In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at River Beach our aim is for all of our children, and their parents/carers to start nursery or reception, feeling welcome and settled. All of the adults in the Foundation Stage work with our children to make sure that they are happy in their surroundings and able to make friendships with other children. We want them all to develop an enthusiasm for learning and to develop self confidence in their abilities from an early age.
Our learning in the Foundation Stage is divided into seven areas. The first three areas are called the Prime areas. These areas are:-
Communication and language development: Children are given opportunities to experience a rich language environment through stories and by exploring to the world around them. They are supported to develop their confidence and skills in speaking and listening in a wide range of situations.
Physical development: Children are encouraged to be active and interactive. They develop their co-ordination, control, and movement through their learning in the inside classroom and outside. Children are taught the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food and exercise.
Personal, social and emotional development: We help children to make positive relationships and develop respect for others. Children are encouraged to develop a positive sense of themselves and to have confidence in their own abilities by celebrating their achievements with their friends in their class. They learn to develop their social skills through play and planned activities. Children are taught to understand how to work with other children in small groups and whole class activities.
These three Prime areas of development are important and form the foundations to support learning in the four Specific areas –
Literacy: Exciting stories, poems and other written materials are used to encourage children to learn to read and write. They are taught their letter sounds and how to form letters through a structured programme used across the whole school. Writing areas are set up in every classroom to encourage children to practise their writing and letter formation. Children are allowed to take books home to share with their family.
Mathematics: Children are taught through games, play and practical activities to improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers. They learn to calculate using simple addition and subtraction problems. When they are building and making things they are taught to describe shapes and their properties. Children use measures when they are cooking or comparing things in their classroom.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.