Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage
Here you will find newsletters and planning for each term or half term to keep you up to date on what your children are learning about in school, as well as some links to useful websites that you may wish to view at home with your children.
ICT Games - A super site with literacy and numeracy games for all abilities.
BBC - The Little Animals Activity Centre - A fun way to learn and play.
Welcome to Acorns, Woolden Hill’s Early Years Foundation Stage. We understand that the Reception year is a special time of learning and discovery for both children and their parents/carers. Within Acorns we provide a safe and secure environment where the children are valued and supported, allowing each child to reach their full potential. Relationships between every child, their teacher, other adults and parents are key to a successful educational journey. Therefore, we provide a welcoming environment and promote opportunities for families to join us through their child’s learning and celebrations. This important year cultivates everything needed for future school life and is achieved through fostering strong parent partnerships and our commitment to develop key learning skills. We champion characteristics for learning, such as curiosity, confidence to explore, resilience and risk taking. We value the importance of quality early interactions and have developed a communication friendly environment that supports each child’s unique needs. Our skilled staff recognise the individual qualities of each child and tailor the curriculum to ensure a love of learning to achieve success. If you would like to see our Foundations Stage classroom in action, then we would welcome the opportunity to show you around and answer any questions that you may have.
Our approach to Learning:
We are passionate about play! Research has proven that when children show high involvement, that is when the brain is at its most active and when progress and development occur. High level involvement can be observed most often when children are able to pursue their own interests and develop their own ideas. We believe that when the adult joins the child within their play, they can have the most impact in developing learning. Our skilled staff observe and respond to these teachable moments, ensuring each child is challenged and working towards their next steps. We do not follow topics or plan ahead, rather we respond in the moment and celebrate the here and now.
“It is in that moment of curiosity, puzzlement, effort or interest – the ‘teachable moment’ – that the skilful adult makes a difference. By using this cycle on a moment-by-moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).”
Learning, Playing and Interacting – Good practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage The National Strategies
Our enabling environment:
Our learning environment enables children to be confident to explore and learn in a safe, nurturing and challenging space. We are a communication friendly environment, ensuring that all children have the support to have their voices heard. The environment belongs to the class and reflects their interests, achievements and next steps. Throughout the day, both the indoor and outdoor environment is freely accessible. The children are actively encourage to take ownership of their environment, resulting in respect, tolerance and understanding of the world around them.
“Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.” Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage DfE
We are lucky to have a fantastic woodland and outdoor area. Each week the children explore the woods, learning new skills and taking risks within a well-managed environment. Our sessions take place in all weathers and the children learn how to dress appropriately for the seasons. Children participate in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities related to the curriculum, helping to develop all areas of their personal, social and emotional skills. They learn practical skills, such as tool use, caring for the environment and cooking on an open fire.
“Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the stars and the mountains above. Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on Earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education. “ David Polis
A day in Acorns:
Although every day is different in Foundation Stage, a typical day is shown below. Ensuring children’s happiness is at the heart of everything we do.
- We sing and sign our morning register
- Our phonic sessions support the whole school use of Read Write Inc
- The children take part in ‘Busy Time’. This is time for them to play and learn!
- The children have access to both the indoor and outdoor space.
- The children enjoy a delicious hot meal at dinnertime.
- We love learning maths with the help of the Numberblocks.
- Skilled adults support children with any additional needs or EHCPs.
- The children have opportunities for the class to act out the stories that they have created within that day.
- We like to snuggle up and share a good book.