Welcome to Foundation Stage 2
Welcome to FS2, the staff team is: Amy Johnson and Jenn Pyper.
In Reception we plan our learning and teaching using the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). This is a statutory document and will be a continuation of your child’s learning if they attended a nursery setting. The framework sets the standards that all early year’s providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well, ensures children are kept healthy and safe and ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start formal education.
Within the EYFS, children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Three of these areas are known as ‘prime areas’:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The four ‘specific’ areas, build on the early foundations in the prime areas and are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Learning through play
Play is a natural activity for children, and in the EYFS, most activities are based on play. Situations and equipment are presented to the children to stimulate learning through play and introduce new areas for exploration and discovery. Creative and critical thinking is encouraged, both indoors and outdoors. We appreciate that every child is unique and the curriculum has flexibility so that we can meet each child’s individual needs and follow his or her own interests. At the same time we ensure that the next steps in their development are taught in an appropriate way. Care is taken to note the stage each child has reached to ensure progression in learning.
The staff in our Reception classes (FS2), plan the children’s learning and activities using the 7 areas of learning and development. Whilst there are still many opportunities to learn through play, the children also experience more structured periods, where the teachers will teach particular skills and concepts. This is an optimum time in their development to learn phonics on a daily basis, as well as reading and writing. At Exeter a learning community, we use the Read, Write Inc. programme to systematically introduce the letter sounds, beginning to put those sounds together to read and write words.
Assessing and reporting children’s progress
Staff observe children closely, and record observations of the child’s learning and development in each child’s individual ‘Learning Journey’ folder. These folders are always available to parents and carers, as well as to the children themselves. In Reception we are using DoJo, an online app for use both in school and at home. DoJo has proved successful with many parents as it allows an instant flow of information between home and school with messages and photos enhancing knowledge about a child’s progress.
EExAT (Early Excellence Assessment Tracker) is used within Reception and nursery to track children’s progress, to link photos and videos to EYFS statements and to identify next steps for the children. We welcome parents to contribute to this by sharing their learning experiences from home and uploading photos and videos linked to your child’s next steps. This is our way of tracking your child’s development over the course of 3 windows per year
There are daily informal opportunities for parents and carers to discuss their child’s needs with members of staff. There are also parents’ consultation meetings arranged during the course of the year. We encourage any parent/carer who has concerns to discuss these with their child’s teacher or a member of the Senior Leadership Team as soon as possible. We will also provide opportunities for parents to attend weekly sessions to find out more about how their children learn phonics and how to read so they can support their child at home.
Parents/carers will receive a written report about their child’s progress at the end of every academic year. At the end of the Reception year, this report will include a summary of the child’s progress against the Early Learning Goals, which are the standards most children are expected to meet by the end of the EYFS.
Working with parents and carers
Staff are always keen to involve parents and carers in their child’s education. We believe that parents and teachers need to work together in order to enable children to reach their full potential, and we value parents’ knowledge of their own child.
We are keen to build strong links between home and school. Therefore, we offer home visits, stay and play sessions, and an ‘open door’ policy at drop off and pick up times. We encourage parents and carers to share ‘news from home’ with staff too. Parents/carers will also receive regular newsletters from Reception that will give information about the topic and ideas to do at home.