff work together as a team and plan for the children to learn in the seven areas of development.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children need to have self-esteem, confidence, and motivation to be successful. They need to develop concentration and learn how to co-operate. We encourage skills and promote respect for others. Children learn to care for the environment and respect both their own culture and those of other people. They develop the ability to take turns and to share through many different nursery activities.
Communication, and Language
In the setting we promote the development of early communication skills and the use of language, encouraging the use of different everyday words and building up their vocabulary so that children can express themselves freely and with confidence.
Children are encouraged to share books, join in with stories and poems, sing songs and ‘mark’ make with different materials giving meaning to the marks that they have made. We play rhyming games and encourage children with phonic sounds. We handle books and show the children how stories and books can be enjoyed.
We use practical activities to develop mathematical skills and language. They gain experience in counting, matching, sorting, ordering and comparing. They learn about shapes and patterns and about ways of measuring time, volume and capacity using games which involve numbers, and we devise activities which enable children to experience shapes and measures, discussing what they are doing so that the appropriate information is absorbed.
Understanding the World
Children are encouraged to find out about other people and the world around them. This area of learning provides the foundation for later study of subjects such as history, technology and geography. We plan activities which enable the children to explore a range of materials and living things, encouraging the children to investigate and explore. For example, the children plant and water seeds and we discuss how plants grow, we use sand and water to undertake investigations, and we also do cooking and baking, use the computer and do table top games and puzzles.
We plan varied activities, both indoor and outdoor which help children with their physical control, awareness of space and manipulative skills. We do P.E. in the hall to help develop motor skills.
Expressive arts and Designs
Children develop their creative skills through art, music, and dance and use simple musical instruments. By using a wide variety of art materials your child can explore colour and texture and practice the skills needed to express themselves. This may be through painting and drawing, or modelling with clay, dough or other materials.
All these seven areas are monitored by staff using progress reports. Parents/Guardians are given progress reports and invited to open afternoons throughout the school year to discuss their child’s progress.