Principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The four principles as shown below underpin our practice here at Woodlands Primary Academy.
Here at Woodlands Primary Academy, we offer an EYFS curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating learning environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning.
There are seven areas of learning and development, all of which are important and interconnected.
During their time in Nursery and Reception, the children will be supported in building Characteristics of Effective Learning:
These characteristics give children the skills needed to become independent learners who are responsible for their own learning and thinking.
Play is an integral part of learning, and we believe it’s the most meaningful way for young children to learn. Therefore, play is at the very heart of our Early Years curriculum with children having extended periods of uninterrupted play each day. Our learning environments, both indoors and outdoors, promote independence and a love of learning. Children are able to access resources independently, make choices, follow their own interests and extend their own learning. This results in the children showing high levels of involvement and allows for deeper learning. 2
Each year our curriculum is co-created and guided by the children’s interests and fascinations. In addition to this, we base our curriculum on the EYFS Statutory Framework and ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ guidance. Our curriculum is designed to provide children with the foundational knowledge and understanding, skills, and learning behaviours that will be built upon when they transition to Year 1.
We offer a balance of approaches in order to help our children learn:
Child-led play: children need time to learn through play without interruptions. It is through child-led play that children demonstrate what they’ve learnt and what they understand about a particular topic. Staff are skilled at extending the children’s learning ‘in the moment’ to ensure that learning is of the highest quality and that children make progress in their individual learning journeys. During the children’s play, staff assess what the children need to learn and how they can learn it in that moment.
Direct teaching: children take part in ‘carpet sessions’ that explicitly teach a skill/knowledge e.g. phonics/maths
Adult-led activities: these ‘keep up’ sessions allow us to target children who are at risk of falling behind by engaging them in a playful activity that has a specific learning focus e.g. speaking in sentences through oral storytelling with props.
Language and Communication
Language and communication is a priority here at Woodlands.Our learning environments are language rich with children and adults engaging in quality interactions. Adults model speaking in full sentences during back-and-forth conversations with the children and use ambitious vocabulary. This is complimented with the use high quality texts, poems and rhymes.
It is important to us that we build positive relationships with our children’s families so that together, we can provide the children with a strong start to their education. We maintain regular contact with our parents via in person conversations, tapestry observations, Class Dojo, Story Cafes, and Parents’ Evenings.