Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Rook’s Nest Academy?
From September 2021 the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage became statutory. They help to improve outcomes for all children, especially disadvantaged children. They put early language at the heart of a broad curriculum, where children’s skills are developed and enhanced through a language- rich provision as well as opportunities for practitioners to model these skills.
Therefore, at Rooks Nest Academy, our Early Years curriculum is based upon high quality texts that are delivered through the approach of the, ‘magic of stories,’ (Please see the Classes section of the website- EYFS for more information about this). Our curriculum also enables a range of opportunities and approaches to introduce all children to new vocabulary and to gain a thorough understanding of what those words mean as well as being able to use new vocabulary in context. Our curriculum also celebrates, includes and recognises the diverse setting that we have. The main aims of our curriculum is for all children to engage in fully inclusive learning opportunities that promote a love of reading and develop speech, language and vocabulary skills.
We have a cross curricular approach with both inside and outside learning, with additional opportunities through inclusion in whole school curriculum activities (including forest schools and ACES), events and wider community links. All of the areas of learning are delivered through planned, purposeful play with a balance of adult and child led activities. Each half term the topic begins with a key question and focus on key areas of learning. The children’s ideas, prior knowledge and interests are then used to inform planning leading to weekly questions and a focus.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the beginning and most important stage of school life. At Rook’s Nest Academy our EYFS presents as an Early Years Unit working with children from ages 2 up to Reception aged 5.
Our 2’s and rising threes and nursery provision includes availability for children to attend 15 hours per week (half day sessions 8:30-11:30 0r 12:30-3:30) and eligible 30 hours per week (full day sessions from 8:30-3:30 including lunchtime.)
From September 2021, in the Early Years unit we follow the new Development Matters 2021, with regards to assessment, which consists of these observation checkpoints:
- Birth to 3
- 3-4 years
- Reception child
- Early Learning Goals
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
What Are the Statutory Learning and Development Requirements?
The EYFS curriculum covers the following areas
3 prime areas:
– Communication and language
– Physical development
– Personal social and emotional development
4 specific areas:
– Understanding the world
– Expressive arts and design
We follow the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
Resources are located in different areas across the unit that are easily accessed by all the children including disadvantaged, SEN, and EAL. We aim to encourage independence and develop resilient, confident children who develop a broad vocabulary, a love for reading and telling stories and are able to use their new knowledge and learning within the areas of provision independently.
On-going assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves all the adults within the team knowing the children’s level of achievement and interest, and then shaping teaching and providing learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge. All children have half termly next steps planned to ensure they are stretched and challenged and supported with any areas of development.
If a child’s progress gives calls for concern we discuss this with the child’s parents/carers and agree how to support the child.
The Reception baseline assessment is a short assessment taken in the first six weeks in which the child starts reception.
The EYFS profile is completed in the final term of Reception. This profile provides parents and carers and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.