St Austin’s school is in an area with high social deprivation. We are constantly reviewing and updating our practice to ensure we provide all our children in the Foundation Stage with quality teaching and learning so that all children can achieve to the best of their ability. We aim to provide all children with the skills to become independent learners and to have the confidence to succeed in their lifetime.
Data analysis and audits of continuous provision (SSTEWS and ECERS) enable us to make significant changes to further improve our provision and children’s learning.
We have a transition policy in place to ensure smooth transitions from each phase. We involve parents from the outset, gauging their opinion and encouraging them to work together with us to educate their child.
· Open afternoons
· Home/ school workbooks
· Sharing of EYFS Learning Journals
· Reading Records/ Library books
· Phonic/reading workshops
· Story time sessions
The structure of the day in the Foundation Stage enables us to meet the needs of our children and to ensure the most effective use is made of their time for learning. We enable a balance of adult led and child initiated activities to take place. In the summer term in Reception, the structure of the day develops to include more and longer adult led sessions to ensure that the children are ready to enter KS1.
Both the indoor and outdoor areas are set up daily to reflect all seven areas of the Foundation Stage Curriculum.
Continuous provision areas have differentiated resources to enable all children, emerging, expected or exceeding, to be challenged and to be able to practise skills. Continuous provision overviews are placed in each area. Challenge cards have been introduced to ensure all children are challenged to achieve through continuous provision.
It is important to have quality resources both indoors and outdoors. Use of the meadow adds to the quality learning experiences we provide. We ensure that all children respect and look after their environment.
The outside learning environment aims to promote learning on a grand scale; slide and climbing steps, outdoor PE equipment, investigation of our natural world, risk taking, planting area, performance stage, water and sand area, transitional art, music making, large construction, den building.
Areas of Learning
There are 7 different areas of learning and development in the EYFS. We recognise that the 3 prime areas-Personal, Social &Emotional Development, Communication & Language and Physical Development are fundamental in building a child’s capacity to learn. These are essential to embed in all children so that we can develop the further four specific areas- Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of The World and Expressive Arts, efficiently. Understanding of the world is used to develop our children’s familiarity with technology and their understanding of geography, history, people and communities, subjects which they will further in KS1.
A huge emphasis is placed on reading in nursery and reception. Stories are shared with the children daily. Reading areas are equipped with fiction, non-fiction, poetry and rhyming books. Book boxes are also available for children to find out information about the current theme. Story maps are made with the children to help them understand story book language and structure. Children make books which are displayed in the reading area. Reception children visit the local library termly; nursery children take home a school library book to share with parents. Reception children have individual reading books and reading records which they take home to share with parents/carers.
Read Write Inc
In Nursery and Reception we use the Read Write Inc scheme to further raise standards in reading and writing.
In addition, Nursery children are taught Phase 1 and Phase 2 phonics.
Language Link is an intervention programme for reception children aimed to help them reach their full communication potential.
Early Talk Boost
We implement a targeted intervention for our 3-4 year olds to boost their language skills and to help narrow the gap between them and their peers.
On entry to the nursery and the reception class, all children are assessed against the development matters statements. This enables us to establish the baseline for all children. Further assessments are collated at the end of each term. All reception children aim to achieve a Good Level of Development by the end of the reception year.
In the Foundation Stage, we aim to treat all children equally and we recognize that they have equal rights.
In the early years it is all about teaching children that their opinions are important and that each child’s thoughts and feelings should be listened to and valued.
It is also important to teach children that sometimes they will be given the power to choose and will make decisions on their own and in groups.