Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Overview
At Ravenor Primary School, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start to their school life and we strive to give all our children individual support that enables them to fulfil their potential.
We aim to ensure that all our pupils learn and develop and are kept healthy and safe. The Foundation Stage is a vital time in which our children settle into school life and are supported to become happy, confident and independent learners. We give children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The Early Years Foundation Stage covers learning and development from birth and continues until the end of FS2 (Reception).
The curriculum is divided into the following four main themes, expressing important principles which are fundamental to the children’s learning and development:
- A Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between Practitioners and Parents and/or Carers.
- Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in Early Years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Here at Ravenor, we plan collaboratively with the children and base learning on their interests. This allows children to develop to their full potential as learning is accessible for all and uniquely tailored to meet each child’s needs and abilities and above all, enjoyment of learning.
The activities in which the children choose to engage with independently, encompassing all seven areas of learning (see below), are always available to the children. There are also focused activities to promote the children’s communication and attention skills.
Children’s progress throughout their Early Years is observed, recorded and planned through the use of the ‘Early Essence’ assessment software package.
The Areas of Learning and Development
There are seven areas of learning and development. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The experiences that our children meet often enable them to develop a number of competencies, skills and concepts across several areas of learning at a time.
The three prime areas of learning and development are:
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development – Children will learn to play cooperatively and take turns, forming positive relationships with adults and other children. The children will choose activities and resources and develop confidence to try new things. They will talk about how they and others show feelings. They will develop, understand and follow the classroom agreements.
- Communication & Language – Children will be encouraged to listen and respond appropriately in a range of situations. They will learn to follow instructions and answer questions about their experiences. Children will be taught how to express themselves effectively, showing an awareness of the listener.
- Physical Development – Children will develop good control and coordination in large and small movements. They will learn to move confidently in a variety of ways. They will learn to handle tools and equipment effectively. Children will learn about the importance of physical exercise and healthy eating.
The four specific areas of learning and development are:
- Literacy – The children will learn the letter sound and blend the sounds together to read simple words and sentences. They will show an understanding of what they have read. They will learn to write simple words using their knowledge of letter sounds and write sentences. The children will follow the Phonics Bug program.
- Numeracy – The children will learn to count reliably with numbers from 1-20, place them in order and find 1 more and 1 less. They will learn to add and take away with numbers up to 10 and solve simple problems. Children will use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money. They will recognise, describe and create patterns. They will learn to name and describe shapes.
- Understanding the World – Children will talk about past and present in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They will look at how they have changed since they were a baby. Children will find out about similarities and differences in relation to objects, materials and living things. They will make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur. Children will talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. Children will learn that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They will complete simple programmes on the computer.
- Expressive Arts & Design – Children will use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. Children will sing songs and make music. They will explore a variety of musical instruments.
The ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ underpins all learning and development. They demonstrate the particular learning style the child shows at any particular time. These are:
- Playing and Exploring – Children investigate, experience things and ‘have a go’.
- Active Learning – Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and Thinking Critically – Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing thing.