Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum focuses on seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
There are three prime areas and four specific areas.
The three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
These are the prime areas:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development
The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
At Ashmount, we have a predominantly play based curriculum with carefully planned focus activities to promote learning in these 7 areas of development. Reception children participate in daily phonics, literacy and maths input in addition to weekly writing and maths focus activities in small groups with their class teacher.
Through our play based activities, we encourage children to ask questions, develop new skills and extend existing ones. We also have an outdoor learning area where the children have daily opportunities to develop their play skills and imagination on a larger scale and to be more active in their learning. We care for and prioritise their personal, social and emotional well-being at all times.
The document below sets out the statutory framework for the EYFS:
The documents below highlight what children in nursery and reception at Ashmount will be learning to do during their time in the EYFS.
Staggered Intake and Settling In
Our Nursery classes have two intakes per year – September and January. In our Nursery, we have a staggered intake, which means that not all the children start on the same day. A staggered intake enables the teacher and Early Years Educator to give your child more attention on their first day. Starting Nursery is an exciting and happy event for most children but some children may need extra support to make the transition from home to school. Some children will settle very quickly; others will take more time. We encourage parents and carers of new children to join their children at an activity before saying goodbye.
Our Reception classes begin in September. We also have a staggered intake in Reception. Starting school is an exciting and happy event for most children but some children may need extra support to make the transition from home to school. We encourage parents and carers of new children to join their children at an activity before saying goodbye. Soon after your child starts at school, we will determine which class your child will be in based on the relationships they make with the children and adults in our setting. At the beginning of Autumn 2, we will arrange a meeting with you to discuss your child’s interests and needs.
Once your child has settled into our EYFS, your child will be allocated a key person in the setting. Children thrive when their needs are met by special people that they know, trust and respect. This is normally provided by a child’s parents but it can also be provided by a key person. A key person is a named member of staff with responsibilities for a small group of children who helps those children in the group feel safe and cared for. The role is an important one and an approach set out in the EYFS which is working successfully in settings and in Reception classes. It involves the key person in responding sensitively to children’s feelings and behaviours and meeting emotional needs by giving reassurance, such as when they are new to a setting or class, and supporting the child’s well-being. The key person supports physical needs too, helping with issues like toileting and dressing. That person is a familiar figure who is accessible and available as a point of contact for parents and one who builds relationships with the child and parents or carers.
Small groups foster close bonds between the child and the key person in a way that large groups cannot easily do. These groups allow the key person to better ‘tune into’ children’s play and their conversations to really get to know the children in the group well. Children feel settled and happy and are more confident to explore and as a result become more capable learners.
Children learn by observing and being with others. The key person is an important role model for the child who they can relate to and rely on. Children can concentrate and learn more effectively if not under stress or pressure so having a key person who is attentive and knows their child well will support children in their personal, social and emotional development.
Children are encouraged to share books with you at home. In Reception, books can be changed on your child’s given book changing day – this will be allocated when your child begins to read simple words. You can purchase an Ashmount school book-bag from the office to carry their books safely to and from home. Children will also receive resources to support them with learning phonics for reading and writing.
The children take part in weekly music sessions with a specialist music teacher in our well resourced music room. We have P.E twice a week either in our school hall or outside, where children can develop their physical skills using large and small apparatus and explore movement through dance.
If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to Louise our Assistant Headteacher and EYFS Leader.