Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
'The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn' - Maria Montessori
Our Early Years Foundation Stage Environment
Many of our pupils arrive here at Marsh Green Primary School with well below national expectations for their age and a high proportion of our pupils come from a range of diverse backgrounds. We prioritise the prime areas of learning as we understand the importance that these play in pupil achievement, development and well-being.
At Marsh Green Primary School, our Early Years setting has four main aims:
- To develop communication and language skills so that pupils can effectively communicate using a breadth of vocabulary.
- To provide our pupils with a wide range of rich, first-hand experiences to take the curriculum beyond the classroom.
- To work in collaboration with parents and carers to encourage independent learners.
- To provide pupils with high levels of intrinsic motivation to create learners who are independent, persevere and have the confidence to ‘have a go’ always wanting to achieve the best that they can possibly be.
We believe that developing strong, secure and trustworthy relationships with pupils is paramount to their well-being, involvement and academic outcomes. Each child coming into the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows a carefully planned transition, adapted for each individual, which provides opportunities for staff to develop a relationship with the child, know their starting points and provide ‘child-led’ and open-ended provision for pupils to flourish. Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. On-Entry assessments are gathered for each pupil to understand their starting points so that next steps can be effectively planned and implemented to ensure good progression across the foundation stage. The school aims and values are continuously evident, creating caring, creative and courteous pupils.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and the value that this has. We work closely with parents, even before their child starts here at Marsh Green. Parents are provided with an opportunity to view the setting, attend a welcome meeting and meet with staff who will listen and answer any questions or concerns that they may have. We continuously work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive to reach their full potential. Events such as ‘Marvellous Monday’ and targeted parent workshops, allow parents to gain a depended understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage and what this entails. All staff understand the value of parent partnership and targeted home learning is sent home, meaning that pupils are not falling behind.
We recognise that children have a passion for learning and this is stimulated by immersive experiences that create awe and wonder for pupils. The stimulating, cross-curricular learning environment provides open-ended opportunities for pupils to consolidate and practice a range of different concepts. This is supported by excellent adult interactions which provide opportunities for pupils to ponder, imagine and connect their ideas together to extend their thinking. Staff are able to adapt their levels of questioning accordingly. Exposure to a high-quality learning environment and interactions ensure that pupils are immersed in a breadth of vocabulary and given time to understand and apply this.
Our carefully planned curriculum provides progression across the Early Years Foundation Stage to ensure that the skills and concepts lead up to pupils being able to achieve a good level of development. It provides a spiral curriculum meaning that skills can be continuously consolidated and applied. The learning environment reflects the curriculum as it incorporates opportunities for pupils to lead their learning. It is open-ended, cross-curricular and engaging. Throughout the quality interactions, staff identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and consider ways to address misconceptions. Misconceptions are immediately addressed and support in moving learning forward.
We begin with a carefully planned transition period to ensure that pupils and parents develop strong, reliable and trustworthy relationships. Prior to a child starting at Marsh Green, we liase with feeder settings and parents to ensure that we gain a good understanding of the pupil, their needs and understand how to best support the child.
Parents are at the heart of a pupil’s learning journey so it is vital that parents are actively involved. We offer parent workshops, stay and play sessions and teacher guided sessions where parents see the curriculum in action. These strong parental partnerships empower parents to understand how to effectively support learning at home.
A love of learning is developed through real life experiences and opportunities to build on prior learning. We celebrate diversity through the broad and inclusive resources that are offered here. Planned opportunities to learn about different cultures and celebrations are respected and valued. Pupils’ experience first-hand about other cultures, understanding similarities and differences between these.
We prioritise Communication and Language and understand the value that this holds on the other areas of learning. We identify pupils’ who are not yet at age related expectations, target these through different interventions such as; NELI and Early Words Together at Three. We have recently introduced ‘Helicopter Stories’ with the intent that pupils communication and language, creative imagination and storytelling will outcomes will increase.
In EYFS, our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential, or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics. In addition, for children with an EHCP, where bespoke plans have identified that learning may need to take place away from the classroom due to sensory needs. We believe that it immediate intervention is crucial to ensure that pupils ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. Assessment for Learning is used to ensure that gaps in pupils knowledge is identified and addressed during whole class teaching, interactions or targeted support. By closing the gap, we aim to ensure that a high majority of pupils achieve all seventeen of the Early Learning Goals.
We value play and understand the importance that this has on pupil achievement. The learning environment is
All Early Years adults have an excellent knowledge of the curriculum and how to effectively deliver teaching and learning. Weekly phase meetings, with a different focus, ensure that practitioners knowledge is continuously refreshed and that additional training is provided. The adults role is significant in ensuring that pupils make at least expected progress across all areas of the curriculum. Learning is supported by the use of visuals, modelling of meaningful and purposeful language, which allows pupils’ learning to move forward. Adults use the comment, comment, comment, question so that pupils’ are given ample time to process and think. Quality first teaching is evident across all areas of the curriculum.
We are so glad that you have chosen Marsh Green to start your child's education and we look forward to working with you in the future. We very much hope that your child enjoys their time at Marsh Green and we know that the first two years of you child’s education are very important in making sure that they enjoy school to the fullest.
Here are some of the ways in which you can help us:
- Encourage your child to be independent so that they can put their own coat on and take it off, and go to the toilet unaided washing their hands afterwards.
- Always tell us who will be picking up your child if it someone other than you. If we do not recognise the person or have not been informed beforehand then we will need to contact you.
- Make sure that we always have an up to date telephone number so that we can contact you if your child is ill or has an accident.
- Always tell a member of staff if your child is worried about anything which may have happened either at school or at home so that we can ensure that we can help them in any way possible.
- Please do not let your child bring toys to school as they may become upset if the toys are mislaid or broken.
What can I do to help my child at school?
Do your best to make sure that:
- Your child has a good routine, they go to bed at a regular time, so they are ready to learn each day. When your child is given a reading book, make sure that they read with an adult every night.
- Your child comes to school every day our child gets to school and is picked up from school on time every day. If you are late picking up your child they will be taken to Late Club and you may be fined.
- Your child does not miss school without a very good reason, like sickness. If your child does have to miss school, you should telephone the school and speak to Mrs Kelly.
Children ’s progress?
The adults within Early Years will gather evidence on your child’s progress, make observations and use this to create a profile for the children on our online observation assessment tool called 2Simple. We encourage parents to look at their child’s achievements and you are always welcome to discuss any questions or problems with the class teacher or TA.
Parent involvement in Early Years:
We ask parents to help your child with independence by encouraging the children to hang up their own coat and bag, finding their name and settling at an activity.
At the end of the session when you come to school to collect your child, please wait outside the classroom for your child to be dismissed by a member of staff. Please do not call your child yourself, as we need to be aware of which children have left and with whom.
How can I be involved with the school?
To give your child the best start at school, it is important that parents and staff work together, and share their knowledge of the child. Staff are always available for a brief word in the morning or after their morning or afternoon session.
Throughout the school year we hold open evenings or open days when you will be able to see your child’s work and speak to the staff about their progress. If at any other time you have concerns that you need to discuss with us, please let us know and we will make an appointment for you to see the teacher.
During the year the Foundation Stage will take part in a Harvest Festival, Sports day and Christmas celebration and you will be invited to all of these activities. We also have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day parties. Everyone enjoys these events and appreciates the opportunity to come together and celebrate the achievements of the children.