Early Years Foundation Stage
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) states that ‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential’ and at Higher Lane Primary School we understand that the early years of every child’s education supports and impacts their future learning journey and future life chances.
'The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.' - Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, 2021.
At Higher Lane and across Vision MAT, we use Development Matters, non-statutory guidance for the EYFS, alongside the Early Years Statutory Framework. Development Matters 2021 demonstrates how the four themes of the EYFS Framework and the principles that inform them work together to support the development of babies, toddlers and young children within the context of the EYFS framework. The document also illustrates how the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ may be supported and extended by adults as well as how they underpin the ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’ areas of learning and development. Development Matters supports our practitioners when planning, observing and assessing and also provides guidance when making 'best-fit judgements' on the development of each individual child meaning support can quickly be put into place to ensure children 'keep up' with their friends.
Our curriculum is designed to provide a broad, balanced, differentiated curriculum which addresses the children’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, moral and cultural development within a safe, secure, stimulating environment. In the EYFS, our themes complement our Learning Challenge curriculum with activities and learning experiences that are planned to enable each child to learn and develop skills, attitudes and understanding, both with adults and independently, in the different areas of learning.
The prime areas being:
- Personal, Emotional and Social Development (PSED)
- Communication and Language (CL)
- Physical development (PD)
The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Art and Design
Mark making, making conversation and mathematics are at the heart of the teaching and learning that takes place in the EYFS and there is a sharp focus on children’s acquisition of a wide vocabulary. We recognise that the environment is the third teacher and each area within the classroom provides children with the opportunity to problem solve, wonder, interact, explore and observe. Clear challenges across the curriculum allow children to be independent with their own learning, preparing them for Key Stage One and beyond.
Each half term, the EYFS curriculum is guided by an open-ended learning question or statement linked to a key text. Teachers plan for exciting learning opportunities that provide our children with experiences they may never have had before. Children are encouraged to lead their own learning and teacher’s use their knowledge of each individual child to ensure children’s interests and needs are catered for in order for them to progress in all areas of the EYFS and to develop a life-long love of learning.