At Monega the aim of the "Early Years Foundation Stage" is to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to reach their full potential educationally, emotionally and physically. We provide pupils with a learning environment that encourages them to pursue their own interests, ideas and challenges.
The early years of a child’s life are an important stage where the foundations for future development are established. In the Foundation Stage, we foster the child’s needs and stages of development and offer learning which extends, enriches and develops the unique child.
Providing creative and contextual opportunities for children to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Purposefully planned, playful activities and first hand experiences are the key to learning, laying the foundations for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
The expectations and delivery of the curriculum is flexible ensuring there is a balance between structured, unstructured, and adult led and child led learning.
“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. Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five. September 2021.
The Framework is based on four guiding principles which help to shape the Early Years Foundation Stage Policy.
- A Unique Child
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling Environments
- Learning and Development
The curriculum is carefully planned to ensure progression and continuity of skills in seven areas of learning. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively in order to be ready for school. There are three prime areas:-
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
There are also four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:-
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In planning and guiding children’s learning, staff must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning 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.
The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of seven areas of learning and development. Within each area there are a number of early learning goals which children will achieve and exceed by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Communication and Language:-
* Listening, Attention and Understanding.
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development.
Children will learn a wide range of vocabulary through quality conversations with the adults and their peers in a language rich environment. Staff will build children's language by reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, children will share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher. Children will learn through questioning that invites them to elaborate and become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
- Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
- Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
- Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.
- Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
- Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
- Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.
* Gross Motor Skills.
* Fine Motor Skills.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.
Staff will develop children's fine and gross motor skills by creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults will support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy.
- Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
- Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
- Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
- Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
- Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
- Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.
* Self Regulation.
* Managing Self.
* Building relationships.
Children’s personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Through strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults, children will learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.
Children will be supported in managing emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals and have confidence in their own abilities. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts.
- Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;
- Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;
- Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
- Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
- Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;
- Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
- Work and play co-operatively and take turns with others; Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers; - Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.
* Word Reading.
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Our balanced curriculum of child led and teacher led learning means that there will be many opportunities for children to apply their phonics and vocabulary into a variety of different contexts. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension is necessary for both reading and writing. Children will develop these skills with adults, whilst talking about the world around them and the books they read. They will learn and enjoy a variety of interactive rhymes, poems and songs. Skilled word reading will be taught, this will involve both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing will involve spelling and handwriting, articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing (composition).
Each child will have a Literacy book which they use to record news about themselves, character descriptions, story retells and creative story writing.
- Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary; - Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories; - Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs; - Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending; - Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed; - Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters; - Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
* Numerical Patterns.
Developing strong foundations in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children will be taught to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. Children will be provided with frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding. Children will also develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics will be built. The curriculum will include rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. Children will be encouraged to develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, make connections, talk to adults and peers about what they notice.
- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
* Creating with Materials.
* Being Imaginative.
Expressive Art and Design includes Music , Art and Design Technology. The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children will have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children will see, hear and participate in high quality interactions and a variety of resources developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts.
- Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
- Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
- Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.
- Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
- Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
- Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate try to move in time with music.
* Past and Present.
* People, Culture and Communities.
* The Natural World.
This area of learning encompasses Science, History, Religious Education and Geography. Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The children will explore their immediate environment through investigating their surroundings. They will look at natural and man-made materials. They will be encouraged to ask questions about what is happening and why. Children will participate in a range of personal experiences increasing their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters.
In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, children will develop their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary in a variety of contexualised experiences will support later reading comprehension.
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling;
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.