Our early years leader is Mrs Cawkill who is also Academy Lead and a Senior Leader of Education.
Other team members are:
- Lizzy Smith (Teacher)
- Jessica Hooper (Teacher)
- Carolyn Preston (Teaching Assistant)
- Beccy Legg (Teaching Assistant)
In the foundation stage, the early learning goals are taught through seven areas of learning which are:
- personal, social and emotional development
- communication and language
- physical development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Play is an important part of the foundation stage and the classroom is set up in such a way to allow the children to have lots of practical experiences, not only taking part in adult directed activities but also child initiated activities.
Here are the answers to some questions that parents and carers frequently ask us:
‘What is the early years foundation stage?’
It’s for children aged 3-5, and covers the years they spend from the beginning of nursery or pre-school to the end of foundation 2 in primary school. It was introduced in September 2000 to cover these important years in your child’s life. The latest framework for EYFS was introduced in September 2012.
At Bracken Lane, early years staff focus on the Development Matters statements and the Early Learning Goals.
They set out what most children are expected to achieve by the end of the early years foundation stage, which encompasses seven areas of learning:
- personal, social and emotional development – your child will learn to be self-confident, take an interest in things, know what their own needs are, tell the difference between right and wrong, and be able to dress and undress
- communication and language and literacy – your child will learn to talk confidently and clearly, share their understanding and develop their listening and attention skills
- literacy – your child will learn how to read, developing book skills and understanding of story structures. They will learn to hear and say initial sounds in words and to blend and segment. They will also learn to write words using their phonic knowledge and use this to write a variety of different things including lists, labels and sentences
- mathematics – your child will develop an understanding of mathematics through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. They will become comfortable with numbers and with ideas such as ‘heavier than’ or ‘bigger’. They will be aware of shapes, patterns and measures including time, weight and money
- understanding the world – your child will explore and find out about the world around them, asking questions about it. They will build with different materials, know about everyday technology and learn what it is used for. They will find out about past events in their lives and their families’ lives. They will find out about different cultures and beliefs
- physical development – your child will learn to move confidently, controlling their body and handling equipment. They will also develop fine motor skills, including pencil control
- expressive arts and design – your child will explore colours and shapes, trying out dance, making things, telling stories and making music. They will also engage in imaginative play
‘Will the goals put pressure on my child?’
Not at all! Most of the time, children will feel they’re just playing and having fun. Sometimes they’ll choose what they want to do. Sometimes they’ll take part in an activity that helps them learn how to concentrate or develop a particular skill, like using scissors or writing.
‘Will my child be tested at the end of the foundation stage?’
There will be an assessment made at the end of the early years foundation stage called the early years foundation stage profile. The assessments are made by observing the children at work and play and the children do not notice that they are being assessed.
‘What is the early years foundation stage profile?’
The early years foundation stage profile is a national scheme to enable teachers to record observations and summarise your child’s achievements at the end of the early years foundation stage. Teachers record achievement based on their observations of your child’s activities in all seven areas of learning throughout the year. They do not need to carry out any set assessment activities
‘What about when my child starts the foundation class?’
When your child first starts reception class, their teacher carries out a baseline assessment, to find out about your child’s learning needs. It’s not a formal test. It’s often done simply by doing some regular classroom activity with your child, such as looking at a book with them, so they won’t even be aware they’re being assessed. It’s not something you or your child should worry about.
‘What can I do to help my child?’
You’re probably doing it already! Finding out what they have done at nursery, discovering what they like and don’t like, encouraging them to ask questions, listen to others and try out new skills all help support their learning process. Reading your child stories and helping them to learn nursery rhymes is particularly helpful. Learning the key words and phonetic patterns that are sent home is crucial to success in key stage 1. The booklets sent home in the autumn term will tell you more about what your child will be learning and how you can help. If in doubt, ask Mrs. Cawkill or a member of the EYFS team, who will be delighted to help you.