The Early Years and Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth until the end of the Reception year.

Here at Christ the King we aim to support each child’s development by offering a ‘principled, play based approach to learning and development’ through a variety of adult led and child initiated activities. Young children learn best through play. The activities that are provided for the children will underpin the skills they need in order to work towards achieving the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception year and provide them with a foundation for their proceeding school years. Teachers plan using a topic based approach often stemming from the children’s interests. The children access a variety of learning opportunities via a free flow system between the indoor and outdoor classroom environments. The EYFS curriculum enables practitioners to recognise a child’s strengths and areas where they need more support to develop new skills. This is achieved through a cycle of observational based teacher assessments.

For young children it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. This is aided by having a key person within the class who gets to know and builds a positive relationship with the children and families. In Reception Class at Christ the King, key workers will be the class teacher (Miss Letherby) and the teaching assistant (Miss Harvey) additional supporting adults may also be present. We recognise that parents/ Carers play an important role in the development of a child and welcome achievements from home which are celebrated in class and whole school assemblies. We hold parents meetings throughout the year and parents are able to view and make contributions to their child’s online learning journeys. Here, parents/carers are able to see how their child is learning and achieving in the different areas of the Early Years curriculum.

The areas of learning and development are broken into seven areas. Three areas are particularly important for igniting children’s enthusiasm for learning. These are the three prime areas of:

    • Communication and language
    • Physical development
    • Personal, social and emotional development

Leaving four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:

    • Literacy
    • Mathematics
    • Understanding the world
    • Expressive arts and design

Learning outcomes are also measured against the characteristics of effective learning which detail how children should be learning from their experiences, environment and activities.

All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected and often activities will cover many of the areas.