EYFS at Oakhurst

The Early Years Foundation Stage Team at Oakhurst Community Primary School offers a breadth of curriculum choices to all children whereby they can make choices and become independent learners.

Our Aims

  • To provide a secure environment where all children have the right to feel safe and happy.
  • To provide a stimulating and engaging environment where learning is enjoyable and purposeful.
  • To provide a well-balanced curriculum for each child to develop socially, physically and intellectually.
  • To observe the children’s interests to implement our future planning.
  • To encourage all children to become independent learners.
  • To deepen a child’s ‘level of involvement’; providing opportunities for a child to be intensely engaged in activities.
  • To provide equal opportunities for all children to develop to their full potential and to encourage children to be respectful and appreciative of others.
  • To encourage the children to develop positive relationships with their peers and adults.
  • To establish and maintain a partnership with parents to support the education of their children.
  • To embed our Oakhurst values of  unity, courage and ambition in all the children.
  • To ensure smooth transitions from home to Nursery, Nursery to Reception and from the Early Years Foundation Stage into Key Stage 1.

 

The Early Years Foundation Stage Team

The Early Years Foundation Stage Team consists of:

Nursery (Foundation Stage 1) Children can start the term after their third birthday, dependent on admissions, and can continue in the Nursery class until they reach the end of the academic year. We take children for either 15hours or 30hours (dependent on eligibility).

Reception (Foundation Stage 2):  Children start in Reception in the September after their 4th Birthday. This is dependent on them gaining a school place at Oakhurst Primary School.

 

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum 

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum.  As a school this year, we are early adopters for the newly reformed EYFS statutory framework (2020) and therefore will be assessing children against the new revised Early Learning Goals, as well as using it to support our teaching and learning. 

The Learning and Development within the EYFS is made up of seven areas. All areas are inter-connected and are of equal importance. The areas of Learning and Development are:

 

Prime Areas
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
Specific Areas
  • Mathematics
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 

At Oakhurst, we believe every child is unique and learns at their own pace and in their own way. 

The Characteristics of Effective Learning are:

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creative and Thinking Critically

We observe and respond to the children during child initiated play, drawing upon their current interests and fascinations to impact our future planning. We set realistic yet challenging expectations that meet the needs of all our children; boys, girls, children with special educational needs, children who are more able, children with disabilities, children from varying social and cultural backgrounds, children of different ethnic groups and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds. We develop children’s ‘Cultural Capital’ first by understanding their needs and their background, through home visits, meeting with parents and observations. We then expand their experiences through the provision we provide; developing their sense of awe and wonder. All areas of the curriculum are delivered through a balance of adult led, adult initiated and child initiated activities. Through play and practical experiences, children learn about the world and their place within it. Children learn through first hand experiences, communication, literature and explorative resources

 

Styles Of Teaching & Learning

The Early Years Foundation Stage staff at Oakhurst endeavour to make each child’s time fun as well as educational. The curriculum is structured to provide opportunities for child initiated activities as well as adult initiated and adult led. Adult led activities can be 1:1, in small groups of children or whole class.

 

Teaching Strategies

The Early Years Foundation Stage staff work as facilitators, demonstrators, scribes, questioners and assessors with the children, in all aspects of their school day. Staff will intervene to stimulate, develop and stretch individuals and small groups of children. We recognise the importance of children having the opportunity to ‘master’ a key skill to ensure they receive solid foundations for future learning.

Our daily routine provides opportunities for adult led teaching to be in short focused sessions. The routine also offers opportunities for small group tasks and lengthy durations of time for child initiated play. The staff work towards using the whole environment indoors and outdoors to cover the curriculum, so children can experiment, investigate, interact, socialise and develop individually.

 

Assessment, Recording And Reporting

We take huge pride in personally getting to know each individual child and their family. In the EYFS, members of staff usually undertake home visits, but due to COVID-19 guidance this year we have arranged 1:1 meetings with the parents to gain as much information about the child as possible. ‘Stay and Play’ sessions are encouraged across the Early Years Foundation Stage Team, where possible, to ensure children are settled as they begin their Nursery or Reception year at school. To enable a smooth transition from our Nursery into Reception, a detailed and thorough handover meeting is taken place with all EYFS staff members.

 

Assessment

All children are assessed by ongoing observations and through professional discussion with members of the team, on a regular basis. These ongoing assessments are used to inform future planning and help identify children who may have learning or behaviour difficulties, or who may be more able.

The Early Years Foundation Stage staff collate a bank of ongoing observations and assessments for each child. These contribute to the child’s online ‘Learning Journey’ through Tapestry, which chronologically records all of their achievements. Each learning journey contains photographs and written observations of the child. Pieces of work produced by the child will be collated in their physical learning journey. In both the Nursery and Reception years, we carry out assessments and use ‘next steps’ to support moving children on at their own unique pace.