At Stondon Lower School our Early Years Foundation Stage focuses on developing the whole child to enable them to achieve the Early Learning Goals and have a lifelong love of learning. Our Values Education encourages children to use good manners and develop empathy towards others. Teachers aim to provide an exciting environment where children can engage in both child-initiated activities and teacher-led activities in order to develop their learning. Our creative curriculum inspires and motives children to develop their understanding and encourages them to ask questions. We use the Development Matters Framework (see document below) to assist us in planning exciting opportunities to enable children to achieve in the seven areas of development:
- Communication and language development: children are given the opportunity to experience a rich language environment, to speak and listen in a range of situations, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.
- Physical development: children are given opportunities to be active and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are taught the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development: children are given the opportunity to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy development: children are given the opportunity to link sounds and letters by following the Letters and Sounds programme of study and by using Jolly Phonics. Children begin to read and write independently as they have access to a range of materials.
- Mathematics: children are given the opportunity to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, space, and measures.
- Understanding the world: children are given the opportunity to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design: children are given the opportunity to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.
At the end of foundation stage a judgement is made as to whether a child’s learning meets the expected level, exceeds that level or is emerging into the level. Parents/carers are informed of their child’s progress throughout the year as teachers upload observations onto Orbit; an assessment programme which allows parents/carers to view their child’s profile and contribute their observations.