In St Wilfrid’s EYFS we aim to nurture children who are independent in their learning, are able to think for themselves, are resilient and who show respect for others, their environment and themselves.
We have high expectations of our children to achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of Reception and to be ready for their next stage of learning. We aim that our children achieve their best in an environment in which they feel safe, listened to and valued as individuals.
Implementation – How do we do this?
“Early years provision is only as good as the quality of interaction between adults and children.”
Sir Michael Wilshaw
“Babies and young children are experiencing and learning in the here and now, not storing up their questions until tomorrow or next week. It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment-by-moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).”
From National Standards document Learning, Playing and Interacting P.22 – 23
The above statements underpin the way that we implement the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The framework is made up of seven areas of learning, three prime areas and four specific areas.
- Communication and Language
- Moving and Handling
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
For more information on each area and how to support your child at home click here.
Our learning environment supports children to be fully engaged in purposeful play of their own choice and interest. Resources are accessible and clearly labelled to facilitate children in making choices (and to support them in tidying up when they have finished!) We constantly review the areas and the resources in those areas to ensure that they provide an environment that best supports learning at all times. For example, we recently combined the writing area and creative area after acknowledging that our children regularly combine mark-making. For instance, a child may make a card and of course will want to write in it, so will need both creative resources AND writing implements to do this.
We use a balance of adult led and child led learning. Adult-led sessions include Letters and Sounds Phase 1 for Nursery where children learn to tune into sounds in the environment, instrument sounds, voice sounds. They learn to become aware of rhyme and how words are made up of separate sounds by listening carefully, breaking words down (oral segmenting) and building them up (oral blending). When children are secure in Phase One, they are introduced to our whole school scheme Read, Write Inc (RWI). Sometimes children are ready for this move in Nursery, for some they will begin their RWI journey in Reception.
Above all else, children are given time to engage in deep level learning without unnecessary interruption.
Instead of holding children’s hands through a variety of pre-set activities, we allow them to find their own interests, and use this to enhance and build upon their existing knowledge and skills.
We break this process down into three stages:
- The Child’s Spark– This is when the child first shows an interest in something. There will be an air of fascination around their play and concentration in what they are now doing.
- The Teachable Moment– As skilled practitioners, we observe carefully, notice this spark, and sensitively join in play. It is at this point that we extend their interest, by asking open- ended questions, scaffold and model skills and consider ways to apply this interest to other options within the environment.
- The Documentation– At a later date, we document the observation. We include the spark, the teachable moment and what happened next.
The observation, planning and assessment cycle is completed not over a period of time when that spark of interest may have disappeared, but in the moment when the individual child is at their most receptive to learning and most likely to make the greatest progress.
By working in this way, children are valued as individuals. All teaching is geared to children as individuals and next steps are pertinent to each child.
Children have the choice to learn both indoors or outdoors. Access to outdoors is available most of the time. We don’t have set play times and the learning that takes place outdoors reflects the learning that takes place indoors, just on a larger and more active scale.