Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. O. Fred Donaldson
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Keevil C of E Academy, we want all our children to grow and flourish during their time with us, and in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) they take that first step with us. We aim to make it fun, exciting and supportive so they are able to continue their school journey with confidence.
The EYFS begins in their nursery setting and continues into a child’s first year at school, known as the Reception year. At Keevil our Reception Class is called Winter Class and we follow the EYFS Curriculum. The curriculum has 7 areas of Learning, they are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
We explore these areas of learning using child-centred activities, books and topics and use their ideas and interests to engage and enable the children to make the most of their education.
The children have daily phonics and maths lessons. Phonics is taught using the Little Wandle letters and sounds program. Maths is taught using the white rose scheme.
The EYFS Curriculum identifies the characteristics of effective teaching and learning for young children as:
- 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
These characteristics underpin all our teaching and learning in Winter Class. We strive to get to know each child individually and provide creative spaces for children to play and explore. Our positive relationships ensure the children always feel safe and secure so they have the confidence to try new things. We aim to make our classroom and outside area engaging, safe and fun so children can become independent learners, make links and embed their skills and knowledge.
At the end of the Reception Year all children are assessed using 17 Early Learning Goals that are part of the EYFS Curriculum. Our assessment of these are ongoing during the year and we make our judgements by playing with the children and observing them as they learn independently with others. We also use specific 1:1 Assessments including termly phonic assessments that give individual next steps. We use this assessment to plan lessons, play opportunities and adult-led activities to spark interest and develop learning.
We record their learning using books, photos and Dojo. Dojo is an online platform that allows us to share classroom experiences and offers a valuable communication tool between school and parents, who are able to access this securely at home. We value our partnership with parents and strive to support their understanding of their child’s education. This begins with a transition programme that includes visits to the children’s in their nursery settings, school sessions, a welcome evening in July, a Phonics workshop in September and 2 parents meetings during the year. We hold regular ‘stay and learn’ sessions where the children are able to share their work and classroom environment with parents/carers.
As a small school we use every space as a learning opportunity and have access to our own outdoor area that we use all year round. We also make the most of our beautiful village and the church is key in supporting this, letting us get muddy in their field with outdoor learning sessions! We join the Key Stage one children in Spring Class for their Nativity and go to church services and assemblies to celebrate our achievements through out the year.