Welcome to St. Bernadette’s Foundation Stage
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill 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.”
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
Department for Education, 2017
At St. Bernadette’s our aim is to provide children with a wide range of stimulating, creative and challenging early learning experiences within a secure, caring and inclusive environment, both within the classroom and outdoors. We provide children opportunities to explore and enquire: developing their understanding of the world around them through play and child-led activities. We work closely with parents to ensure a smooth transition from home to school and into Year 1 by recognising and planning for each individual child and their unique personality, interests and needs.
Organisation of classes-
We have one FS1 (Nursery) and one FS2 (Reception) class that share the use of the Foundation Stage Unit. Each class has their own classroom door that opens out onto the play court which is a shared area of continuous provision. For parts of the day FS1 and FS2 join together in the unit.
The EYFS Framework explains how and what children need to learn to support healthy development.
Learning through play underpins all of the EYFS and the framework is split into the prime and specific areas of learning.
There are three prime areas of learning:
Communication and Language Physical Development Personal, Social and Emotional Development
In addition, there are four specific areas of learning:
Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Arts and Design
Magic Story Box Narrative Immersion Curriculum
At St. Bernadette’s we have adopted the Narrative Immersion Curriculum. This places Literacy and Communication and Language at the heart of everything that we do. Each half-term the children are immersed in a new text. The children then follow enquiry questions linked to the narrative. High quality texts are chosen each half-term and the children are set challenges in the enhanced continuous provision linked to the text.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The Characteristics of learning run through and underpin the seven areas of learning and development, as detailed in the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Framework’ (2017). They describe learning processes that occur throughout everyday activities and experiences. They support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.
At St. Bernadette’s we use a dinosaur themed approach to the Characteristics of Effective Learning called ‘Achievosaurs’. We have a display area in each classroom so that these can be referred to throughout the day. The ‘Achievosaurs’, each link to an aspect of the characteristics. They enable children to become more aware of how they learn and give them language to explain the skills they use when they are learning.
We understand the importance of children being active and follow the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity guidelines for the early years.
We promote children’s awareness of the factors that support a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, the importance of regular exercise and an active daily routine, including travelling to school, feeling good about yourself and a tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. In order to lead a healthy life, children are encouraged to interact with their world, and to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity. We value the taking of risks in learning and the questioning of the things around them.
At St. Bernadette’s we use electronic learning journeys, which are provided by a company called Learning Book. We value parent partnership and have opted to use Learning Book. This means that parents of children in the Foundation Stage will receive regular emails containing observations of learning that we have captured in school.
When the school day has ended and at the weekend and half-term, children have many learning experiences, such as going on holiday, swimming, counting, drawing or painting and sometimes we do not hear about these. Parent Share allows parents and families to share these experiences and any learning that your child has done at home. This also helps us to plan further activities to move your child’s learning on even further and to help them to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Foundation Stage 2.