Our Early Years Foundation Stage consists of Year R (Ages 4-5). The EYFS is a unique, distinct, and important phase in education. It places an equal priority on supporting children's social and emotional development and on their learning. It is a crucial time for developing children's engagement, enjoyment of learning and motivation. The curriculum in the Early Years provides a structure and sense of direction, whilst providing ambitious opportunities for children to learn. Our curriculum recognises children’s prior learning and experiences and seeks to build on these, developing their skills and knowledge through a variety of themes and first-hand experiences that stimulate their curiosity. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all children ensuring adaptations are made where necessary.
Play and exploration are at the heart of Early Years practice and children are able to interact with well-organised and resourced environments that spark their interests and allow for independence and sustained shared thinking. Environments are enhanced with a wide range of multi-sensory activities that encourage children to explore, develop skills and adapt their own learning. Each of our Early Years Foundation Stage classrooms provide stimulating environments where pupils can play, explore, experiment, develop confidence, be curious and learn. We believe it is our duty to develop a joy of learning by being motivated and excited by the opportunity to learn through play and first hand experiences which relate to a variety of themes.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage outlines four guiding principles that should shape Early Years practice. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are also seven key features of effective practice (Appendix 1) that underpin the Early Years ethos and are woven through the Oasis EYFS Curriculum. These are:
- The best for every child
- High quality care
- The curriculum: What we want children to learn
- Pedagogy: helping children to learn
- Assessment: checking what children have learnt
- Self-regulation and executive function
- Partnership with parents
The EYFS curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning and development, the Prime Areas (Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. The Specific Areas (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design) help to strengthen and apply the prime areas.
More information about Early Years Education can be found here.