St Wilfrid’s Foundation Stage Unit
Recent changes to the Foundation unit have gone well and the children are settled in their new environment and the whole team is developing well to the approach and systems in place.
Children have access to both the indoor and outdoor classroom throughout the day. Areas of learning have been created in the classroom and the recently purchased Early Excellence furniture and resources encourage the children to lead their own play and learning. All 7 areas of the curriculum are planned, for both the indoor and outdoor classroom. This is achieved through child-initiated learning, adult directed activities or enhancements to the Continuous provision.
Staff are timetabled to work in either the indoor or outdoor classroom and groups of children rotate throughout the day. Staff are used to either deliver an adult focused activity or engage with children directing their own learning. During this time staff are able to engage with the children in the play moving learning forward or revisiting skills or observe and plan next steps for individuals or groups of children.
In foundation stage we follow the EYFS Curriculum and plan from the Development Matters document working towards ELG for Reception aged children. Alongside this Read, Write Inc is used to teach children phonics. During the first 2 terms Nursery use Phase 1 Letters and Sounds document to prepare them for Read, Write Inc which starts during the Summer Term of Nursery.
We use a Learning Challenge curriculum which is question based to ensure children are taught the skills and knowledge needed to become successful learners who are motivated and excited about learning. We have weekly questions that the children answer through planned activities and enhancements linked to the topic or their own interests.
Teaching and Learning
Children have the opportunity to learn through adult focused sessions, adult directed activities, weekly enhancements, child-initiated learning and access to the continuous provision where resources are of a high quality and are accessible promoting independence.
The Approach is – Teach, practice and apply
Through quality interactions with children next steps are planned for by the adults. We use a multi layered approach to learning to ensure the children make progress.
Adult focused learning
Adult directed activities
Enhancements – response to what the child need next
Enhancements to continuous provision – responses to the children’s interests
Themed enhancements e.g. Remembrance Day
Child initiated learning
Areas of Learning
All areas are planned and taught within EYFS to ensure the children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Some topics focus on particular areas but the topic cycle ensure coverage of all throughout the year ensuring progression.
Prime areas of Learning
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Specific areas of Learning
- Mathematical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Art and Design
A daily maths adult focused session is delivered in keyworker mixed ability groups (Maximum of 15 children) where the adult teaches skills and knowledge. The sessions range from 10- 30 minutes and focus on either Number of Shape, space and measure. These sessions are planned for to ensure progression, building on what the children can do. The children then have opportunities to practice these taught skills through adult directed activities and enhancements to the provision then apply them through initiating their own play and learning within the Continuous provision. The children have a Maths area where resources are kept for them to access freely but the children are encouraged to apply maths to all areas of the classroom.
- Daily adult focused sessions (Communication & Language or Literacy)
- Adult directed activities, enhancements to provision, child-initiated learning and access to continuous provision
- Phonics (RWI)
- Guided Reading (Led by a teacher)
- 1 to 1 reading
- Daily story time and rhyme time
- Writing area
- Reading area
As with the Maths area reading, writing and communication is developed in all areas of both the indoor and outdoor classroom.
Communication and Language is a key focus within the unit and opportunities to develop skills within this area are planned for. New vocabulary is included in all planning and taught explicitly to ensure children develop their vocabulary and understanding of language. Books are carefully chosen to support this and children spend time with the same text to ensure they fully understand and vocabulary is committed to their long-term memory. The unit is currently working alongside the school’s Speech and language therapy to develop the skills of all staff in providing a language rich environment.
In the Foundation stage unit, we use an online Learning Journey and tracking system to assess where the children are at and plan next step for the cohort, groups or individual children.
On entry to the setting a baseline is completed on Learning Book for every child, evidence of significant achievements and WOW moments are recorded and uploaded for parents to access and also to inform and update the child’s current level.
Assessments are then completed each half term and are used to track the child’s progress throughout the year. This information is generally used to plan future sequences of learning but where children are not making the expected progress interventions are planned.
Observations – the main form of assessment within the Foundation stage unit is done through observations where the adult stand back and records how children are independently applying skills and knowledge they have been taught to their learning.
Evidence is also kept in Literacy books, Topic books and Floor books and this is used to support the teacher when completing the online assessments each half term.
Assessments are completed every 6 weeks and children are grouped accordingly to ensure they are accessing the correct set of sounds for their level.
Book banded reading objectives are highlighted during sessions as the children achieve them and this is then used to plan future learning.