The Early Years Foundation Stage at Pinner Wood
At Pinner Wood Primary School, we recognise that the Early Years are a fundamental stage in a child’s development. This is a time where valuable relationships are formed, between peers, parents and practitioners. At Pinner Wood, we strive to meet every child’s entitlement to develop a love of learning that will enable them to have the best possible future life chances.
At Pinner Wood, children are provided with a broad and balanced curriculum, which combines our EYFS framework with the Characteristics of Effective Learning.
The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The Prime Areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The Prime Areas are strengthened and applied through 4 Specific Areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Achievement of these prime and specific areas of learning is through the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
Through our Characteristics of Effective Learning, children are encouraged and nurtured into becoming independent, confident and reflective learners.
In addition to delivering the EYFS framework, our Early Years team have designed our own Pinner Wood ‘Curricular Goals’ linked to our Pinner Wood values. This teaches the children basic life skills whilst also encompassing the values at the heart of our school. The children are assessed frequently against the milestones to ensure progress, with information shared with parents when necessary to establish a strong home/school link.
The EYFS setting covers children aged 3 to 5 years old. Full time hours are offered in Reception from 8.40am to 3.05pm. The Nursery offers free childcare for 15 and 30 hours.
Learning Through Play
Through play, our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them to make sense of the world. Children have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They learn through being active learners, working with a range of resources in a wide range of contexts. Through play, children will develop creatively, physically, socially and emotionally as well as academically.
The Reception and Nursery areas are carefully planned to ensure all areas are used to enable learning for every child. The children have the choice of where they choose to learn and there is a strong focus on children talking about and making choices within their learning experiences and developing independence and self-management. We enhance our provision through objects, prompts, conversation and questioning.
Our practitioners take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, our staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.
At Pinner Wood, children are given opportunities to explore, discover and take risks within a safe and supported environment, both inside and outside. The provision and planning for outdoor play, just as indoor play, reflects the diversity and richness of the experience and developing interests of the children. Outdoor provision allows for quiet, reflective areas and busy, moving play areas, developing exploration and imagination and providing opportunities for large scale experiences.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Our practitioners respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1. Explicit phonics lessons are taught using the scheme Read Write Inc, a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed, so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Mathematics is taught on a daily basis, in a timetabled lesson, but children practise and use their maths throughout the school day and have access to a range of mathematical opportunities in their play.
The Role of EYFS Families
We believe that all parents play a vital role in the education of their child. They know best how their child learns, what comes naturally to them and in which areas they need more support. All staff value time to discuss individual children with their parents. We do this through:
- Inviting all parents to an induction meeting before their child starts in Nursery or Reception
- Giving children and parents the opportunity to spend time with the new teacher in the new classroom before starting school
- Staff are available before and after school every day if parents need to discuss anything
- Staff actively and regularly give positive feedback and ideas for supporting children at home through workshops and drop in sessions at school
- Parents are invited to parents evening meetings
- Our Tapestry Learning Journeys are shared with parents. Parents are able to both access and comment on observations made at school, as well as uploading their own observations of home learning and experiences