Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Foundation Stage consists of a twenty six place morning nursery class and a thirty place reception class. We have a great team of staff in the setting who work closely to meet the needs of all of the children in our care, providing a safe, stimulating and positive learning environment.
Our classroom is zoned into different themed areas to support independent learning. We have a roleplay area, healthy snack zone, messy area, a malleable area, sand and water, a writing station, creation station, computer access, small world, construction, cosy reading corner, music area, fine motor table, maths area, reflection space, sensory area and last but not least an atelier or loose parts area.
During 'busy times' the children move freely around the space accessing all areas independently. There is also freeflow access to our outdoor space where the children can challenge themselves physically as well as support the learning that happens indoors. Throughout the day children will be encouraged to join in with teacher and adult led activities as well as focused maths, shared read and phonics sessions. The adults also find opportunities to follow the children's interests as well as use an 'objective-led' approach where focused objectives are taken into the children's play.
We use the children's ideas to help us plan our topics and always respond to events within the school, community and news to ensure children have a broad and balanced learning experience. We aim to provide children with lots of 'real life' learning opportunities and make the most of our immediate surroundings, practical resources as well as special visitors and experiences to enhnce learning.
We are always observing the children to gain evidence for assessments and use this information to plan individual 'next steps' in learning. We use 'Tapestry', the online learning journey to record observations and celebrate and share children's achievements and successes. Our 'stay and play' and 'stay and read' sessions are the perfect opportunity for sharing the children's learning journeys and for encouraging parents to contribute to them using our 'wow stars'. We also encourage parents to comment on 'Tapestry' observations as well as share and celebrate children's experiences at home. Our weekly 'week ahead's' and 'chat challenges' are the perfect way to keep parents up to date with what the children will be experiencing and learning each week as well as giving ideas and suggestions for parents to continue the learning at home.
We are always evolving and looking for new and exciting ways to enhance the children's learning experience. This year we are looking forward to continuing to use the 'novel approach' in our planning as well as finding more opportunities to follow children's interests. We will be using some fantastic ideas relating to 'reciprocal reading' to encourage the children to think carefully about the stories they hear and read. We will be encouraging children to develop a 'growth mindset' and will be asking them to think their character development using our character heroes and powers! (to find out more about this visit the 'growth mindset' and 'character education' section on the website).
Promoting Engagement and Communication and Language
As a Foundation Stage this year we have placed a high emphasis on engagement, with the aim to further develop children's communication and language and experiences of life in general. We have invited in visitors, provided experiences and 'wow starter' introductions to our new stories to all help engage the children and ignite a love for learning. We have been sending home 'chat challenges' to encourage children to talk about what they see, experience and feel at home.
As a Foundation stage we are committed to promoting the development of children's writing. We find as many opportunities for children to mark make and write in all areas of the classroom and outdoors. We have planned shared write sessions as well as targeted sessions where groups of children may need additional support and encouragement to write. We have recently completed a 'writing audit' and have looked for ways to promote and engage children in all areas of the classroom, indoors and outdoors. We have added more writing props and prompts for example in our construction area where we have modelled drawing and labelling models made. We have set up a space for children to save their models by writing signs such as 'do not break!'. We are planning in more time to model writing in our roleplay area, for example writing shopping lists, train tickets, prescriptions etc
From the audit, we noticed that some children, especially some of our summer born boys only choose to write when directed by an adult. We have planned in time to target these children by tapping into their interests and support them in their writing. We will be using an 'objective-led' approach to writing where adults will be taking writing objectives into the children' splay.
The reception children have been using their 'writing steps to success' to help them find ways to independently support their writing.