Our Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)
At East Peckham Primary School, we aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children in the Early Years by giving them the best possible start to school and building strong foundations for their future social and academic progress. We acknowledge that every child is unique and we strongly believe that each child’s first experience of school should be both happy and positive. With this in mind, we offer a safe, stimulating environment in which all our children can learn through enriching, meaningful experiences, allowing them to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become independent, critical thinkers. We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant indoor and outdoor provision, trips and weekly Forest School sessions. We are committed to engaging with parents, carers and the wider school community to provide each child with the best opportunities to achieve their full potential, and we use a Growth Mindset approach to promote positive attitudes to learning. Our aim is for each child to make good progress and ultimately be more successful, going on to be active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners.
We intend to:
- Engage with parents, carers and the wider school community to enable children to become independent, confident learners who enjoy school and achieve their full potential.
- Provide a learning environment and warm, vocabulary-rich adult interaction to encourage children to link learning to their play and exploration.
- Provide meaningful, first hand experiences to support children’s learning, sustain their thinking and deepen their knowledge.
- Ensure children make good progress from their starting points.
- Support a smooth transition to Key Stage One.
Our Early Years Foundation Stage consists of one Reception class with a generous indoor and outdoor space. We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage as a basis for the learning and development of our children. This consists of seven main areas of learning, which are split into 3 Prime areas and 4 Specific areas.
The Prime areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The Specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
We implement a broad, balanced and creative curriculum to meet the needs of each child, so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding that they require for future success. We view the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning - Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking - as integral. We facilitate the development of these characteristics through our provision, interactions and observations of the children. They are also intertwined with our whole school motto: Challenging our thinking, building our learning, and creating our future!
The curriculum is planned in a holistic way to facilitate all aspects of the children’s development, including understanding the world and expressive art and design, as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. Equal importance is given to learning in both the indoor and outdoor areas.
Our timetable is carefully structured; within a typical week there is a combination of teacher taught sessions in phonics, English, maths and circle time, which focuses on physical, social and emotional development (PSED), and a wealth of stimulating continuous provision activities. Teacher taught sessions are often followed by group work, where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets. This focused group time means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Within continuous provision activities, our Early Years staff scaffold and deepen learning through verbal interaction and questioning. By providing children access to a range of quality play-based experiences, we also help them to develop agency and independence in their learning, encouraging children to notice, question and experience a sense of awe and wonder. Staff carry out regular evaluations of the children’s understanding to plan opportunities which extend or consolidate learning and through team discussions, we identify adaptations that can be made to the learning environment to ensure that children are continuously challenged and individual needs are met.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. From September 2021, we will follow the rigorous Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme, through which our children take part in high quality, daily phonics sessions and reading practice groups, using carefully matched decodable books in order to embed early reading skills. The children are regularly assessed and challenged to ensure strong outcomes in this area.
We use high quality, core texts and poems to excite all children and continually promote reading for pleasure. A unit often starts with an exciting hook to engage the children in the context of the story. Children then develop their skills through oral retelling with actions, story mapping techniques or acting in roles as different characters. Children also have the opportunity to show independence in their writing by planning and writing their own stories, and writing opportunities are promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week.
We follow a mastery approach in Reception and use White Rose Hub to ensure that our maths provision is carefully planned to build on prior learning and real life experiences from one session to the next, across a term and over the course of the year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10, 0-20 and beyond. Children learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives in daily taught sessions, which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences, so these early mathematical sessions are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught, acquire and use mathematical language accurately and integrate their new knowledge into the breadth of their existing experiences.
Children in Reception take part in Forest School sessions once a week. We have a dedicated space to run these sessions, led by our trained Forest School leader. Forest School supports a range of skills and helps to develop all children’s social interactions. All seven areas of learning are encompassed within the sessions; they allow all children to take risks in an unpredictable environment whilst also developing leadership skills and promoting mental health and wellbeing.
Swimming lessons are offered as part of our broad and balanced curriculum in our own swimming pool in the early Autumn and throughout the Summer terms. These lessons encourage the children to learn water confidence and safety, whilst also developing numerous areas of the curriculum including speaking and listening skills, moving and handling and personal, social and emotional development.
Our inclusive approach means that all of our children learn together, however we have a range of additional interventions to support children who may not be reaching their potential. For example in phonics, we identify children at risk of falling behind early and provide immediate and effective keep-up support for individual sounds and blending. We also provide additional one to one reading sessions, in which staff use precision teaching to help children grasp the reading of sight words rapidly. We also offer Speech and Language Link as well as ‘catch-up’ provision in Literacy and Mathematics.
Home School Communication
‘Stay and Play’ sessions for nursery age children allow parents to join in learning activities alongside their children and share the Early Years experience before the children start school. It is also an opportunity for us to start to establish a relationship with your child, and means your child recognises, and is reassured by, a friendly face when school starts. Parent teacher meetings in September also give parents an opportunity to speak confidentially about their child’s needs and development.
Once the children start in Reception class, we offer many opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers to strengthen relationships between school and home and ensure that all children reach their full potential. Early Years staff use Tapestry to record and communicate significant stages in each child’s learning and development and we encourage parents to conduct and record significant observations too. Weekly newsletters are sent home to ensure that parents are fully aware of the skills and themes being taught each week, enabling them to talk about and continue learning at home. We also celebrate children’s learning and successes on our Facebook page and maintain strong communication through parent consultations each term, parent workshops and more frequent, informal conversations to suit individual families. The East Peckham Primary School values of Equality, Pride and Success are promoted and modelled through all of our interactions with the children, developing their understanding of diversity, tolerance and respect, as well as their own independence, motivation and perseverance in all that they do.
Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes coaching and feedback from the Senior Leadership Team, Phase Leader, as well as individual Subject Leaders so that our teachers are effectively supported and can continually develop in-depth pedagogical and subject knowledge.
Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in learning and develop excellent speaking and listening skills, enabling them to access all areas of the learning environment and communicate confidently to both adults and children.
Children make good or better progress across the EYFS curriculum from their varied starting points, so that they meet the national expectation for Good Level of Development (GLD) by the end of the year. Our children become more knowledgeable and confident in their play and exploration, through being active and developing their creative and critical thinking skills, which takes place both indoors and outside. As a result they are well prepared for the transition into Key Stage One.
They develop and demonstrate the characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations, making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Our children develop a wider sense of the world around them, they are confident to take risks and they are able to discuss their successes and failures with adults, drawing on their experiences to make links between new and prior learning.
We uphold high standards for our Early Years. As our children move through Reception and explore our rich diet of stimulating learning experiences, we strongly believe that they develop as happy, curious and successful learners.
Long Term plan for our EYFS
Maths overview for EYFS
How can I prepare my child for school?
There are a few things that you can do to prepare your child to start school in Reception. Please see the documents below. Do not worry if your child cannot do the things listed, we can support you when your child starts.
What does my child need to bring with them when they start school?
We will provide a free water bottle and free book bag which we deliver on the home visits before your child starts. Please make sure these are named clearly with first and second names and their class name.
Your child will need to be in full and named school uniform.
They will not need a PE kit at the start of the year. We will let you know when they need to start bringing one on.
A lot of learning takes place outside so a coat will be useful on those wet and cold days.
Your child will also need to bring in a pair of named welly boots that will need to stay in school. A lot of learning takes place outside in all weathers and we love our mud kitchen so welly boots are a must.
Please see Forest School page for more information on what they need to wear.
Your child may want a packed lunch rather than the universal free school meals that children in reception, year 1 and year 2 are eligible for. Please make sure that the packed lunch supports a balanced diet and there are no nuts in any food. For more information about school dinners, please see the school dinner page.
All children up to the age of 5 are eligible for free milk. When your child turns 5, you will need to pay for milk if you would like them to still have milk at snack time. Please see the cool milk page for more information. Children are provided with free fruit for a snack in reception, year 1 and year 2.