Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables 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. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
At The Sheffield Private School, we follow The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. The EYFS Framework explains how and what children in EYFS will be learning to support their development.
The EYFS seeks to provide:
Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly;
Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;
Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is based upon four principles:
A Unique Child: developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals;
Learning and developing: an acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates;
Enabling environments: where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child;
Positive relationships: supporting the children in becoming strong and independent.
We at TSPS use this framework and complete an EYFS profile for each child at the end of the academic year in which they reach five. During this stage children work towards ‘Early Learning Goals’. Most children will achieve or be well on their way to achieving the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Foundation Stage.
Play underpins the curriculum provision. Children have the opportunity to play indoors and outdoors on a daily basis. Children play spontaneously, although they will be given adult support when needed. It is through play that the children will develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.
Our aim is to ensure that children enjoy their Early Years experiences in the care of well qualified and caring staff. We lay the foundations for the children’s future successes through a stimulating and ‘hands on’ curriculum that is divided into the following areas:
- Physical Development
- Communication & Language
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design
Planning and Assessment
We encourage a love for learning in the Foundation Stage, by teaching and planning activities around children’s interests and key stories and topics that stimulate curiosity, exploration and understanding. Each child’s growth and development is carefully taken into account when planning, so that individual needs are met. Progress is recorded in a profile that includes a range of anecdotal observations, photographs and samples of work. We highly value the input from parents/caregivers as well.
Enriching the Curriculum
First hand experiences are the best way to enrich learning and make it come alive. Our teachers plan such experiences carefully. It may be a visit to the museum, or the park, shopping mall or visit by a special visitor, such as an author, professional. Students actively participate in themed days, drop down mornings, charity drives and all other school events.
Extracurricular enrichment is central to the educational experience offered to students at TSPS, and a core component of the National Curriculum for England. At TSPS students have the opportunity to enjoy new experiences and to develop both inside and outside the classroom. Ballet, karate and gymnastics are offered to our FS students as ECAs.
We use an app called Tapestry which provides an online record of each child’s Learning Journey. This enables us to share with parents the learning of each child as they progress through the year. We focus on the process and sharing the steps the children take to achieving tasks and milestones.
The Learning Environment
The Foundation Stage learning environments are warm, bright and stimulating, encouraging learning through play and the use of focused groups both in and outdoors.