At Gatehouse Primary Academy we believe that every child deserves the best possible start to enable them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. On entry to school we spend time getting to know the children as individuals; finding out what they enjoy and can already achieve before we plan exciting opportunities to build upon children's learning and experiences from preschool and nursery settings. They EYFS curriculum promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ for the National Curriculum as they prepare for Year 1 and beyond.
. The EYFS divides the curriculum into seven areas of learning and development.
The ‘prime areas’:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The 'specific areas':
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
These lead to 17 Early Learning Goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should gain by the end of the Reception year.
We provide a balance between adult-led and child initiated experiences in both our indoor and outdoor learning environments. Children are supported in their development through play and exploration opportunities, short carpet sessions, and adult guided work.
Although the curriculum remains very play based, the balance shifts gradually through the year towards more activities led by adults as the year goes on.
We are fortunate enough to have a large outdoor area, which is fully resourced for children to support their learning in all areas. In addition to this our school site has a Forest School area as well as a Nature / Gardening area. Children have the opportunity to develop skills through stimulating and challenging activities such as den building, which help to develop problem solving, collaboration and persistence, along with supporting many other areas of learning and development.
The environment and activities inside and outside are carefully planned to promote learning, so while it may look as though the children are ‘just playing’, actually they are learning all the time. Our timetable allows for long periods of ‘free flow’ independent play where children can access inside and outside learning, which enables them to become deeply involved in their learning.
An important part of teaching in Reception is through ‘interactions’. Adults observe the children closely as they play, and join in sensitively to support them and move their learning on, extending their language and thinking, and helping to develop their skills.
Information about what your child should be doing at this age can be found within the document ‘What to expect when’ - you can download it from: