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The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Starting school is a very exciting developmental milestone for you and your child. Here at The Avenue, we make learning in EYFS fun and as enjoyable as possible, allowing children to feel safe and secure. We thrive off strong partnerships with parents and caregivers from the very start to ensure transitions are smooth and everyone is involved in their child’s learning process from the beginning.

Our children in both Nursery and Reception follow the Early Years Curriculum, which covers seven distinct areas of learning. These areas are divided into three Prime areas and four Specific areas alongside the Characteristics of Learning, which move through all areas of learning.

The Prime areas are:

The Specific areas are:

Characteristics of Learning

The classroom is always fully equipped with resources and materials throughout the day to support children’s individual ideas and interests. Some areas within the EYFS classrooms are changed or enhanced weekly to meet the new learning focus. We follow the Cornerstones scheme, covering six topics throughout the year. The topics set the theme for the learning and activities in the classroom. The topics are also linked to homework activities, trips and visitors. We also plan areas within the classroom around children’s interests and experiences.

In Nursery children have access to a wide range of learning areas and activities, which provide opportunities to develop key skills and concepts, such as speech and language skills, games to promote listening and communication, building relationships, sharing and taking turns, developing co-ordination and fine motor skills, counting, recognising numbers, colours and shapes, enjoying stories, rhymes and action songs, exploring mark making, different materials and finding out about the world around them. Children learn best through discovery and play, so each area is planned to provide new learning opportunities and build upon their curiosity and problem-solving skills. Following the initial ‘settling in’ period, children are encouraged to work alongside their peers and participate in circle time /carpet based activities. A daily Phase 1 Phonics session is part of this, using a range of games, songs and instruments to develop children’s speaking and listening skills. Children are also encouraged to work on focus tasks 1:1 with adults or in small groups to develop basic skills. When working in the areas of learning, children are observed during their play and adults work with the children to extend their independent learning further and identify next steps.

In Reception all children have the opportunity to play alongside each other in the setting. We offer a ‘free flow’ system on a daily basis between both Reception classrooms and the outdoor area. Phonics and Maths sessions are matched to children’s individual needs in order to maximise their learning potential. Children also access handwriting, literacy and topic based carpet sessions on a daily basis. They take part in adult led work each week which involves working 1:1 or in a small group with an adult working on an English or Maths focus task. Children also read 1:1 with an adult throughout the week and access a weekly P.E. lesson and singing session with Mrs Norris, our Music specialist. When working in the areas of learning, children are observed during their play and adults work with the children to extend their independent learning further and identify next steps.

The children in Nursery and Reception have access to learning both indoors and in the outdoor area. We have a well-equipped outdoor space, which consists of a range of engaging learning areas. These include a sand area, a stage, a water area, mark-making area, small world area, construction zone and a mud kitchen as well as climbing and balancing equipment, a slide, tepee dens, a bicycle track and a herb garden. All the activities in the outdoor area develop key skills and provide opportunities for children to play, investigate and explore the natural world as well as strengthen their gross motor skills.

Ways to help your child learn at home:

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