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Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a framework for children up to the age of five, setting out six key areas of learning around which activities should be based. As we do not have our own nursery on-site, our only Early Years Foundation stage provision is in Reception class, but we do liaise closely with the providers the children spent their last Nursery year with (other school nurseries, private day nurseries or child minders) to ensure they start to build on the progress they've already made, as soon as they arrive here.

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

Children in Reception follow a different curriculum to children in Years One and Two. This is made up of 7 different Areas of Learning which cover all the traditional subject areas such as reading, writing and maths, as well as social and emotional development and communication. This curriculum was updated in March 2021 and from September 2021 must be followed by all schools. 

Children all develop at different rates and so the progression is grouped into age-based development stages and a final Early Learning Goal which states what an 'average' child should be able to do at the end of Reception.

At our school we understand that children develop at different speeds for all sorts of reasons and so your child may finish Reception not having met some or all of the Early Learning Goals. This is taken into account by the Year One teachers, who will then plan lessons that meet their needs, whether they have met the Expected Standard or not.

Click on the links below to view the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which was updated in January 2024. This is made up of the Prime Areas of Learning, the Specific Areas of Learning and the end-of-year Early Learning Goals. There is also a parents guide to the EYFS Curriculum and some suggested activities to do at home with your child.

Additional Needs

It's very common for children to have additional needs, which means they need a bit extra support at school. This is nothing to be ashamed, upset or angry about- your child is unique, an individual and some people believe we ALL have some additional needs, we just think of them as personality quirks.

Your child's pre-school setting may have already  discussed this with you and there may be paperwork in place shwing what extra they had in Nursery and how this can continue in school. You may have your own concerns about your child's development and want to explore this further with school staff. 

We are here to talk about any worries or concerns you have, any time. Our staff are trained in a range of academic and social/emotional support for smalls goups or one to one with a child. if we, as educators, or you, as parents, have any concerns there are things we can do in school. We start by writing a one page document that we call a My Plan. This outlines what your child's needs are, the targets we set to support them and what the support will be.

We also work closely with the Early Years Educational Psychology service, known as Portex. They can suggest things we can do in school and you can do at home to support your child. We can also refer for Speech and Language support but please be aware the waiting list is long- 18 months to two years before the initial appointment at the moment. 

Children develop at their own pace; it cannot be accelerated. Often a small group catch up programme for a few weeks is just what they need. However, some children with more specific additional needs may move on to more detailed paperwork, which we call a My Support Plan. You will be involved with the writing and review of these documents. 

If your child's needs are more complex and My Support Plans are not meeting their needs, we can start the process of applying for an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan). These plans are awarded by Kirklees and need a lot of supporting evidence to convince the panel to grant one. It comes with a small amount of funding for additional resources or to go towards paying for one to one adult suport. 

The Special Needs co-ordinator in our school is the Head Teacher, Mrs Kelly. You can speak to her or any member of school staff about additional needs at any time. 

Key Moments in Learning

There is no longer any requirement to keep a journal of observations in Reception 

'Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. When assessing whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, practitioners should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement and should not be required to prove this through collection of physical evidence. We found that our staff were spending more time looking at children through an IPad lens and recording general progress, than putting the screen down and interacting with them, modelling and questioning and moving their learning on'. (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, July 2023. Point 2.2). 

We still record WOW learning moments- the signifcant jumps in learning and achievement. These are the milestones that demonstrate your child is making expected progress in the Early Years Curriculum. 

We know our children don't stop learning when they go home. You can also tell us about things your child is doing outside school that you are proud of; this may be craft activities, painting or drawing, reading a favourite book or comic, writing a birthday card or a shopping list or story, counting and using maths in the real world, singing or saying rhymes and songs, taking parts in sports and games or being active in the garden, using technology such a tablet, phone, smart speaker or computer. 

You can share these moments with us on Class Dojo, where you can also upload a photo or video. We love sharing these moments with the rest of the class, too. 

Phonics and Reading

Our phonic scheme is called Essential Letters and Sounds. It is published by Oxford University Press and has been quality assured by the Department of Education as one of thier 'validated' schemes. 

Children start a daily phonics session from their first full time day in Reception, so by their second week in September they will be starting to learn new sounds. We formally assess their progress every five weeks and if anyone isn't quite keeping up we can add some short additional sessions through the day to help. Children will also bring home an ELS reading book which is matched to your child's current level. This means they will be able to read it to you independently. The main aim is fluency in reading, and this is achieved by repetition. Reading the same book 3 or 4 times makes it a familiar text and this helps children become confident readers; if they know they will succeed they will want to read more and slowly we develop capable, confident and fluent readers. 

You can find out more by clicking these links:

Essential Letters and Sounds

Oxford University Press Resources

Twinkl Parent Hub

Twinkl is an educational resource website that has a good range of parent hubs, with lots of useful information. Click on the QR code to find out more.

Twinkl Parent Hub Links

It's Never 'Just Playing'

We sometimes hear parents refer to Reception as the year where they 'just play' and that 'real school' is sitting at desks with pencils and exercise books. 

While our children DO spend some time sitting with books and pencils, we model, support and encourage play. It develops so many skills- speaking, listening, creativity, turn taking and problem solving. If you want to do anything to support your child at home then get down on their level and PLAY with them! 

Einstein play

Current Curriculum Overview for Reception 2023/24

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