Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Implementation
BWI's Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum
At BWI we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and fully subscribe to the statement that:-
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.’
The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning –
3 Prime areas – Communication & Language, Personal Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development.
4 Specific areas – Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design.
These areas are developed through adult led activities, structured play, and child initiated activities, following the children’s interests and topic led themes.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At BWI we take pride in helping our pupils to:
- Develop their feelings
- Learn to work together
- Develop a positive disposition to learning
- Develop friendships with adults and peers
- Understand differences between themselves and others
Communication and Language
Communication is key to our children’s learning and embodies our whole curriculum.
Speaking and listening activities are continuous.
- The children are encouraged to listen carefully and respond with relevant comments and questions
- They are encouraged to value and respect each other’s opinions.
Physical development embodies the whole being of the child, which we aim to develop through:
- PE activities and dance – using imagination and showing an awareness of space
- Learning to understand how to stay fit and healthy through exercise and diet
- Using small equipment and materials to develop fine motor control and coordination
- Using equipment to develop gross motor skills.
Literacy skills transfer across the whole curriculum – children learn to read and they read to learn. They write for many different reasons and with a purpose, so that they are interested and inspired.
- Phonics – children learn letter sounds and names, upper and lower case, to help us read and write. We have daily phonics sessions, using the scheme 'Read Write Inc' along with ‘Letters and Sounds’ in groups across the FS and KS1 in order to fulfil individual learning needs.
- Reading – children start with picture books for sequencing, handling, directionality, meaning, talking and sharing, followed by books with text to develop word recognition and decoding skills. High Frequency Words are taken home to develop whole word recognition.
- Writing – independent mark-making on a large and small scale is encouraged and developed further through phonics and reading.
Maths is all around us and children use their whole environment to help them to learn.
- Numbers as labels and for counting – we focus on numbers to 10 to start and then to 20, recognising, counting and ordering
- Calculating – lots of practical problems, 1 more, 1 less, adding objects together, etc.
- Shape, space and measure – e.g. pattern making, sorting & recognising shapes, using sand to measure capacity.
Expressive Arts & Design
In the EYFS we put great emphasis on:
- Developing skills in music, art, drama, dance, story-telling, role play through topics and the children‘s own interests.
- Giving children opportunities to express themselves in a stimulating environment.
Understanding the World
The world around us is a fascinating place in which we all have similar and sometimes different experiences. Children use their senses to explore, and computing to research and support their learning. They are encouraged to:
- Use first hand experiences to explore the environments and people/ communities around them – immediate, local and further afield
- Develop their understanding of predicting, decision making, problem solving, investigating and observation.
Assessment in the EYFS
We assess our children all the time, formally and informally through observation of child initiated activities as well as planned adult led activities. Observations and assessments are recorded in different ways, eg actual work, post-its or photographs. Assessment evidence is collated in a Learning Journey on ipads as videos and photographs.
During the EYFS year, each child is assessed as 'Emerging', 'Expected' or 'Exceeding' against the different stages of development within the age bands of 30 to 50 months and 40 to 60 months.
At the end of the EYFS year each child is assessed against Early Learning Goals for each area of learning, Prime and Specific, and deemed to be:
- Working towards the expected level (Emerging)
- Working at the expected level (Expected) or
- Working beyond the expected level (Exceeding)
We also observe each child and understand their Characteristics of Learning - Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and thinking critically.
At BWI we see your child’s development as a shared commitment. Communication between home and school is vital and we are proud of our open-door policy for parents. We have a one-to-one meeting with all parents at the start of the year, two Parents Evenings during the year and a report at the end. Each child has a Learning Journal where we record our observations and collect evidence of their progress.
What can you do to help your child before they start school?
- Put away the i-pad/tablet and talk to your child, taking an interest in what they say and teaching them the art of conversation.
- Share books together; help them to recognise their name, and numbers; practice being independent in dressing and hygiene routines
- Take part in fun activities – playing games such as I Spy and Snakes & Ladders develops skills such as hearing sounds, reading numbers and sharing/ taking turns.
What can you do to help your child once they start school?
- Read/look at books sent home with your child
- Help them to learn the high frequency words that they bring home
- Help them to recognise letters - sounds and names, lower and upper case
- Recognise, order and write numbers to 10 and then to 20
- Practice counting with one-to-one correspondence.