Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage Classroom at Christ’s College. We are delighted that you have chosen us to begin to build the foundations for learning and development that will prepare your child for the rest of their educational journey. We offer you a warm welcome and look forward to a happy and successful relationship with you and your child.

Our Core Virtues

The Christian Ethos
We encourage our students to know that they are all equal in the sight of the God and that God loves them. We encourage them to know that they are ‘made in the image of God’ and we recognise them as wonderfully unique.

Our Mission
To encourage personal, moral and spiritual development within a Christian framework.

To provide all students and staff with the opportunity to work hard to achieve their personal best.

To create and sustain educational environments where everyone is equally valued.

Character Counts
Sometimes we speak of our Academy as being ‘character first’. In doing so, we are seeking to express our belief that the development of character is an end in itself.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to five years at  the end of the Reception year. At Christ’s College, we believe that this stage lays the foundations for every child’s future learning. The EYFS sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop and are kept healthy and safe. We want children to be well prepared for their next phase of education. Therefore we provide children with a broad range of knowledge and skills that will prepare them for good future progress through school and life.

“ Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

Early Years Statutory Framework 1st September 2021

Aims

At Christ’s College we aim to:

provide a safe, challenging, stimulating and caring environment which is sensitive to the needs of the child including children with additional needs;

provide a broad, balanced, relevant, and creative curriculum that will inspire and foster independence and self confidence;

use and value what each child can do, assessing their individual needs and helping each child to achieve;

develop and work in close partnership with parents and carers; and

provide opportunities whereby children experience a challenging and enjoyable programme of learning and development, following their own interests.

At Christ’s College we adhere to the Early Years foundation Stage Statutory Framework and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings.

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between school and home.
  • Staff know and understand the importance of Learning and development. We understand children develop and learn at different rates, and we use the Characteristics of Effective Learning to highlight the language of learning and styles of learning. We provide education and care for all children including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Admissions

Transition into Reception is an important part of starting school life. Before children begin Reception we identify the settings that they attend, and any children with SEND or other significant issues are visited in their Early Years Setting by either the school SENCo or Early Years Team. This allows staff to ensure transition runs as smoothly as possible to meet the needs of all children.  There is a new parents’ meeting held in June/July where the aims and objectives of the Early Years Curriculum and admission procedure is discussed.  Parents are invited to complete an “All About Me” booklet so we can discover the interests, needs and family dynamic.

Meet the Team

At Christ’s College we have two reception classes. The children benefit from a large open plan classroom, that allows for two separate classes. The outdoor area is shared, and we are able to access it throughout the day. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum with a mixture of teacher and child led activities. Direct teaching consists of phonic and literacy- based activities and mastering number. Children are encouraged to explore the indoor and outdoor environments accessing the basic areas of provision that are enhanced to meet their interests and learning needs.

About Us and the Way We Work and Play.

All staff are responsible for resourcing the unit so that children have access to a variety of activities that meet the seven areas of learning that make up the Foundation Stage Curriculum and that will give opportunity to support learning in reading, writing and mathematics.

The resources throughout the unit support children’s speaking and listening skills, are age/stage appropriate, and develop children’s use of vocabulary. The best resource we have is the adult, and they will be supporting children’s play and learning throughout the day, both indoors and out. We conform to the Ofsted definition of teaching,  and therefore offer a variety of approaches that support young children to learn.  We interact positively with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities, communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating, and setting challenges.

Our daily routine supports high expectations of behaviour, and we use visual timetables to help children cope with the different transitions throughout the day.

Areas of Learning

There are seven areas of learning and development through which your child will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding. All these seven areas are important and inter-connected.

Communication and language – the development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning. We chat, read different types of books and rhymes,  listen, ask questions, learn new words daily, share ideas and grow in confidence.

Personal, Social and Emotional development – we build strong, warm relationships with all children. We encourage children to manage their emotions and recognise their feelings. We provide a model for a healthy lifestyle, eating well, exercising regularly, and managing personal needs independently.

Physical development – indoor and outdoor play encourages children to be active and healthy as well as developing their gross motor skills. Lots of puzzles, small world and jigsaws help children to develop their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Literacy – we are fostering a love of reading, by reading and listening to lots of rhymes, songs stories and non fiction texts. We are developing skills to read words and understand what has been read, and encouraging children to make marks with confidence developing their confidence to write.

Mathematics – children are developing a strong grounding in number, counting, understanding number bonds and patterns within number. We encourage children to have a go and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Understanding the world – we are supporting children to understand their community and make sense of the world. Trips and visitors to school help with their understanding of their wider world.

Expressive Arts and Design – Children are given regular opportunities to engage with arts, and are encouraged to express themselves through lots of different ways, music, experimenting with different materials and having the confidence to talk about what they see, hear and feel.

SEND

Staff also consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.

Extra Curricular Clubs

Extra curricular clubs are also available for children with a mixture of outdoor specialists offering their services, for example Big Science, and staff offering clubs to allow for all children to further develop their skills in the prime areas, literacy and mathematics.

Working With Parents

It is important as Early Years carers and educators to give high priority to developing effective partnerships with parents as the help that parents give their children at home has a significant impact on their learning.

We encourage parents to chat, play and read with their children, and we offer this information through parental workshops all about Early Years, Early Reading, Phonics and Mathematics. We provide an open door policy and encourage parents to share both positives and areas of concern with us about their child, so we can address issues immediately and respond to the child and family need.

Uniform

We operate a uniform policy with very high standards.

All information regarding our uniform can be found here.

We look forward to welcoming you and your child very soon!