Welcome to Early Years at Lightmoor
“Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and the support that enables them to reach that potential. Children develop quickly in the Early Years, and a child’s experiences between birth and five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, happy and safe 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 2021.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from Birth to the end of the Reception year. We recognise that every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning, who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We recognise that children develop in individual ways, at varying rates. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by feedback from others; we use praise and encouragement, as well as celebrating success, to encourage children to develop a positive attitude to learning.
The EYFS is based upon three characteristics of effective learning which practitioners must reflect upon and adjust their practice accordingly:
- Playing and exploring – Children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go.’
- Active learning – Children concentrate and keep on going if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – Children develop and have their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
There are seven main areas of learning and development in the EYFS. All areas are important and interconnected.
The Three prime areas of learning are:
- Communication and language.
- Physical development.
- Personal, social and emotional development.
Additionally, there are four specific areas of learning, in which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding the world.
- Expressive arts and design.
None of the above areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child-initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELG's) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS. We recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are interconnected.
In the Early Years (Reception Class) at Lightmoor Village Primary School we pride ourselves on giving the children every opportunity to learn through a rich and varied curriculum designed to encourage independence, resilience and curiosity.
The EYFS curriculum in the Reception class at Lightmoor is taught around the 7 areas of learning and development within the statutory EYFS framework. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, self-belief and a real love of learning. It is underpinned by the characteristics of effective learning, playing and learning, active learning and creating and thinking critically. We follow Development Matters as a guide to designing our curriculum and supporting individual children’s learning and development. The content is ambitious and feeds into our whole school curriculum planned by subject leaders to ensure that they are working towards the Early Learning Goals, building knowledge and are ready for Year 1 at the end of the Reception Year. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed, and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
All subjects within our curriculum include enrichment activities to build on cultural capital such as school trips, music lessons and extra-curricular activities. Sports clubs are funded for all pupils through our Sports grant and all other clubs for PP pupils are funded through PP funding. These are all open to all pupils in school including our youngest pupils.
Reading is prioritised here at Lightmoor and is taught through Read Write Inc from Reception to Year 2 (adopted in 2012). In this fast-paced programme all children are taught a sound a day from the first week of school. After the first 3 sounds, the pupils are taught to blend. The rigorous assessment and observations from school reading leader (DHT) enables the progress of pupils to be closely monitored.
Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key. We recognise the crucial role that Early Years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
The curriculum in Reception is planned around exciting and engaging themes each half term to gain the interest of pupils. Topics are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. Each subject leader in school has included the early learning goals as a clear end point for the Reception curriculum for that subject and with the view of building on this knowledge as they move into year 1. Subjects are delivered in a mix of adults led activities and child initiated activities in large and small groups. Schemes in school that we have adopted and adapted such as purple mash, iPEP and Jigsaw all plan for ELG’s to include our Reception pupils. The learning environment enables subjects to be explored during continuous provision both indoors and outdoors.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. The journey of your child’s learning through the Reception year at Lightmoor is logged through Tapestry. You will be given details about how to access this once your child starts with us here at school. At the end of each term next steps for each child are communicated in this way to parents and carers.
Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through the Read Write Inc. programme, daily story sharing and taking books home each day from the reading corner. Once children have learned all set 1 sounds and can blend they take home a school reading booked that is phonetically decodable, this is matched to their sounds and linked to our reading scheme.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessments. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Pupils are happy in school and are motivated within the environment to explore and take risks. They settle well into school and respond positively to adults. Children develop their resilience, vocabulary and confidence during their Reception year here at Lightmoor.
For more information please click on the link below that will take you to our full Policy.