Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS): Subject Leader - Mrs Leigh
At St Walburga’s our foundation stage is a very important part of school life that gives the children a strong start and a real love for school life and learning. We aim to create a caring, happy and safe environment where every child will achieve their full potential. We celebrate every child’s uniqueness and special talents. We promote independence and guide the children to explore new experiences and develop their language through play. We introduce the children to the excitement and fun of learning to create confident, independent and reflective learners.
We provide a high-quality inspirational learning environment both indoors and outdoors. This, in partnership with experienced, well-trained, caring and committed teaching professionals means that each and every child has the best opportunity to learn, develop and flourish.
Learning through play is at the heart of our curriculum and we carefully balance this with child-initiated activities alongside more focused adult planned experiences. Play is a very important part of all children’s development and we offer a safe and stimulating environment where children can build their skills, knowledge and understanding by having access to a wide range of equipment and materials.
Our observations and planning focus on the areas of Learning & Development as set out in the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage; Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (2021). There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are the prime areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
We also encompass support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Each area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage has a number of Early Learning Goals which set out what children should ideally be achieving by the end of reception year in their Primary School. At St Walburga’s children have access to a wide range of activities and experiences that actively encourage their autonomy and decision making. Alongside the RE curriculum that we teach children’s spiritual and moral development is a vital part of their whole development and we support this by providing opportunities to promote children’s wonder of the world, by developing natural curiosity about the wider world around them such as the natural environment, their home, their family and communities.
Our Foundation Stage curriculum will have been successful if all our children have made significant personal progress across all areas of learning, from their various starting points, and are ready for their transition to Key Stage 1 and their ongoing learning journey.
The impact of our curriculum will be evidenced in the children's learning journeys which will document a range of learning opportunities and both adult-led and child-initiated activities; teacher observations; and pupil voice, all of which will demonstrate a clear progression of knowledge and skills.
The impact of the curriculum is measured through assessment against age related expectations, at regular intervals throughout the year. Supportive interventions are put in place where needed, following the analysis of outcomes at each data entry.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, all children will have achieved their personal best; they will have reached the expected standard of the Early Learning Goals at the end of F2 so achieving a Good level of development (GLD); and have achieved excellent progress.
We would love all our Foundation Stage children to have these characteristics:
- To have a love of learning
- To feel safe
- To be inquisitive and curious
- To ask questions and discovers their own answers
- To be motivated and engaged
- To have their own views and opinions
- To take risks
- To thrives on a challenge and to not give up
- To have fun!