At Sproatley Endowed CE Academy, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage has a huge potential for learning and creativity. We promote an environment of independence and imagination to enable our children to become competent and confident learners. Our learning environments are carefully planned and arranged to optimise learning opportunities and help the children to contextualise their learning through play. We challenge the children to stimulate imaginative play by providing a range of real, natural and open-ended resources. Provision is organised in a way which enables children to explore and apply their learning, independently and is combined with a range of effective adult and child led activities.
Adult led activities are meticulously planned from the Statutory Early Years Curriculum and are planned according to children’s needs and interests. Activities are engaging, practical, visual and active and our children display high levels of involvement and motivation. Lessons are planned to teach specific knowledge and skills and adults model specific learning strategies to aid learning.
As well as adult led teaching activities, our children enjoy long periods of uninterrupted play, indoors and out, that allow them to initiate their own learning experiences. These activities encourage them to independently apply new found knowledge and skills, learn to manage risk and to develop their own sense of curiosity, perseverance, resilience and collaboration. Through these more “open” activities, children also learn to problem solve, take and manage risk and to self-challenge. Adults support and challenge the children during these times through modelling, questioning, demonstrating and encouraging imagination. Forest Schools is a key factor within this learning and provides unlimited opportunities for expression and exploration.
The Framework is divided into three sections:
Characteristics of Learning
3 Prime Areas of Learning
4 Specific Areas of Learning
with 17 early learning goals to be aimed for by the end of the Reception year in school.
Characteristics of Learning
Playing and Exploring - finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’.
Active Learning - being involved and concentrating, persevering and enjoying achieving, what they set out to do.
Creating and Thinking Critically - children having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.
Prime Areas of Learning
Personal, Social and Emotional Development - making relationships and getting along with other children and adults, having confidence and self-awareness, and being able to manage their feelings and behaviour
Communication and Language - developing good listening and attention skills, to have good understanding and also speak and express themselves clearly
Physical Development - large and small movements in a variety of ways, having good control and co-ordination, handling different tools and equipment well. It also covers health and self-care, looking at ways to keep healthy and safe
Specific Areas of Learning
Literacy: stories, rhymes, books and reading, and also mark making/writing
Mathematics: numbers, counting, shape, space and measure
Understanding the world: people and communities and helping children understand about the world they live in, including ICT
Expressive Arts and Design: developing different forms of expression, exploring music, dance and song, encouraging children to be creative in all respects. It also focuses on media and materials and imaginative/pretend play
Phonics is also taught on a daily basis, beginning in nursery. It is structured and based on the Government phonics programme “Letters and Sounds”. This is a progressive scheme and phonic activities are always interactive and engaging and based around games. For nursery children, the activities are mainly based around listening activities and training children’s ears to discriminate different sounds in preparation for them hearing the various sounds of letters of the alphabet. In Reception, the programme continues with children learning to recognise and write the written marks that correspond with the sound and moving onto recognising the various ways that sounds in our language can be made. They then learn how to apply their phonic knowledge to their own reading and writing, as well as within their own play.