How we teach EYFS (Early Year Foundation Stage) at The Avenue

We know that children learn best when they have the time and familiarity of resources to revisit and consolidate experiences. We offer a continuous provision environment where children are able to choose to learn indoors or outdoors. This is available to the children throughout the year and regardless of the weather. We offer a rolling snack during the day giving children the flexibility to play without interruption and allowing them the opportunity to become deeply involved in their learning.

Carpet times are carefully planned into the day so as not to interfere with the flow of play. Nursery children have one circle time in each morning and afternoon session with their keyworker. The focus for our youngest children is on the prime areas of learning. Children in Reception have several carpet sessions or group sessions a day. We follow the Little Wandle programme to teach daily phonics sessions. Reception children have three group reading sessions each week that focus on decoding, prosody, and comprehension. Maths is taught using the White Rose scheme. This is a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics and is underlined by the principles of counting that are taught from nursery.

We are invested in building high quality relationships with children and achieve this by playing with them and observing their interests. We become in tune with each child and staff are able to successfully move their learning forwards by understanding where each unique child is in their development. The strong relationships we have with children support us in our nurturing view to behaviour management, developing their skills in self-regulation through timely and sensitive co-regulation techniques. This continues throughout their Reception year.

Each member of the nursery staff within the unit is carefully planned for so that they can model the skills and language that we want to develop in our children. The pastoral care of the children is of paramount importance to us and we have adults in specific roles to help ensure each child is safe and comfortable throughout the day. All the children and the staff in the unit learn Makaton in order to support communication and this continues into Reception. This is particularly important for our children who are new to the English language and those children with additional educational needs. The adults model purposeful reading and writing skills at every opportunity and excite the children to want to write. Our role-play areas are carefully planned to maximise writing opportunities, for example, taking appointments at the hairdressers or doctors surgery. We place great importance on the learning that goes on when children are involved in imaginative play and, in the nursery class, an adult is permanently based in this area. Children therefore get language modelled to them constantly and continue to develop skills in using full sentences, asking questions, and general ‘chit chat’.

Storytelling is an important part of our curriculum and children are exposed to different storytelling techniques as well as high quality texts. Children learn to internalise stories through our Talk for Write units and this further supports their writing of stories in their Reception year. Children are encouraged to write their own stories through their drawings and as they become more confident with writing, children begin to use their letters and sounds to communicate meaning.

We really value our partnership with parents and welcome them into the setting each term to see their child’s learning and development through our Focus Child framework. We also offer parents workshops each term that focus on specific areas of our curriculum such as communication and language, phonics and maths development.