Foundation Stage

 

FOUNDATION STAGE

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The Early Years Foundation Stage applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. In our school, each Nursery child is entitled to 5 weekly funded places and join us after a period of staggered entry. We offer Wrap Around Care which enables children to attend lunch and afternoon sessions, at a cost to parents/carers. Children in F1 (Reception) are eligible to attend full time from the start of the academic year.

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The Early Years Foundation Stage is based upon guiding principles:

A Unique Child

Positive Relationships

Enabling Environments

Learning and Development

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These guiding principles shape our provision: to respond to each child being unique and to promote positive relationships, we operate a Key Worker system. Each Key Person has special responsibilities for working with a number of children (their key group), giving them reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents and carers. The classrooms have been arranged to enable children to access resources freely and concentrate on developing key skills and encouraging the imagination to help children to learn and fulfil their potential.

 

The children’s learning is split into seven areas that shape the educational provision.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

 

Prime Areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

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Communication and Language

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Physical Development

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Practitioners working with the youngest children in Nursery will focus strongly on these three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas.  The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as the children move through Foundation Stage and grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.  The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

Literacy

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Mathematics

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Understanding of the world

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Expressive arts and design

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The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development are all interconnected. The Characteristics of Effective learning support the development of the Unique Child in how children are learning.

These characteristics are defined as: 

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

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Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

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Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

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The adults spend much of their time observing the children and furthering their learning. We attach relevant assessments of the seven areas of learning and of the characteristics of effective learning and share these observations with parents using Orbit. Orbit is a secure website which allows parents to view their child’s learning journey online and alerts parents when new observations have been added.

 

Discrete teaching and the daily routine

Children have group times which increase as they progress through the Foundation Stage with times for a daily phonics sessions using “Letters and Sounds,” teaching aspects of Mathematics using Little Big Maths, Storytelling and Literacy as well as RE sessions following the Archdiocese of Birmingham syllabus and Personal, Social and Emotional sessions using the programme for Nursery and Reception in “Social Emotional Aspects of Learning” (SEAL.) These groups take place in Key Family groups, phonics groups within Nursery or Reception and in other groupings such as PE and small group focussed activities. In addition Reception children will, from September 2014, also participate in Forest School in small groups on a rota to further encourage outdoor play and exploration. Our Forest School area is being developed in the next few weeks on site. We are very thankful to the Friends for paying for this area to be developed.

We deliver learning for all of the areas through purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They 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.

 

Foundation Stage School Day

Morning session: 8:45-11:45

Lunch session: 11:45-12:45

Afternoon session: 12:15-3:15

Sessions do overlap. Parents are welcome to stay with their child to help them settle in the mornings or afternoons.

Each Monday morning Foundation Stage have their own prayer service.  As the year progresses, Reception begin to join the rest of the school for assemblies, hymn practise and Mass. On Friday afternoons Foundation Stage have a Celebration Assembly to celebrate their achievements that week.  Children are encouraged to join in with the school prayers and also to contribute to and write their own prayers. Once a term parents are invited to a prayer service where children share their learning from the term. Once a term parents are invited to a prayer service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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