The Early Years Foundation Stage
Welcome to Reception at Merrow Church of England Infant School
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high-quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up’
- Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021).
At Merrow Infant School, our Reception Team is committed to providing children the best possible start to school life. We deliver a rich, ambitious and coherently sequenced curriculum, tailored to individual needs, in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. Success is celebrated; independence is encouraged, and every child is valued and respected as an individual. The school has a fun, motivating and happy atmosphere where children reach their full potential. We make a difference to our pupil’s lives.
Parent Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
We aim to provide a consistently high standard of education and care. We deliver a bespoke Curriculum, relevant to our setting, which builds on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework is from 0-5 years and finishes as your child moves into Year 1 when they begin their Key Stage 1 curriculum. It includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. 3 areas, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
What are the characteristics of Effective Learning?
Staff reflect on the different ways that children learn. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS are:
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and 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 things.
How are children taught?
Activities will include a mix of:
- Child initiated activities – children make choices from within continuous provision in the learning environment to meet his/her outcome for learning.
- Adult initiated activities- practitioners provide enhanced resources linked to themes, interests, local news and events to complement and extend opportunities.
- Adult directed activities – Children engage in planned activities to meet specific learning outcomes.
At Merrow, our intention is to develop an ethos in which all will thrive. Diversity and differences will be valued, respected and celebrated by all, and these aspects will contribute to the richness of our school life and learning.
Reception Baseline Assessment and Early Learning Goals
Within the first 6 weeks that a child starts reception, staff will administer the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).
At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals, indicating whether they are:
- Meeting expected levels of development (‘expected’)
- Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)
This is a statutory assessment and the results are reported to Surrey LEA & the Department for Education (DfE).
We have two parents’ evenings a year, in the Autumn and Spring Terms. Towards the end of the Summer Term parents are given a report which shows the assessed levels against the Early Learning Goals and comments about the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
Useful Links for Parents/Carers -
Our Phonics Scheme (Little Wandle Letters and Sounds) - https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Statutory guidance - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974907/EYFS_framework_-_March_2021.pdf
Phonics Games –
What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage: a guide for parents –
For information given at our Early Years Welcome meeting (23rd September), please see the notes for parents.