Starting school is a big step for all children and their families and we aim to make it a happy and smooth transition. We offer a wide range of experiences for all children which encourage and stimulate a desire to learn. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our children which help them to develop skills enabling them to achieve and succeed.
Our children come from a variety of backgrounds and they learn together in an atmosphere of high expectations, mutual respect and friendship underpinned by fundamental British values and our school values. We know and value each child in our school and we work hard as a team to ensure that each child achieves their very best in everything they do.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) refers to the children in the Nursery and Reception classes at the school. In the EYFS the children are provided with opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in the seven areas outlined in the EYFS statutory framework:
personal, social and emotional
communication and language
understanding the world
expressive arts and design.
Tapestry and Observations
Observation is referred to in several places in the revised Early Years Foundation Stage.
Put simply observation is the practice of looking at and listening to children to find out how they are developing, what they like doing and what they are learning through their play and the experiences on offer. It is important that parents and practitioners share what they know about these three things so that they can decide whether the child’s development is at the expected stage, whether the resources such as toys and equipment are suitable for the child and to focus them on what to provide in future to support the child to develop new interests, learn new skills and acquire new knowledge.
Observations of children are vital. Because each child has a unique set of abilities and talents, observations in different situations capture these first hand. The starting point is always with the child. Observing what children choose to do, what their interests are and who and what resources they enjoy playing with, provides adults with reliable information about children as individuals. The Observing What a Child is Learning approach in the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage document can support developing systematic observations. Observation also provides opportunities to gauge children’s needs and so more accurately plan next steps in their learning. Observations take place on a regular basis as part of daily routines. Discussing these with the child, their parents and team members gives a starting point for a holistic approach that will ensure that the child is always central to what is planned.
Tapestry is an online programme which allows you to view your child’s progress throughout the EYFS. You will be provided with login details when your child enters Reception. Your child’s record will be updated regularly with photographs, videos, work and comments from staff.
This learning journey format replaces profile books and forms the basis of your termly progress meeting with your child’s key worker.
The Tapestry website can be accessed here: tapestryjournal.com/
This document will help you, as parents and carers to understand your child's milestones and what to expect once they reach their Reception Class.
Planning in the EYFS
Planning in the early years is about meeting young children’s needs so that they can play and learn happily in ways which will help them develop skills and knowledge across the Prime and Specific areas of learning in the EYFS. Planning is different from school to school and from setting to setting because each one is different from the next for all sorts of reasons.
Between long term planning and the experiences that are planned for children on a daily and weekly basis are the medium-term plans that are made to ensure that over six weeks or a half term certain areas of learning are addressed – for example focusing on particular stories to help children to think about ‘friendship’. These type of plans need to be in place so that all the necessary resources such as books and props can be gathered. However all planning should be flexible and used as a guide rather than followed slavishly. The most important planning that is done is the short-term daily/weekly planning that arises from discussions with the children and their parents and is based around their current interests.