Our EARLY YEARS
In our SIA Foundation Stage department, we believe that every child is unique.
We recognise that each child has their own individual interests, preferences and opinions. We believe that by allowing our learners to explore through play and make their own individual choices, we can observe, interact and enhance their learning. Consequently, embedding fundamental knowledge into their working memory and then long-term memory.
As a unit, we use the statutory Early Years Framework alongside key documents such as Development Matters (Revised) guidance and Birth to 5 Matters, to help us make key judgements on how to support our learners’ next steps.
We believe in personalised, purposeful learning which is promoted within our provision and within our classrooms. This encourages children to consolidate taught learning and consequently, recall taught learning through purposeful play.
We use the Characteristics of Effective Learning to guide our judgements on what provision is needed to facilitate learning. We are constantly experimenting with the continuous provision within the unit to ensure it is purposeful and effective. We endeavour to have a mastery approach to every aspect of learning, meaning children are encouraged to answer reasoning questions to show fluency and an in-depth understanding of concepts.
We greatly believe that questioning is key to good teaching and learning practice. Questioning expands ideas and thoughts. In addition, it provides a scaffold for those learners who require support in certain concepts.
In our unit, learners begin to self-select activities which supports their ability to become independent, take ownership and understand their own sense of self-worth. As we begin to develop free flow in the unit, we see learners having more opportunities to interact with adults and children outside their own classroom which helps them gain more confidence and understand the importance of interacting successfully with others.
The seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS are equally important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The three most important components being the Core Programme of:
Communication and Language
Personal and Social and Emotional Development
The four specific areas of learning, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
This programme sets the standards that promote teaching and learning to ensure children’s school readiness. Our programme gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
In planning and guiding children’s activities, teachers assess the different learning styles children employ and reflect these in their practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
Playing and exploring
Children investigate, experience and encounter new activities
Children concentrate and are encouraged to continue working when they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and thinking critically
Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies around projects