The Early Years Foundation Stage incorporates two years of education in Nursery and Reception at Godley Community Primary Academy.
The Foundation Stage seeks to provide a secure foundation for all future learning, giving our children the skills to thrive and succeed with confidence and independence across the curriculum. Through quality and consistency, our children are provided with a wide range of immersive experiences and equality of opportunities to establish the building blocks of their education.
The Early Years Foundation Stage comprises of three Prime Areas and four Specific Areas.
The three Prime Areas are:
- Communication & Language
- Personal, Social & Emotional Education
- Physical Development
The four Specific Areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design
Each of the seven areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum are implemented through a combination of planned and purposeful play opportunities within the indoor and outdoor provision, a mixture of focused, adult led activities and group teaching and learning sessions. Our children are given the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning and develop independence through child initiated play and activities, and are supported by adults to challenge themselves, take risks and develop high levels of fascination.
Within the Early Years Foundation Stage are three Characteristics of Learning:
- Playing & Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating & Thinking Critically
The Characteristics of Learning are promoted within the classroom to support children’s development into self-sufficient and confident learners. They focus upon and support our children’s abilities to find out and explore, think of ideas, create, develop resilience, make links, persevere and take pride in their achievements. Our children are encouraged to use skills such as evaluating and reasoning within their learning and play, to collaborate and share thoughts and ideas with others, and to persevere when things get difficult. The Characteristics of Learning are at the heart of the Early Years Foundation Stage and are supported throughout all aspects of learning within Nursery and Reception.
Each Early Years Foundation Stage environment is organised into different provision areas to provide opportunity for child-initiated learning, play based activities and focused teaching, including the following:
- Reading Corner – This area promotes a love of stories and book and providing children with a space to enjoy, share and read high quality texts. Children have access to resources to develop their understanding, role play and communication skills.
- Writing Area – This area provides children with resources to develop their mark making and writing skills by expressing their ideas through pictures and writing.
- Maths Area – This area encourages the children to develop their mathematical understanding, using language of number, shape and space, size, position and time. A range of resources for exploration and investigation are available to develop mathematical language and concepts and are accessible to the children to use freely and across all areas of the classroom.
- Construction Area – This area promotes planning, designing and reviewing skills, as well as developing fine motor skills. Communication and collaboration are key in this area. The children are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas, problem solve, think creatively and adapt and evaluate.
- Malleable Area – This area provides an opportunity for creative development through the use of different tools and materials. Fine motor skills are developed in this area by use of different malleable materials such as clay, playdough and plastercine, a range of tools and small, intricate resources.
- Tactile Area – This area gives our children the opportunity to explore using our sense of touch. Materials such as sand, water, soil, slime and foam may be used within this area to give children a sensory opportunity to explore textures. Communication and language development is promoted in this area.
- Creative Area – This area provides opportunities to support planning, design and creativity, including resources for painting, collage, modelling, drawing and sketching and supports children in their use of tools and other equipment. Children's development of their own ideas is celebrated and children are encouraged to review and evaluate their creations.
- Role Play Area/Small World – These areas are key to supporting imagination, language and cooperative play. The children are provide with a range of opportunities to take on a role, dress up and draw upon their own experiences to develop stories, narrative and explore real life scenarios.
- Outdoor area – Our outdoor areas incorporate a wide variety of opportunities to develop a range of skills. Children have access to gross motor equipment such as bikes and trikes, climbing and balancing equipment and sports equipment. Our creative and imaginative skills are developed through exploration of natural resources in our outdoor mud kitchens, with scientific and mathematical skills and language being fostered through large scale water and sand play. Communication-friendly spaces are provided to develop language and social development and collaborative play and role play is promoted in our large construction area.
The Early Years Foundation Stage employs a thematic approach to learning centered around a key high quality text, allowing the children to become immersed within a story and explore a narrative from a number of angles, using a range of skills. Children are given opportunities to engage in open ended activity and are guided by teaching staff to implement and apply their skills to support their own interests. Embedded within our teaching and learning is the use of ICT to support and enhance children’s learning opportunities. Children are actively encouraged to engage with ICT independently, and have a range of ICT equipment accessible within continuous provision.
Throughout the Reception year, our children take part in an increasing number of directed and focused learning sessions, in order to prepare the children for a more formal learning approach in Year One.