Subject Leader: Mrs Sarah Mason
The Early Years Foundation Stage begins from birth. At Marston Green Infant Academy this includes all children within the Nursery and Reception classes, as well as our on site day-care provision and before and after school provision, Leapfrogs.
Whether the child begins their education within the day-care, Nursery or Reception class the Early Years staff are aware of the variety of experiences and learning that the children bring with them. Our aim is to encompass all learners, extend their experiences, develop their skills and confidence and build on what they already know. Children are our collective future and at Marston Green Infant Academy, we know that the foundations for that future are formed in the first years of education.
Our priorities include:
- Developing key learning skills such as speaking, listening, concentration and co-operation.
- Developing early Literacy and Mathematic skills.
- A chance for children to have first hand experiences and learn independently.
- A relevant curriculum that is linked through topics and experiences.
- Flexibility to follow children’s interests.
- Focused play activities. Play is well planned and observed so adults can help children to extend their thinking. It allows children to take risks and explore and develop on their own terms. It also lets them solve problems both on their own and with others.
- Building on what children already know.
- Access to an indoor and outdoor curriculum. Children are given access to both indoor and outdoor learning wherever possible. The outdoor area is available on a free flow basis and as in the classroom a range of focus activities and child initiated learning takes place. This allows children who learn better in the outdoor environment to access the curriculum and often popular with the boys.
The EYFS is split in to seven areas of learning- 3 prime and 4 specific.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
This area encourages children to respect themselves and others and
enables children to build up relationships with adults and peers
It encourages both independence and working together as a team and allows children to build up confidence and awareness in their own abilities.
Communication, and Language
This area helps children to develop the vital speaking and listening skills that are needed for them to progress in other areas. We also concentrate on Speaking and Listening skills through drama and role play. Each classroom has at least 1 role play area which children have constant access to.
This area focuses upon improving skills of co-ordination and control, both fine and gross motor. It allows children to see the benefits of being healthy and active. It also encourages children to think about self care eg toileting and hygiene.
This area helps children to develop early reading, writing and phonic skills. This is done througha range of focus and independent activities. Phonics is taught as a discreet session daily in Reception and 3 times a week in Nursery following the Letters and Sounds framework.
This area encourages children to develop early number skills as well as looking at problem solving, simple additionand subtraction, time, length, weight, pattern, position, 2D and 3D shape.
Understanding of the World
This forms the foundation for later work in Science, RE, History, Geography and ICT.
Children find out lots of things about the world around them through activities based on first hand experiences. They have the chance to visit the ICT suite and also use a range of technological toys and devices.
Expressive Arts and Design
This forms the foundation for later work in art, music, dance, DT and role play
Children are encouraged to express themselves using a range of media and materials and using different senses
Characteristics of Effective Learning
•COEL encourage us to think about how our children learn. They run through everything and contain aspects of mastery orientation in particular ‘making links’
•Children learn through their connections and need to know what they need to do when faced with a problem
•COEL is at the forefront of our minds when interacting and engaging with children
At Marston Green Infant Academy we follow the principles of Planning in the Moment. We believe that the best levels of engagement are when children initiate their own play. We cannot predict what children are going to do but we can forward provide through quality environments and interactions
The environment plays a vital role in helping children to make progress and enjoy their EYFS experience. As such we ensure that:
•Environment are organised, well resourced and stocked.
•All areas are reviewed and maintained to see which deliver the highest levels of involvement.
•Open ended resources are readily available eg a piece of pizza will always be a piece of pizza but wooden discs etc can be anything
•“Less is more!”
•Role play is familiar- real resources
•As a general rule only a small amount of resources are set out on the tables but everything is accessible for the children to follow their own ideas. Enhancements are made where necessary
•Natural resources and displays create a calming environment
We believe that staff interactions are at the core of children making good progress and we place great importance upon the role of the play partner to provide a tailored curriculum to meet children's individual needs and interests. In our environment you will see:
- Adults constantly interacting and moving learning on in tiny steps without disrupting the powerful vehicle which is their child-initiated play
- Adult-led has an objective and a purpose. The adults are leading. When play is child-led then the learning belongs to the child, we are following!
- Adults "pondering and "wondering" rather than always asking direct questions. It allows the child to respond if they wish. It tells the child that the adult is genuinely interested and the adult does not know everything and encourages the child to think. Where appropriate we also add in and extend language
- The adult responds as appropriate…they know the children inside out so are able to tailor their response to the particular child, in the particular situation at that particular moment. They can spot the unique “teachable moment”. This is the ultimate in differentiation.
- Staff will not always be recording interactions- our aim is to write less but interact more!
We have broad half termly topics which link closely to our Talk for Writing texts but these are constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of our children.
The Gingerbread Man
The Train Ride
Come on Daisy
The Three Little Pigs
The Enormous Turnip
The Farm (Little Red Hen)
Bears (We're Going on a Bear Hunt)
Traditional Tales (The Three Billy Goats Gruff)
Castles (The Rainbow Princess)
Minibeasts (the Very Hungry Caterpillar)
Around the World (Handa's Surprise)
“I like to look and listen,
I need to touch and try,
I want to smell and sample,
Find and ask the question ‘Why?’
Give me time to wander,
To imagine and pretend
Space to run, bend and stretch,
Share secrets with my friends.
I want to hold and handle,
I must play to understand,
I need to know so many things
To find out who I am."
Please feel free to browse the class pages to see all the wonderful things we get up to in Early Years!