Mrs Bates, Mrs Farr, Mrs Wootten and Mrs Birch are the Potter Class team. We have worked successfully together for a number of years, providing a fantastic start to school life for all the children who come to Frittenden in reception. We hope that, by reading the information on our pages, and looking at the pictures, you will get a better insight to what it means to be in Potter Class.
What is EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum sets standards for the learning, development, and care of children from birth to 5 years old. It ends when a child enters key stage 1.
The four main EYFS principles are:
A Unique Child: Every child is unique and each responds to different learning methods in different ways. We believe that every child is capable of being a strong, resilient and capable learner with the right guidance.
Enabling Environments: The classroom and outdoor area should prompt and encourage good learning techniques. An enabling environment is one which caters to each individual child's needs and gives them the freedom to expand their knowledge and development.
Positive Relationships: Children are encouraged to be strong and independent when required, forming the basis for positive relationships that they will go on to have. They are given the safety and security to bolster the relationships they have with those closest to them.
Learning and Development: By following the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning as part of the statutory Early Years framework, each child is taught a wide range of skills to aid their physical and mental development.
The EYFS is divided up into seven areas of learning: Expressive Arts and Design, Understanding the World, Maths, English, Physical Development, Communication and Language and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Each of these areas is further broken down, for example, Literacy is reading and writing.
Teachers plan activities for each of these areas to ensure that the children progress through the framework.
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives7. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Understanding the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Expressive Arts and Design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
Early Years Assessment:
Assessments take place on a daily basis in EYFS through the form of observations. All our children have a learning journey which is shared with parents: this is a record of observations of the children independently learning through play. These observations enable us to know each child’s current attainment and to plan for their next steps. We really appreciate and value parents’ contributions and ask them to observe their child’s learning at home too. This helps us to get a complete picture of their child’s development.
Early Learning Goals:
At the end of the reception year, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals. They are assessed as ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or ‘exceeding’ in each area. If a child is expected in the Prime and Specific areas, they are said to have met a good level of development or GLD.
See Saw learning journal:
In Potter Class we use an online learning journal to record wow moments and new learning. Seesaw is an instant way to share what your child is learning in Potter Class. Each child has their own journal and as a team we will periodically add photos, videos, drawings or voice recordings. When there are new items, you can be notified. You'll only get notifications about your child's items. For more information about seesaw please follow the links below.