The Foundation Stage

Our Curriculum EYFS (Early Years of foundation Stage) recognizes the importance of this time in a child’s life, and provides everyone working with the under fives a clear but challenging structure about the most effective ways to work with children in this age group. The EYFS affirms the principles and practice that best support and extend children’s development and learning. It also recognizes the level of skill, knowledge and professionalism required to work successfully with very young children and their families.

Our experience of practitioners in Oxford School confirms their shared desire to give children the very best start on their learning journey, and their eagerness for further knowledge and ideas. The hope is that First Steps will provide a foundation on which practitioners can build, through further training, reading and of course by observing and responding to the children in their care.

This is for children aged 3-5 and covers the years they spend from the beginning of nursery to the end of Foundation Stage. It is designed to prepare children to begin the National Curriculum for England, which begins around the age of five in Key Stage 1 and continues through to Key Stage 4.

We at the Oxford School strongly believe that Working with children in their first five years is incredibly rewarding, interesting and fun, but also hard work. These early years are vital to children’s learning and development and knowledgeable adults who support, encourage and engage with them can make a huge difference.

Information about the early foundation years

Staying Safe
To Enjoy achieving
Inculcate positive habits
Having fun while learning
Making a positive contribution
Achieving economic well-being

EYFS’s aim to achieve this through

Setting Standards
Promoting Equality of Opportunity
Improving Quality and Consistency
Creating a Framework for Partnership Working
Laying a secure foundation for future learning and development
Achieving this aim will lead to better quality provision and better learning outcomes for children

Principles and commitments of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Theme A Unique
Learning and

The Areas of Learning and Development are

  • Creative Development
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Each area of Learning and Development is divided into several aspects

                    Area of Learning and Development                   Aspects of Learning and development
Personal Social and Emotional Development
  • Self-Care
  • Making Relationships
  • Sense of Community
  • Dispositions and Attitudes
  • Behavior and Self-Control
  • Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Reading
  • Writing is Fun
  • Scoring Marks
  • Language for Thinking
  • Exploring the Community
  • Linking Sounds and Letters
  • Language for Communication
Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeric
  • Calculating
  • Starting to Count
  • Playing with numbers
  • Numbers as Labels and for Counting
  • Exploring Shape, Space and Measures
Knowledge and Understanding Of The World
  • Time
  • Place
  •  Communities
  • Using Technology
  • Designing and Making
  • Exploration and Investigation
Physical Development
  • Creating Music and Dance
  • Exploring Music and Dance
  • Developing Imagination and Imaginative Play
  • Being Creative-Responding to Experiences, Expressing and Communicating Ideas Exploring Media and Materials
Observation records/Assessment records

There will be no formal assessments in FS 1 & FS 2. All planning starts with observing children in order to understand and consider their current interests, development and learning.

Observation is an essential part of every early year’s practitioner’s role, it is the only way to find out about babies and children’s needs, interests, how they play and explore and their individual learning styles. Through these observations and supporting evidence, practitioners can begin to assess developing skills, understanding, knowledge, dispositions and attitudes.

Observation should be an integral part of the daily routine for every practitioner in the setting. Provision needs to be made for observing babies and children in a range of ways and in different contexts. For example indoor and outdoor environments, alone or in a group, in child initiated or adult led play.

Incidental Observations

Every child attending the setting, practitioners need to note down anything of significance they observe. These are incidental observations and can be recorded on “post-it” notes, sticky labels or in notebooks and should be dated. These observations could form part of a daily diary, particularly for younger children and in home-based settings.

Planned Observations

We also need to ensure that there are specific times planned in to observe babies and children for more extended periods of time. The purpose of this is to systematically gather detailed information about each baby/child over time. These can be recorded in the format a setting finds most suitable and this will vary from setting to setting.

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