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‘Enjoy learning together; building foundations for life.’

The Foundation Stage

  • Our Philosophy and Curriculum

    In the Reception classes the children are cared for and provided with a safe, stimulating and challenging environment in order to promote independence and a passion for lifelong learning. In partnership with parents and carers we create an environment that allows children to thrive and develop inquisitive and questioning minds.

     At Pannal School we have a 60 place reception unit.  The children have access to all areas of the curriculum (both indoors and out) throughout the day. Children are taught within whole class sessions, group adult-led sessions, one-to-one and self-initiated learning facilitated play within an adaptive learning environment.

    The Foundation Stage team works together, to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, based around the interests of the children and based on learning observations. This Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is divided into seven areas. There are three prime areas:

    • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
    • Communication and Language.
    • Physical Development. 

    and four specific areas:

    • Literacy Development.
    • Mathematical Development.
    • Understanding the World.
    • Expressive Arts and Design. 

    The three prime areas will underpin children’s learning throughout the EYFS and beyond. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

    Learning takes place both inside and outside and each plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.

  • Play in the Early Years

    We take the time to play with our children and model good quality interactions. Play is fundamental to every child’s development and we seek to develop every child’s play in a positive and constructive way so as to underpin the majority of the Early Learning Goals in a child-initiated and self-motivated manner. We consider the benefits of play to be wide-reaching and holistic for children to develop successfully and to achieve their potential within the EYFS and to gain an excellent foundation to be able to continue their education at Pannal.

  • Learning through Children’s Interests

    We believe that young children learn best through activities that interest them, we usually take themes children are interested in and give small activities for parents to engage their children in during the weekend via a weekly newsletter. As well as their emerging interests we understand that there are several key calendar events, global topics and regularly occurring interests for us to follow at different times throughout the reception year. These naturally provide us with opportunities to develop, enhance and support children’s learning towards the Early Learning Goals (expected development goals for the end of the reception year). In the previous two years this has included:

    Harvest, Christmas, Easter, Divali, religions, life-cycles, birds, space and creation, stories, ourselves, the environment, mini-beasts and living creatures.

    Examples of children’s learning are displayed on their personal clipboards as part of our wall displays.

  • The role of parents

    We believe that all parents have an important role to play in the education of their child. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. Parents are made to feel welcome and valued in their dealings with all members of staff and we consider their support as fundamental to ensuring their child achieves their maximum potential.

  • Transition

    We have developed a positive approach to transition at both ends of the Reception year in order to allow as smooth a transition as possible from nursery right through to year 1. It has been developed for both children and parents as we recognise that this is an important part of a family’s life, not just the children’s when starting school in September all children and parents are offered the same experience which includes:

    • The teacher visits all children in their Playgroup or Nursery setting prior to their starting school;
    • The children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher in school before starting school at 2 visit sessions to experience a morning and an afternoon with all members of their new class;
    • Inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school where parents get the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and look at the classroom environment as well as a presentation on the curriculum and any early questions or concerns can be addressed;
    • Arranging for children to start school over the first three weeks of term. We stagger the starting time of each child over this period, so that the teacher can welcome each child individually into our school. We encourage parents to stay if there are problems with the child’s settling phase however understand that every parent and every child is different and we tailor each approach with the needs of both in mind in order to allow the child to settle as quickly as possible.
    • We are always available from June right up to starting in September and beyond as and when parents feel they need us.

    Once into school children start to experience life outside the Early Years early on as they become involved in whole school activities and assemblies, meeting and working with their year 6 buddy and being a part of the wider school community. During the summer term, we introduce the notion of transition to year 1 as we start to visit the nurseries in preparation for another year and current Reception children are offered a range of experiences to prepare them for year one including small group visits to meet the year one teachers and take part in an engaging activity to support their transition

    Based on these experiences, our knowledge of the Reception and Year 1 children and the predicted group dynamics we split into 2 classes and the children spend a whole morning and afternoon session in year 1 with their new teacher and classmates.

  • Assessment

    On entry to the Reception classes in September, children are phased into school in small groups.  This enables staff to help children settle into school and along with the sessions within the summer term will enable staff to assess a child’s individual abilities and plan accordingly. We will complete a formal government baseline which assesses early literacy and numeracy skills and make informal observations of children’s wider strengths and areas for development in line with all seven areas of the EYFS. The informal evidence that is collected on entry into school and throughout the year is kept within a child’s individual Learning Journey, accessible to children and parents on a daily basis.   The observations made of the children are linked with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, the evidence is collected to inform curriculum planning to ensure that at the end of Reception most children should be achieving the Early Learning Goals. A formal assessment of the EYFS profile is completed at the end of Reception, these results are sent through to the Local authority. Parents are informed of these statutory profile results and we provide the opportunity to discuss progress regularly at parent meetings in the autumn and spring term plus a formal report at the end of the year.  All Foundation Stage staff are readily available on a daily basis to discuss any concerns etc.

    Parents' comments are invaluable and we encourage all parents to regularly access their child’s learning journey.  

  • Early reading and maths

    In Foundation Stage, we approach writing firstly through the development of gross and fine motor skills, using activities that promote strength and dexterity and provide children with the necessary muscle development and stamina to be able to hold a writing tool accurately and to have success.

    Lowercase letter formation is taught in letter families within the school day and home support is highly valued.

    Emergent writing is encouraged. Children are helped to use their knowledge of phonemes (sounds) and write what they can hear. We follow individual interests to achieve the most meaningful writing and have opportunities for writing and high expectations in all our areas of learning. Eg drawing and writing plans prior to making models, evaluating them once completed, writing lists of resources required for an activity, labelling pictures etc

    Literacy links

    50 Things to Do Before You’re Five    http://www.leedsforlearning.co.uk/Services/2455

  • Maths

    In reception as throughout the rest of the school, we adopt a mastery approach to the learning and application of maths. We use Numberblocks episodes from CBeebies and supporting materials from NCETM (see link) to develop children’s awareness of a wide range of mathematical concepts including: addition, subtraction, partitioning, subitising, ordinality, cardinality, reasoning and pattern. Children are exploring many of these key concepts through a carefully planned and evolving environment and their natural play. The layers of mathematical understanding are built up throughout the whole year starting at number 1 with the goal being using and applying numbers up to 20 at the end of the reception year.

    For ways in which you can help your child develop their mathematical awareness and confidence at home please see the links below.

    Maths links