Thomas’s Academy Early Years Foundation Stage
Every child in the Early Years Foundation Stage setting at Thomas’s Academy is entitled to provision which allows them to develop in all areas of learning in a safe and nurturing environment which understands each individual child’s needs and background. We believe that with this, children will be best placed to go on to reach their full potential as they move into Primary education.
‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high-quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.’
(Statutory Framework for the EYFS 31st March 2021)
Thomas’s Academy follows the Early Years Foundation Stage, the statutory framework that sets the standards for learning, development and care for children. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
The Four guiding principles from the statutory framework for the EYFS shape our practice:
• Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
• Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
• Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
• Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. Children with additional needs are quickly identified and supported to ensure they have tailored learning opportunities where required.
• We have high expectations for all children.
• We create a fun, friendly, caring and safe environment for our children which aims to create a sense of wonder and inquisition where children develop a passion for learning.
• We develop warm and secure relationships between children and adults.
• We provide fun, motivating and active learning through first hand experiences both indoors and outdoors which encourages children to be confident, resilient and independent learners.
• We link learning to children’s interests and carefully structure new themes and ideas through planning to broaden children’s experiences and vocabulary.
• We work closely with parents to meet the needs of their child.
At Thomas’s Academy Early years, we believe that in order for high quality teaching and learning to take place the following must be carefully considered:
Quality of teaching:
• The child’s home background and language are valued.
• Stages of children’s language development are carefully thought about and woven into all teaching.
• Play is recognised as an essential tool for children to develop and reflect on their learning.
• There are plenty of opportunities for the children to practise their talk and language skills both in adult led interactions and independently in play.
• Practitioners show an understanding of child development and respect that all children are at different levels and adapt interactions and activities accordingly.
• Children engage in carefully thought out, hands-on learning experiences daily in the environment.
• Learning is well planned through the observed and assessed needs of the individual/group.
• Children have access to a variety of indoor and outdoor activities which cover all areas of learning.
• Resources are accessible and frequently updated to ensure that they meet the needs of the children
• Special needs are identified as soon as possible and the appropriate measures are taken to support the child’s learning
• Positive partnership with parents and carers is vital
Quality of Learning:
• Children clearly understand rules and routines to allow for them to be motivated and engaged in their learning.
• Children are able to access resources independently, know how to use them and return them independently.
• Children are highly interested by the environment and teacher led interactions meaning they are able to continue their learning in independent play and practise the skills they learn.
• Children feel their efforts are valued and take great pride in their achievements.
• Children enjoy trying new things and taking on new challenges. They show perseverance when things do not go to plan.
Thomas’s Academy Early Years Curriculum:
The curriculum is everything the children do, see, hear, and feel, planned and unplanned, both indoors and outdoors.
There are seven areas of learning and development:
1. Communication and language
2. Physical Development
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
6. Understanding the World
7. Expressive Arts and Design
The seven areas of learning and development are delivered through purposeful play in a carefully planned environment alongside adult led small group sessions. In addition to this, adults strive to constantly move learning forward through all interactions throughout the day both planned and unplanned. The children in our Early Years have weekly sessions with specialist teachers for Ballet and P.E.