What is the Early Years Foundation Stage? (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum sets the standards for the development, learning and care of children from birth to five years old. All registered providers of Early Years care are required to use the EYFS statutory framework. Oakwood Early Years uses the EYFS documents and these are what your child’s teacher will be using all throughout the year.
Themes and principles
EYFS is based around four themes, each of which is linked to an important principle:
A unique child
Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
Learning and development
Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.
Areas of Learning and Development
The EYFS is divided into 7 areas of learning and development. They are
-Communication and Language (C&L)
-Understanding of the World (UW)
-Physical Development (PD)
-Expressive, Arts and Design (EAD)
-Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Here is a brief outline of what your child will cover in each area of learning.
Communication and Language
The most important aspect which allows the children to communicate effectively is speaking and listening. Children will be able to talk about what they want and how they feel and have opportunity to express this through role play. There will be time for stories, poems, songs and rhymes to help develop the ability to use language to describe past and present experiences and a sequence of events. Children will be encouraged to question experiences and events and put forward logical explanations or predict what may happen next. There will be the chance to talk imaginatively and retell stories in their words. Children will be supported to learn how to speak to others in small and large groups and to share ideas and thoughts with them, as well as learning to listen to others and to ask interesting and appropriate questions. It is also important to learn how to follow a set of instructions and be able to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about different experiences.
Through handling books and sharing with others, children will recognise that words tell stories and that words seen in the world around them tell us something. Children will see letters and words written down all around nursery and will have a chance to try and copy and write them then use them in play. Alphabetical sounds are taught involving speaking and listening leading to using different sounds to make up a word. This knowledge can be used when looking at words in a book to begin reading and writing sentences. To support this learning there are multisensory story sacks, word and picture games and the use of the computer. Children are supported to learn to read individually and in small groups. It is vital that children have fun using words to talk, read and write.
This area involves many different learning concepts. Children will learn to use numbers when playing to count and match things to each other, then progress to adding things together and taking away. There is encouragement to learn sorting and grouping objects with understanding and putting events in order with consideration of what happens next in the following day. Children learn about noticing shapes and patterns in the world around us and designing their own patterns. Using mathematical knowledge for solving practical problems with doubling, sharing and halving is also supported. Indoor and outdoor resources are used for learning comparisons in height, weight, size and texture.
Understanding of the World
This is a huge area of the curriculum and this includes subjects that we know as history, geography, ICT and science but in an easy way for 3 to 5 year olds. There will be opportunities indoors and out to look at and talk about objects, materials, living creatures and plant life, pointing out details and things that are the same or different. There will be explorations and investigations at all different times of the year indoors and out to encourage children to notice changes as time passes. There is support to make predictions, try things out and come to a conclusion or provide reasons as to why a child thinks things happen. Discoveries can be shared with friends and recorded by drawing, writing or using a camera or computer. Children will learn about things we use everyday in the home and at school as well as places and buildings in the area we live in. There are chances to talk about special moments and events within the family and things the children are looking forward too. Children will also begin to know about different people and their cultures, tradition and places in our community.
In Nursery, there will be lots of time to play and learn both inside and outside the school. Children are given opportunities to improve in movement, climbing, control and coordination during play. Outdoors there are toys to ride on, throw, catch, climb on and build with. There are games involving chase, races, jumping and balance as an individual and within a team. Children also learn about their body and what keeps us fit and healthy. Fine movement skills are developed in drawing, painting, cutting, sewing, cooking, joining and dismantling, as well as through equipment for building, threading, dressing dolls, making tents, dens and structures and playing sports.
Expressive, Arts and Designs
Here children will have the opportunity to express their own thoughts, ideas and feelings through drawing, painting, model making and using play dough or clay. A wide variety of tools are available to allow children to see how they work and what they can do using natural and manmade materials to design and make their own creations, models and structures. There will be an opportunity to see interesting objects, pictures and people, feel different moods, taste a variety of flavours, smell an assortment of things and hold or touch things to see how they feel. Children will be able to express themselves through different sound makers, movements, sing songs and imaginative role play with friends. There is guidance on the right means of expression and choosing the words for sharing these times with friends, teachers and family as children play and explore the world around them.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This is probably the most important area of the curriculum. When children are happy and relaxed in their nursery and feel supported by their teachers and friends, they will experience, participate and learn more. Children will be guided to develop confidence and self-esteem, an ability to be assertive and stand up for their own rights or to ask for adult support. They will be taught about relationships with both adults and children, making particular friendships and learning to share, to take turns and to negotiate with others. Children will begin to understand rules, to empathise with others and to learn about differences in cultures, religion or language. There will be development in the ability to express feelings, to control them where appropriate and to express any anxieties to others. Progress in independence is encouraged in looking after oneself and possessions, choosing what to do, finding what is needed, planning time, thinking of and acting on own ideas and asking for help if needed. Children will learn to take responsibilities for tidying up, helping other children, taking messages and carrying out instructions and tasks. Most of all children’s accomplishments will be recognised so that they know how to be please with and proud of what they can do.
Free Milk Scheme –
We would like to inform parents that we have registered with Cool Milk a new company that provides a milk scheme that is available to all of our pupils and we would like to invite you to register your child in order to receive milk.
School milk is free for all children that are under-five and/or registered for free school meals, and is subsidised for other pupils at around £15 a term. Once you have registered with Cool Milk the company will deal with all your administration, the school will no longer be responsible for any administration.
Each pupil that registers with Cool Milk will receive a carton of semi-skimmed milk everyday, which is delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom. School milk will not only provide children with essential nutrients, but as it is rehydrating and energy boosting it also bridges the gap between breakfast and lunch to help children stay focused.
Find out the top ten reasons to drink school milk at www.coolmilk.com/whyschoolmilk.
How to register
Milk is completely free for all children that are under-five and/or registered for free school meals, and is subsidised for children aged five or older.
Just register at www.coolmilk.com
Alternatively, complete the registration form found in the Welcome Pack, and return to Cool Milk freepost.
The School’s Local Authority is: Luton Borough Council.
My child is under five and/or registered for free school meals
Just register by a Tuesday for your child’s free milk to start the following week.
Free milk for under-fives will continue until the Friday before your child’s fifth birthday. You will receive a payment request three weeks before this time- if you wish your child to continue to receive school milk simply make a payment.
Free milk for children entitled to free school meals will continue to be delivered until they leave primary education, or when they are no longer eligible for free school meals.
My child is five or older
Complete a registration form or register online as soon as possible. Shortly after registering you will receive a payment request.
If for any reason the school do not receive a delivery from Cool Milk and you have paid for your child to have milk does not receive any milk, please contact Cool Milk they will credit your account.
You can pay Cool Milk either online, over the phone, at a local PayPoint or by cheque in half-termly, termly or annual instalments.
Just pay by a Tuesday for your child’s milk to start the following week.
If you have any questions regarding school milk please visit www.coolmilk.com or contact Cool Milk directly on 0844 854 2913.
Phonics & Literacy
At the start of the academic year (September 2015) to help welcome parents and inform them of how we are going to support their child, we held a Phonics and Literacy Workshop. In this workshop it was explained how phonics is taught and how parents can support their child’s learning at home. Parents were shown the Jolly Phonics resources that can be used via YouTube as well as the Robot Game that helps children to segment and blend their sounds to create CVC words. There was also a demonstration on how parents can support their child in beginning to read and understand what is happening within a story.
Parents found this workshop to be really useful and informative, and they advised us through the feedback questionnaire that they would like something similar presented for the other areas of learning such as Numeracy.
Having listened to parent feedback we implemented a Numeracy (Mathematics) workshop. Parents were encouraged to use the environment outside of school to help support their child’s understanding of numerical concepts. We also touched on how learning needs to be practical and ‘hands-on’. Parents were informed on how we are beginning to create ’Home Learning Bags’ for the children to take home, to share and do activities with their parents.
Feedback from this workshop indicates that parents found it interactive and useful. Recommendations were made to hold a workshop for Qur’an and Arabic, as well as one for the Summer Term to inform parents on how they can support their child to be ready for the transition into Key Stage 1 learning in Year 1.