Eaton's Early Years
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At Eaton we take pride in helping our pupils to:
Develop our feelings.
Learn to work together.
Develop a positive disposition to learning.
Develop friendships with adults and peers.
Understand differences between ourselves and others.
Communication and Language
Communication is key to our children’s learning and embodies our whole curriculum: Speaking and listening activities are all day, every day.
The children are encouraged to listen carefully and respond with relevant comments and questions.
Circle time is a good forum for sharing our thoughts and feelings with our friends, peers and grown-ups.
We encourage the children to value and respect each other’s opinions.
Physical development embodies the whole being of the child which we aim to develop through:
PE activities and dance – using imagination and showing an awareness of space.
Learning to understand how to stay fit and healthy through exercise and diet.
Using small equipment and materials to develop fine motor control and coordination.
Using large equipment to develop gross motor skills. Large movements support the development of writing through control, suppleness and coordination.
Literacy skills transfer across the whole curriculum – we learn to read and we read to learn! We write for lots of different real reasons and with a purpose so that we are interested and inspired.
Reading – we start with picture books for sequencing, handling, directionality, meaning, talking and sharing… followed by books with text to develop word recognition and decoding skills. HF Word cards are taken home to develop whole word recognition.
Phonics – learning letter sounds and names, upper and lower case to help us read and write. We have daily phonics sessions, using the scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’ along with the jolly Phonics actions in groups across FS and KS1 in order to fulfil individual learning needs.
Writing – independent mark-making on a large and small scale is encouraged and further developed with phonic and reading skills.
Maths is all around us and we use our whole environment to help us learn…
Numbers as labels and for counting – we focus on numbers to 20 to start, recognising, counting and ordering.
Calculating – lots of practical problems, 1 more, 1 less, adding objects together, etc.
Shape, space and measure – e.g. pattern making, sorting & recognising shapes, using sand to measure capacity…
Expressive Arts & Design
As a three times Artsmark award winning school, the Arts are very important to us and are embodied in all we do and celebrate. In Foundation Stage we put great emphasis on;
Developing skills in music, art, drama, dance, story-telling, role play through topics and the children‘s own interests.
Giving children opportunities given to express themselves in a stimulating environment.
Having our making table as a permanent fixture – feel free to help us with any resources you may have at home, e.g. cardboard boxes, polystyrene chips, glitter!
Understanding the World
The world around us is a fascinating place in which we all have different and similar experiences. We use our senses to explore and our enhanced IT provision to research and support our learning, encouraging children to:
Use first hand experiences to explore the environments and people/ communities around them – immediate, local and further afield.
Develop their understanding of predicting, decision making, problem solving, investigating and observation.
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
Democracy: making decisions together
Encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture,
Encourage children to know their views count,
Value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help.
When appropriate demonstrate democracy in action, for example, children sharing views
on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands.
Support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration.
Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.
Rule of law: understanding rules matter
as cited in Personal Social and Emotional Development as part of the focus on managing feelings and behaviour:
Ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong.
Collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
As part of the focus on self-confidence & self-awareness and people & communities as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World
Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
Encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
As part of the focus on people & communities, managing feelings & behaviour and making relationships as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World:
Create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
Children should acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.
Encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions.
Promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
Assessment in EYFS
We assess our children all the time, formally and informally through observation of child initiated activities as well as planned adult led activities.
As children start school, we our spend time having quality interactions with them in order to understand their interests and needs. We observe each child and understand their individual and specific Characteristics of Learning - Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and thinking critically. During their first weeks in school a Baseline Assessment is formed from which we can plan for next steps and track each child’s progress throughout the year.
Assessment evidence is collated in the form of observations and written comments which are recorded in different ways, for example actual work, post-its, photographs or videos and celebrated in an individual Learning Journey and on ipads. This is used to monitor cohort, group and individual progress and inform next steps within Early Years Framework.
During the Reception year, children work towards the Early Learning Goals in each area of learning. Each child is assessed against the different stages of development in age bands, usually 30 to 50 months and 40 to 60 months, as being either “Emerging” or “Secure” for each area based on the observations evidenced.
At the end of the Reception year each child is assessed against Early Learning Goals for each area of learning, Prime and Specific, and deemed to be:
Working towards the expected level (Emerging)
Working at the expected level (Expected) or
Working beyond the expected level (Exceeding)
Children are expected to achieve what is known as their ‘Good Level of Development’, which includes being assessed at the Expected level or above in all Prime areas of learning (Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Communication & Language and Physical Development) along with the Specific areas of Maths and Literacy. Children that achieve this are ready for their transition into Key Stage One and the Year One curriculum. Children that do not achieve this will be supported in Year One to continue to learn in an Early Years ‘hands-on’ manner until they are ready to access the next step of their education.
At Eaton we see your child’s development as a shared commitment. Communication between home and school is vital and we are proud of our open-door policy for parents. We have a minimum of two Parents Evenings a year and in FS and KS1 each child has a Daily Journal that acts as a reading journal as well as an means of communication between home and school on a daily basis.
What can I do to help my child before they start school?
Sharing books, recognising name, letter formations, recognising numbers, independent dressing and hygiene routines, making the Summer Scrapbook together.
Fun activities – playing games such as I Spy and Snakes & Ladders develops skills such as hearing sounds, reading numbers and sharing/ taking turns.
What can I do to help my child once they start school?
Reading books sent home with your child.
Helping them to learn the High frequency Word flashcards that come home.
Helping them to recognise letters; sounds and names, lower and upper case.
Recognising, ordering and writing numbers to 20.
Supporting accurate counting with one to one voice to pointing correspondence.