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Early Years Foundation Stage

The early year’s foundation stage (EYFS) is the curriculum that the Government sets for all early years providers (0-5 years) to make sure that ‘all children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe’. (Department for Education) There are 17 early learning goals to be aimed for by the end of the Reception year in school.

The Framework is divided into three sections:

  • Characteristics of learning
  • Three prime areas of learning
  • Four specific areas of learning



Characteristics of learning

  • Playing and exploring: which is about finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’.
  • Active Learning: which is about being involved and concentrating, persevering and enjoying achieving, what they set out to do.
  • Creating and thinking critically: which is about having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things.



Prime areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: which is about making relationships and getting along with other children and adults, having confidence and self-awareness, and being able to manage their feelings and behaviour:

  • forming meaningful relationships with other children and adults
  • having respect for other people
  • being an individual and also belonging to a community
  • being able to express and cope with your feelings and emotions
  • becoming independent and helping others
  • being able to make choices and taking responsibility
  • developing a sense of fairness, what is right and wrong
  • understanding appropriate behaviour
  • respecting and being able to empathise with others
  • having feelings of wonder and joy
  • sharing and celebrating festivals, traditions and special occasions.

Communication and Language,
which is about developing good listening and attention skills, to have good understanding and also speak and express themselves clearly:

  • developing the confidence to be able to express your opinions and make your own choices
  • talking, listening, discussing and recalling experiences in a range of different situations
  • being able to describe and explain things in your own words, using your own ideas
  • listening to stories, anticipating what might happen and responding appropriately to the story
  • listening and following instructions, and being able to answer questions appropriately.

Physical Development,
which is about large and small movements in a variety of ways, having good control and co-ordination, handling different tools and equipment well. It also covers health and self-care, looking at ways to keep healthy and safe:

  • developing confidence and independence through achievement
  • learning to use tools competently
  • learning co-ordination and control
  • building confidence, stamina, energy and strength
  • learning to move in a variety of ways
  • expressing yourself through movement
  • understanding the importance of exercise
  • learning to make healthy choices about food, and taking care of ourselves and our healthy body.



Specific areas

which is about stories, rhymes, books and reading, and also mark making/writing:

  • believing in yourself as a reader and writer and developing the skills to become one
  • enjoying stories and a wide range of reading materials e.g. books, poems, print in the environment
  • learning to recognise letters and the sounds they each make
  • learning to make marks and give meanings to those marks.

which looks at numbers, counting, shape, space and measure:

  • appreciating pattern, and relationships in mathematics
  • logical thinking
  • exploring, comparing and describing shapes, quantities, height, etc.
  • finding ways to solve mathematical problems e.g. estimating, measuring
  • learning to use and understand mathematical language
  • understanding and using number
  • counting, understanding and using numbers
  • calculating simple addition and subtraction problems.

Understanding the World,
which is about people and communities and helps children understand about the world they live in, including ICT:

  • exploring the local environment
  • finding out about the past
  • developing an understanding of travelling to other places, distance and maps
  • using technology – making models in a variety of ways
  • planning, making and designing things
  • exploring and solving problems
  • using ICT for a range of purpose
  • exploring, experimenting and having ideas
  • being curious – wondering why, how, what if ?
  • understanding why and how things happen
  • observing carefully and closely
  • experiencing and changing materials
  • sharing the joy of finding things out with your friends.

Expressive Arts and Design,
which develops different forms of expression, exploring music, dance and song, encouraging children to be creative in all respects. It also focuses on media and materials and imaginative/pretend play:

  • representing and communicating your thoughts, ideas and feelings in a variety of ways e.g. art, music, movement dance, language and design and technology
  • expressing yourself through a wide range of media e.g. paint, clay, drawing, 3D materials
  • experiencing and enjoying beauty
  • imagining, expressing and creating
  • having original ideas and thoughts.

The staff plan to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum that touches on all aspects across the year, based on the observations of children’s play and what their interests are. This appears in the weekly enhancements to the continuous provision, as well as in the adult-led focuses and group-time work.



Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

We have systems in place for each SEND child to have their own key person who will know them best and be proactive in planning for their needs, working closely with parents when doing so.

SEND children are observed closely and their achievements are celebrated in their Learning Journal and planning documents. This information is then used to tailor the curriculum to meet the interests and enthusiasms of each child using methods of delivery that are appropriate to their needs.

If there is ever evidence that this is not occurring the SENCO will initiate training to challenge staff and enable them to provide a curriculum that ensures equality and diversity for all.



Teaching styles

At Haxby Road Nursery School, we have a highly trained staff who are dedicated to working with SEND children. They have a wealth of experience and have supported children with a wide range of needs.

Their training includes Makaton, PECS communication, Speech and Language, Autism Spectrum Disorder, early movement, attachment and physical development.

At Haxby Road, we are fortunate to have a Deputy Headteacher with over 12 years experience working with children with additional needs from 2-11. We also have a specialist Educational Resource Provision, with highly trained staff in speech and language development.

The Head and Senco of the Educational Resource Provision continuously reviews the qualification needs of this team to ensure they match the needs of the children we have in nursery and additional training is arranged if required. This ensures that teaching styles and methods are appropriate and up to date, enabling SEND children maximum access to an Early Years curriculum.

In addition, all school staff receive specialist support and training when there is a need, for example strategies to use when supporting a child with a hearing impairment or visual impairment. As a team we continually support each other and share expertise to ensure our teaching styles can be adapted appropriately so that all children reach their full potential.

Children with SEND are supported in a variety of ways – through one to one support, group activities or whole key worker tasks. The key worker for each SEND child will decide how everyday activities and experiences within the curriculum can be adjusted to ensure their child is fully involved at the appropriate level.

If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements please contact the school and we will try our best to help you.