Early Years Foundation Stage

"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul."
Friedich Frobel


At Colgate Primary our curriculum is based on the framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. It states that the seven areas of learning and development  “must be implemented through planned, purposeful play”. In addition to this the framework says that “Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.” The EYFS framework  also describes  the “Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning ... playing and exploring ... active learning and creating and thinking critically.” This approach to teaching and learning underpins all that we do in Apple Class. 
We  believe that all  our children are unique and should be treated as so. We know that children learn best when they feel safe and well supported. Our aim is provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment in which our children flourish. They spend their time in Reception having fun and developing confidence and independence. The learning is child led and the children spend their time  exploring and creating both indoors and outdoors.
Apple Class is a mixed aged class and therefore we have overarching themes that drive some aspects of the children's learning. In addition to this  we use our regular observations and interactions to note the children's interests and we use these to plan purposeful activities. Learning is individualised and we plan for next steps so that all children can achieve and make progress. 
We work closely with parents and carers  to build positive partnerships so that our children make the very best start to their school journey. We also provide a smooth and  effective transition for new children which was recognised as one of our strengths by Ofsted...
"Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage behave well. They are sensible and during the inspection it was clear that they had quickly settled into classroom routines. They feel safe and secure and are developing confidence in speaking to each other and responding to the teachers’ questions when in a large group."
October 2012
 New parents are invited to a welcome meeting during the summer term and the children are given the opportunity to attend up to 4 play and stay sessions where they meet the team and have time to become familiar with their new surroundings and new friends! We also make home visits towards the end of the summer so that we can meet with each family in relaxed surroundings and a member of the team will visit each new child in their current setting to talk with their key worker.
All  learning is captured on an electronic journal called Tapestry. Parents are given access to this once the children have been in school for 6 weeks or so. After this parents are free to access their child's journal at any time and they are encouraged to add their own comments, photos and videos. It is crucial that the Apple Class team have an insight into a child's world outside of school so that we can truly meet their needs.  We use Tapestry to regularly communicate with our parents. This can be to celebrate achievement, to inform parents of  their child's next steps or to share concerns. 
We use a phonic scheme called 'Song of Sound.' This scheme quickly exposes the children to a larger number of sounds than previously taught and will therefore have a greater impact on reading and writing skills. Please see the link below to the song that we all sing to help the children learn phonics.
Below you will find a selection of photographs that capture the way we learn in Apple Class.