Early Years Foundation Stage

" Building a solid foundation in the early years of a child's life will not only help him or her to reach their full potential but will also result in better societies as a whole."

Novak Djokovic

At Bowness we want children to be happy, confident and to develop a real thirst for learning. It is our aim to provide an enriched, purposeful and stimulating learning environment indoors and outdoors, which promotes exploration, challenge and a love for learning. We value play as an important part of learning and balance adult directed tasks with opportunities for child initiated play. We understand the importance of early education in providing the secure foundations for which the rest of a child’s learning is based. We encourage an environment where children and adults have mutual respect for each other and aim for our pupils to develop;

· Confidence in their ability to learn.

· The key skills necessary to learn.

· The emotional capabilities to enable them to understand their feelings and to be resilient.

Children in our Nursery and Reception follow Birth to 5 Matters and the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals. The EYFS curriculum consists of 7 areas of learning.

The three prime areas within EYFS are:

  • Personal Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language 

The four specific areas within EYFS are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

We encourage a language rich environment in Reception through sharing stories, learning nursery rhymes and songs, and providing opportunities for talk through engaging environment enhancements and quality adult interactions. We want children to ask questions about the world around them, express their ideas and feelings using full sentences and offer explanations for why things happen. We encourage this by providing opportunities for children to use new vocabulary in small groups, class and one-to-one discussions.

We have a trained staff who deliver daily phonics and maths teaching to children and enhance children’s learning through positive and purposeful interactions during child initiated play. From entering Reception, the children receive a systematic teaching of phonics and we encourage a love of reading and books by basing many of our adult directed learning around stories. Children develop their mathematical understanding through direct teaching and exploration of the environment. We want children to become confident mathematical thinkers and be able to apply their knowledge to solve real-life problems.

Our learning environment is carefully considered and continually adapts and evolves to support the development needs of the children and their interests. We value provision which enables children to develop their gross and fine motor skills both indoors and outdoors. We provide children with a learning environment that offers opportunities for children to develop their characteristics of effective learning and apply their knowledge in different situations.

The curriculum is taught through a mixture of broad topics and quality texts. The curriculum is focused on teaching a balance of skills and knowledge which is responsive and adaptive to the needs of the children. To ensure we are meeting the needs of the children we conduct regular assessments of the children’s learning in relation to typical age related expectations. We have regular discussions around assessment and observations and have an in-depth knowledge of every child in EYFS. We use our knowledge of the children to inform our planning and next steps for teaching and learning.

At Bowness, we begin to develop our strong relationships with parents during the EYFS and provide regular communication and feedback to parents about their child’s learning and development.

During the first few weeks in Reception, pupils undertake the national Reception Baseline Assessment or RBA. This is a series of activities, completed 1:1 with their teacher, that assesses a child’s early language skills, early literacy and maths. This information is forwarded to the DfE to measure your child’s progress across the primary phase of their education.

Birth to 5 Matters

Reception Baseline Assessment Parent Information