At Alburgh with Denton Primary School we follow the same principles as every school in the country in the foundation stage, which lasts up until the end of your child's first year of school. It is based on the statutory document 'Development Matters'. This document enables practitioners to assess the child's development against age related bands, rather than in the past when it was assessed against ability bands. In order to help us assess your child's learning, we subscribe to Tapestry, an online assessment record onto which we upload photographs and information about your child's learning, This is accessible to parents, who are encouraged to upload their own relevant comments and photographs of their child. Parents can also allow other members of their family to access thier child's learning record if they wish, such as Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. At the end of the year we save each child's tapestry file onto a memory stick and this is given to you as a record of their first year oin school.

The principles are that every child is unique and, with the right approach can develop into a confident self-assured adult. Through POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS with their parents, carers and key workers, a child can become independent and strong.

Through ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS we offer opportunities for your child to learn in whatever style suits them. And through these principles, we enable your child to learn and develop in their own unique way and at their own rate. The statutory areas of learning are divided into two sections – the prime areas and the specific areas. There are 3 prime areas. Firstly, Personal, Social and Emotional development – teaching the child to become more self-confident and independent; to help then make and build relationships; to know and recognise their own needs; to dress and undress independently; to manage feelings and behaviour and tell the difference between right and wrong. Secondly, Physical Development - We support children’s healthy development, providing opportunities for using a range of large and small equipment. Help them to develop a sense of space and encourage balance. And we teach them practical skills such as handling equipment and tools effectively, using both fine and gross motor skills. Thirdly, Communication and Language – encouraging children to develop conversational skills, develop listening and concentration skills and enabling children to express themselves and understand instructions.

We then have four specific areas of development to concentrate on. Naturally, Literacy – which consists of reading and writing. We teach your child to continue a rhyming string, to link sounds and letters, then to segment sounds in words and blend sounds together leading up to reading words and simple sentences. We encourage your child to develop pencil control and make marks on paper, which leads on to communicating meaning through clearly identifiable letters and being able to string these words together to make sentences. MATHS is another specific area – we support children’s understanding of number, helping them to count initially up to ten and then beyond. We encourage the use of simple mathematical words such as greater, smaller, heavier, etc. We support children’s understanding of shape and size, using 2D and 3D shapes, and develop their mathematical skills in comparing and sorting objects. We will also be teaching them the basics of using money and telling the time.

UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD is the Foundation Stage equivalent of the humanities (History, Geography) Science, Technology, and we introduce these topics into our everyday learning, for instance learning about knights and castles, playing with snow and cookery, as well as regular use of laptops.

Finally, EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN – involves artwork with various textures and materials, enables the child to experiment with colour, design, pattern. We encourage them to develop an interest in music, singing, music-making and dancing, which in turn develop their confidence and imagination.

The teaching in EYFS in generally informed with the staff scaffolding the childrens learning through their play. The areas are all taught through your child’s own Characteristics of effective learning – we do not sit the children down at a desk for hours on end. They learn in this year by playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.

Please click here for more information about the EYFS on the DfE Foundation Years website