Early Years Foundation Stage
From September 2008, the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum (EYFS) has become compulsory for all OFSTED registered settings and schools caring for children from birth to the end of Reception class at Primary school. The EYFS is for all children in settings outside their home. It emphasises the right of children and their families to be included and welcomed in all settings and requires practitioners to promote positive attitudes to diversity and difference, and to meet the individual needs of all children whatever their background, needs or abilities. This is reflected in the four principles that sit at the heart of EYFS:
•A unique child – every child is a competent learner from birth, who can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.
•Positive relations – children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and key persons.
•Enabling environments – the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
•Learning and development – children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. All areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.
We are very aware that young children learn best through play, and as experienced Early Years Practitioners, we provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them develop new skills. The activities we provide for young children underpin the skills they need to work towards the Early Learning goals in the following areas at the end of their reception year at school.
All areas are of equal importance and many activities will cover many of the areas. Each area is divided up into stages of development, and we are able to identify resources and learning opportunities for individual children dependent on their developmental needs. These learning areas are:
•Communication, language and literacy
•Personal, social and emotional development
•Problem solving and reasoning
•Knowledge and understanding of the world
The EYFS also encourages us and parents & carers to work together to help children develop to their full potential. For you, this means the opportunity to input information about your child’s development. In this setting we will be using various types of observations including specific child focused observation (one child per session), photo observations, and learning area observations (spontaneous).
Letters and sounds
The Government has published a guide to ensure that all children from very early years are given every opportunity to develop and enjoy all the skills needed to experience best practice in the teaching of early years reading and phonics. The programme that we are going to use is the government programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’, which is a progressive approach to phonic learning and hence reading skills. Letters and Sounds is a high quality phonics teaching programme which meets the core criteria in the system of teaching phonics and establishing reading, as the programme progresses through the six stages. With Rising R’s we will be working through stage 1 and stage 2.