EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)
“The achievement of children in Nursery and Reception is a strength of the school. Leaders have high aspirations and are determined that all children should make good or better progress. Staff work well as a team to create bright and stimulating learning environments which offer a rich range of learning experiences for children.” OFSTED 2018
'Right from when pupils start in the early years, warm relationships with staff are nurtured. The youngest children are made to feel secure and confident in their new surroundings. Pupils feel safe and cared for and know that if they need to talk to someone about their worries, there is always a trusted adult to help. One pupil told inspectors, ‘This feels like your second home, teachers take time to listen and to help us, however long this takes.’ OFSTED 2022
At St John’s the Early Years Foundation Stage refers to the Nursery and Reception. This early development and learning is a distinct phase in each child’s education and should provide an essential and firm foundation for their future school life. “Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.” Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, Department for Children, Schools and Families 2012.
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
- A unique child. We recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We recognise that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement as well as celebration and rewards to encourage and develop a positive attitude to learning.
- Positive relationships. We recognise that children learn to be strong and independent from secure relationships and aim to develop caring, respectful and professional relationships with the children and their families.
- Enabling environments. We recognise that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. Through observations we assess the children’s interests, stages of development and learning needs before planning challenging and achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning.
- Learning and development. The Foundation Stage classrooms are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and think independently and in partnerships. The classrooms are set up in learning areas where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently.
Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. At St John’s we greatly value the importance that the EYFS plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. However, we also believe that early childhood is valid in itself as a part of life. It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply preparation for the next stage of education.
Learning and Development
Learning and development is categorised into three prime areas of learning:
• Communication and language.
• Physical development.
• Personal, social and emotional development.
Additionally, there are four specific areas of learning:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design
As EYFS staff we are not just interested in what your children learn, but how they learn. This is called the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’
• Playing and exploring
• Active learning
• Creative and critical thinking
During their earliest years, children will form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime. It is our aim to support children to become creative, adventurous and brave learners throughout their lives.