Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
At St. Christopher’s we aim to create a caring, welcoming environment in which the potential of each child can be fully developed. We believe that the early years are crucial in terms of their physical, intellectual, emotional, social development and well being. We encourage your child to learn to cooperate with others (e.g. share toys and equipment, play together and make things) and share their experiences with them. We provide them with suitable materials and opportunities to enable them to make a positive start to their education at St. Christopher’s.
Nursery and Reception are known as the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’. We recognise the essential role of parents in their child’s education. Nowhere is this more important then at the Early Years Foundation Stage. Therefore we invite parents to work in partnership with us to ensure that your children make the best possible start at St. Christopher’s.
The Reception Class
At St Christopher’s we know every child is unique and learns in different ways, so the curriculum is tailored to their individual needs. They are helped to think critically and ask questions. The children are nurtured and cared for and encouraged to respect themselves and others, so they will grow into independent and confident adults.
Activities vary from day to day and season to season, giving children as wide a variety of experience as possible. Everything we do helps your child to learn. It may look like play to an adult but it has a serious purpose for your child. All the activities are derived from the ‘Early Learning Goals’ which form the Reception curriculum. The seventeen Early Learning Goals are organised under the following seven headings:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children are provided with experiences and support which will help them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others. They are encouraged to develop their social skills and respect others. At St. Christopher’s, children are given opportunities to develop independence, play, dress/undress, manage personal hygiene and participate in activities which are imaginative and enjoyable. They are also helped to work as part of a group, understand what is right and wrong and learn to treat others with respect.
Communication and Language
Language is an essential part of learning at the Early Years Foundation Stage. In addition to all the stimulation, talking and discussion that goes on, we regularly have stories, rhymes, songs or musical activities. Once a week we have ‘Show and Tell’ where children are encouraged to listen attentively to each other talking about a favourite toy or object of interest.
Children are encouraged to improve their skills of pencil control, coordination, manipulation and movement. They are supported in developing an understanding of the importance of physical activity and making healthy choices in relation to food.
At St. Christopher’s we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme daily. Children bring home a reading book every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and parents are encouraged to make a comment in their reading record book.
Children will also bring library books home to enjoy with you. These may have words or pictures or both. It helps children a great deal if you read or tell them stories. Please do tell your child stories in your home language if this is not English. All stories help a child towards reading and writing.
This area of learning includes counting, sorting, matching, patterns, working with number, shapes and measures. Mathematical understanding is developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. By the end of Reception, some children will have exceeded their goals in Mathematics and have commenced work on the National Framework for Numeracy. Others will be ready to do so in Year One and perhaps a few will be nearly ready.
Understanding the World
Children are given opportunities to find out about living things, look at similarities and differences, ask questions, build and construct with a wide range of objects, find out about their environment and use technology to support their learning. We arrange for a number of interesting people to visit the Reception class and the children go on lots of trips to widen their experiences.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children are given opportunities to explore texture, colour, shape, form and space. They also explore sounds, sing songs, respond in a variety of ways to their senses and use imagination in art, music, dance, imaginative and role play. At St. Christopher’s, we endeavour to support children’s own interests, for example, if they pretend to be fire-fighters in their play, we may explore a topic on people who help us.
All seven areas of learning are equally important and all support your child’s development.
Please download a copy of our EYFS Parent’s brochure: