Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Experience at Jolesfield

At Jolesfield Church of England Primary School, our vision ‘Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 is realised by the excellent start to education given to our reception children. We work hard to cultivate a love of learning and self-belief that enables everyone to take risks and ‘have a go’, growing in confidence without fear of failure so that they can flourish.

Our Curriculum

We firmly believe that the experience we offer and provide at Jolesfield in the Early Years is vital to ensure a strong start to a child’s education and EYFS is the bedrock where the foundation knowledge and skills begin in readiness for KS1, 2 and beyond.

Children choose from a wide range of stimulating and relevant activities which engage them fully and allow them to effectively demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning.  The classrooms and the outdoor areas are stimulating and organised to enable children to make progress in all areas of learning whilst developing their own ideas.  Learning opportunities are promoted through loose parts play provision allowing children to ‘tinker’ with and move materials around, design and redesign in order to develop thinking skills through an ‘I wonder….’ approach.  This encourages creative thinking and imagination by allowing pupils to assign their own meaning and purpose to objects.

Our curriculum is enriched through the use of our large grounds, which include forest space, a nature garden, a field and a pond.  In addition, visits and visitors are used to engage and extend learning.  

Our Early Years curriculum is focussed around the seven areas of learning shown below but in addition, we teach religious education (RE).  More information about the areas of learning covered in RE can be found in the RE section of the curriculum tab.  

Communication and Language plays a huge part in the development of children as part of the 3 Prime areas.  Jolesfield understands the priority within this and therefore we have a dedicated speech and language teaching assistant to work with the children most in need of support.  In addition, paired partner talk is carefully planned. Our phonics also supports development of speech through teaching children how to use their mouths correctly when saying phonemes, i.e. putting tongue to top of their mouth to say /ll/. We focus on introducing new vocabulary weekly and providing opportunities to use it, with adults modelling the language too. We choose high quality texts not only in our teaching, but also in our reading for pleasure.  We teach specific subject-related terminology to give children the vocabulary they need to access learning further on in the curriculum.  

We have developed a curriculum which looks forward to learning covered further up the school, specifically Key Stage 1. We ensure that essential knowledge and skills are embedded so children have broad foundations to build their learning upon. The document attached shows the links between the National Curriculum and the seven areas of learning in Ladybird Class.

Through observing, interacting and asking questions we are able to develop an understanding of a child’s ability and their next steps in each of the areas of learning.  This supports us in making accurate judgements on the children’s development.

Please see an example of our overview to gain more understanding of our curriculum: Overview of Seven Areas of Learning

Teaching and Learning

The best outcomes for children’s learning occur when a mixture of learning opportunities are provided during the school day, such as child-initiated play, guided play actively supported by adults and adult focus-led learning.

We place a strong emphasis on ‘In the Moment Planning’ in order to enhance children’s interests in addition to the above.  The approach is shown to:

  • Develop children’s confidence when being part of a group by learning to take turns and share fairly
  • Give opportunities to become strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and key adults
  • Provide chances to develop imagination in recreating roles and guided experiences
  • Enhance communication with others as they investigate or solve problems
  • Offer exploration opportunities by developing and representing learning experiences that help them to make sense of the world
  • Allow children a safe space to take risks and make and learn from mistakes
  • Develop resilience through giving time for practice to build up their own ideas, concepts and skills

Staff within the setting support children to do this by:

  • Being flexible, adaptable and spontaneous
  • Listening to children’s ideas and interests
  • Positive reinforcement and enthusiasm about indoor/outdoor play.  
  • Supporting and encouraging children to take risks and explore
  • Helping children make sense of the world around them
  • Adopting problem-solving and investigational approach where possible
  • Providing opportunities for meaningful conversations between groups of children, and between adults and children
  • Understanding that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates
  • Understanding that development in all areas of learning is equally important and inter-connected
  • Observing and being reflective on children’s spontaneous play
  • Monitoring their development in all areas of the curriculum and using this to inform future planning

Parental Involvement and Community

We value and enable close relationships with children and families to ensure the well-being of the children in our care both at home and at school, enabling them to achieve the highest possible outcomes for individuals.We offer a range of opportunities to engage parents with our school community such as:

  • A welcome meeting for our new parents in the summer term before their children start school
  • Google classroom – a window into our learning at school 
  • Hold workshops to support parents in areas such as Reading/Phonics
  • Inviting parent volunteers to join us on school visits (i.e. our walks to church) or with reading 

We know that bringing home and school together is vital in giving our children the best opportunities in life!

Further Reading:

  • Ladybirds Overview 2022-2023
  • EYFS Framework
  • DfE Development Matters
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