Early Years Vision and Intent
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers all children and their development from birth up to 5 years old. At Richmond Hill we have well resourced areas which are supported by highly qualified and experienced staff. We offer free flow outside play meaning our children get all the benefits the outdoors has to offer at all times of the day, come rain or shine!
With the Early Years framework as guidance we offer a broad, balanced and exciting curriculum based around the prime and specific areas of learning. This, combined with a combination of adult led and child led activities allows your children to develop as independent learners.
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
There are seven areas of learning and development and these are a fundamental part of all the planning and teaching that occurs.
They are split into Prime and Specific Areas:
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.
- Communication and language;
- Physical development;
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.
- Understanding the world;
- Expressive arts and design.
Alongside these areas we try to help the children develop skills that will enable them to become successful learners as they continue their time in the school.
These skills are called the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go.’
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
What is a Key Worker?
Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships. This is normally provided by a child’s parents but it can also be provided by a key person. A key person is a named member of staff with responsibilities for a small group of children who helps those children in the group feel safe and cared for. The role is an important one and an approach set out in the EYFS which is working successfully in settings and in Reception classes. It involves the key person in responding sensitively to children’s feelings and behaviours and meeting emotional needs by giving reassurance, such as when they are new to a setting or class, and supporting the child’s well-being. The key person supports physical needs too, helping with issues like nappy changing, toileting and dressing. That person is a familiar figure who is accessible and available as a point of contact for parents and one who builds relationships with the child and parents or carers.
Records of development and care are created and shared by the key person, parents and the child. Small groups foster close bonds between the child and the key person in a way that large groups cannot easily do. These groups allow the key person to better ‘tune into’ children’s play and their conversations to really get to know the children in the group well. Children feel settled and happy and are more confident to explore and as a result become more capable learners.
Miss Ostle is the Early Years Lead and Reception class Teacher. Although she has overall responsibility for the Reception, the children are still separated into Key Worker groups. Squirrels Key Worker - Miss Ostle
Hedgehog Key Workers - Miss Dickinson and Mrs Little
How do children in Reception at Richmond Hill School learn?
Most of the teaching is applied through the child's own play. This allows each child to have targeted, individual teaching, enabling them to progress in a way that suits them best in an activity that they have chosen themselves.
As they progress into Reception more formal teaching is applied in the way of Phonics and Mathematics but embedded through their own self initiated play. We believe this has the greater impact and meaning for the children and also allows them to become independent and self driven learners.
As children progress into the Reception class, we do however prepare children for more formal schooling by exploring some topics through the year including Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter. If you would like to find out more about this way of learning please do not hesitate to speak to any member of the Reception/Early Years Team.
Adult led Phonics and Mathematics -
Adult directed teaching is when the teacher gets all the children or a small group together in order to teach them as a whole. Phonics is taught as outlined in the governments document Letters and Sounds and combined this with the Read Write Inc Programme. We use a combination of Hamilton Trust and the White Rose Hub programme to support the structure and coverage on essential Mathematic concepts needed to prepared children for KS1.
When your child is 5 years old, at the end of the EYFS (the summer term of reception year in school) teachers will complete an assessment known as the EYFS Profile and report this information to parents in their end of year report. You may hear staff talk about the Early Learning Goals - which is guidelines that the teacher uses to observe and plan activities over the year.
The most important place to find out more is your child’s teacher. Ask as many questions as you need to.
You can also find the Early Years Foundation Stage at