Early Years Foundation Stage at Aberford C of E Primary School
“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”
- Maria Montessori
How our EYFS supports our school's vision
In Reception, children embark on a journey of discovery and exploration. We want our children to love their first year at Aberford and for it to act as a springboard for a lifelong love of learning. As much as possible, the children’s own interests are explored and utilized as vehicles to support the children’s development and learning, as well as exploring the seasons, religious and cultural events, and National days. Children come to Aberford from a variety of different settings and experiences and our Reception class is a place where every child is recognised as an individual and is helped to understand that they have great value for being themselves! The importance of looking after ourselves, each other, the school, and the wider environment is emphasised, to ensure the children flourish into caring and compassionate friends.
The Early Years Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and 5 years. The Reception year is the last year of the EYFS. EYFS follows its own curriculum divided into seven areas. These areas are made up of prime areas and specific areas, that are further split into 17 Early Learning Goals that are the aim for the end of the year.
The prime areas are:
- Personal, social and emotional development (making relationships; self-confidence and self-awareness; managing feelings and behaviour)
- Communication and language (listening and attention; understanding; speaking)
- Physical development (moving and handling; health and self-care)
The specific areas are:
- Literacy (reading; writing)
- Mathematics (numbers; shape, space and measures)
- Understanding the world (people and communities; the world; technology)
- Expressive arts and design (exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative)
At the end of Reception, children are assessed to say whether they are emerging or at the expected level of each of the Early Learning Goals. See below for documents giving more information about the Early Years Framework and Goals.
At the beginning of the year, we have a long term plan, that is then tailored over the year to support children’s individual needs and interests. We assess children through teacher observations of independent learning and through 1:1 tasks. The assessment is recorded on Tapestry – an online learning journal. Parents and Carers can access the observations and also add their own; allowing a rich overview of a child’s abilities and interests at home and in school.
Children will often use and develop mathematical language and skills naturally in play. Their innate mathematical sense and skills are developed through enabling maths in the areas of provision through a variety of resources and opportunities. We also have discrete daily maths lessons, following White Rose Schemes of Learning. We use Numberblocks to introduce numbers.
For further information about Maths in EYFS at Aberford see the Maths Curriculum page.
Encouraging a love of early reading, the classroom is full of rich and engaging fiction and non-fiction books. Each half term we introduce an author of the half term, through which the children get to know a variety of books and authors. Shared reading of quality books is a daily practice, with more formal Guided Reading introduced in the Spring. As Einstein's quote goes, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Throughout the year we explore and immerse ourselves in a number of traditional tales. Children enjoy recounting the stories and this helps to develop their story composing skills.
We have daily discrete phonics lessons, based on Letters and Sounds, with the Read, Write Inc letter formation rhymes. We start the year recapping Phase 1 skills, before teaching the simple sounds of Phase 2, continually working on our segmenting and blending for writing and reading. Later in the year we move onto Phase 3 sounds that include digraphs and trigraphs, and then onto Phase 4 skills and words.
We also focus a great deal on children’s gross and fine motor skills to ensure they develop physically able to hold a pencil and form letters. There are many skills needed before pure reading and writing, and we ensure all the building blocks are in place.
Transition into Year 1
We are lucky to have a close relationship with the KS1 class (Class Two), which really supports a smooth transition for the Reception children into Year 1 at the end of the year. We know that as Reception is the first year of school at Aberford, it is also the foundation stone for all future learning. These documents, below, show how the EYFS feeds into the National Curriculum that starts in Year 1 and continues for the rest of their school life.