Children in Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) which sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
At Somercotes Infant and Nursery school we aim is to provide an environment where each child feels happy, safe and secure and the positive relationships made between parents, children and our foundation stage team is an important aspect of the school ethos. The Foundation Stage includes all children in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) and Foundation Stage 2 (Reception).
The Early Years Foundation Curriculum is based on on-going observation and assessment in three prime and four specific areas of learning and the three learning characteristics, which are set out below:
The Prime Areas of Learning
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Persona, social and emotional development.
The Specific Areas of Learning
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
The Learning Characteristics
- 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.
(EYFS Statutory Guidance 2012)
Reading and Writing
In the Foundation Stage we develop early reading skills throughout our curriculum and when pupils are ready they begin to access books from our reading scheme which is based upon the national book bands. In Nursery children are provided with opportunities to share books at home through our library service. In Reception reading is also taught through weekly shared (whole class) guided (small groups) and individual reading sessions. Books are available throughout the learning environments both inside and outside.
Our phonics work is based upon Letters and Sounds but is also supplemented by activities from Jolly Phonics. We adopt a multi-sensory approach to the teaching of phonics where children are encouraged to use all their senses when learning new letter sounds.
Pupils are encouraged to make marks using a range of writing materials on a daily basis and have access to writing areas both indoors and outdoors. Developing children’s whole body, arm and hand strength is vital for them to succeed in writing and mark making. There are daily activities indoor and outdoor to support and encourage this area of children’s progress. Children also take part in regular shared and guided writing activities which include opportunities for creative writing, application of skills learned in phonics and letter formation.
This area is split into two strands ‘Number’ and Shape, Space and Measures.
Mathematics activities are provided indoors and outdoors for the children to access independently and each classroom has a Numeracy Area which children are encouraged to select equipment to help them investigate, problem solve, and reason mathematical concepts that arise during their independent learning.
In Reception we have daily Mathematics objectives where children cover themes such as counting, number recognition, ordering, adding and subtracting, 2D and 3D shapes, patterns, height, weight, length and capacity.
Other areas of the curriculum are taught through topics in a cross curricular approach. This includes a wide range of activities for children to explore and investigate, indoors and outdoors such as Role Play, Designing and Making, Construction, Physical Activities (such as using scooters, balls, using large climbing equipment or building with large blocks) and creative activities (such as painting, drawing, singing and dancing. These activities are child initiated with adults teaching, and support learning in the moment.