Early Years at Summerlea
EYFS Autumn Term at Summerlea Community Primary School
The EYFS year is a year to provide foundations for the children and get them ready for learning by the National Curriculum in Year 1. There are 7 areas of learning and development within the statutory framework for early years foundation stage (EYFS)
All of the areas are important as they are all interconnected. The 7 areas are used by early years settings to shape the children’s education and determine what children should learn and how children’s learning and development will be supported through each of these 7 areas.
The 7 areas are split into two categories: the prime areas and the specific areas.
The Prime Areas
The prime areas lay the foundations upon which all further learning can develop. The prime areas are also extremely important for ‘igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving’, as stated in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage. The three prime areas are:
The Specific Areas
Our Early years setting also supports children’s learning and development in the specific areas. The four specific areas are intended to also strengthen learning and development within the prime areas, hence why the 7 areas are seen as being interconnected. The four specific areas are:
Before the children start at Summerlea in September we have already been busy making transition as smooth as possible for the parents and for the children. The staff visit children in their pre-school setting and they visit the children at home in their own environment on a home visit. The children are invited to two stay and play sessions with their parents, join staff and their new friends at a picnic held at school and come in for a transition day in their new classrooms. The children receive a postcard from their teachers over the school holidays and class dojo is a great platform for sharing stories and videos with the children ahead of starting school. We appreciate that the start of school is a big step for the children and the parents and we try our best to make it a positive, happy and fun experience.
We have had a busy but brilliant start to the school year! The EYFS children have astounded us by their transition into school life at Summerlea and we are very proud of them all.
Take a look at some of the learning experiences the children have had entering school life:
The children are asked to create a treasure box to bring in at the start of the year to share photos and items that are important to them. This is a great speaking and listening (C&L) activity for the children and provides great talking points. We love doing this as it helps us to know more about the children and their class mates can make links with interests they have themselves.
Here are some of the learning experiences the children have had to develop their physical development; fine and gross motor skills activities, assault course building, construction building, water painting, throwing and catching, hula hooping, skipping, jumping, use of the trim-trail as well as developing skills and building muscle strength in PE lessons.
Developing physical, social and emotional skills is key during the first term in school. The children are needing to communicate with each other, make friends, share resources, understand turn taking and understand their own emotions and how to communicate these with others. The children have enjoyed work and play that we have done on ‘The Colour Monster’, ‘Find your happy’ and ‘Daisy’s Dragons’ where we have talked a lot about and explored feelings and how we can overcome and express them using words.
Our construction area has been a huge hit with the children. They are learning to communicate with each other and work as a team to build things on a larger scale.
Literacy and Maths is also part of our everyday provision. The children started phonics in week two of school and have amazed us already by what they have learnt and how they are recognising new sounds in their reading books. The children have mark making activities in and out of the classroom daily and we often use a theme that interests the children allowing them to lead the learning. We have maths every day in school and the children also have indoor and outdoor maths provision to support the learning but also extend their knowledge and interest in number, shape and counting.
We have many children interested in dinosaurs this year so an archaeological dig and ordering the length of bones was a great maths activity.
We have started looking at forming letters correctly. Writing it in sand is a great way to help us understand how to form the letter.
We are learning how to hold a pen correctly and write our names.
Maths resources are being explored by the children.
We love sharing stories with the children every day. Book talk is so important!
We have a large outdoor area which the children love exploring. We have provided many science activities that have interested the children and allowed us to question their knowledge of the world. We have a great construction area which has been very popular with the children, a reading nook, music area and performing stage, a castle with a climbing wall, water play, sand play, a mud kitchen, bug hunting area, a new pirate ship (built by one of our new parents) and very soon our sensory garden will be completed. We also have many resources yet to share with the children and teach them to use such as our bikes on our bike track!
Bug Hunting has also been an activity the children have been interested in.
The children have been busy baking in the mud kitchen. They’ve also enjoyed exploring with herbs, fragranced tea bags and discussing flavours.
As well as our amazing outdoor learning space we also have Forest School at Summerlea and the children have already enjoyed a visit to the woodland area and they cannot wait to get involved in more outdoor forest school experiences in the not so distant future.
Our two classrooms are recently refurbished and provide the children with many more opportunities to play and learn. We have an indoor construction area, water play, sand play, junk modelling area, painting table and easels, phonics areas, book corners including a variety of texts and puppets, small world and small parts, writing areas, maths areas, role play areas and exploration areas.
Children have an opportunity to explore and develop their creative skills. Our junk modelling area has been popular and children have loved the challenges of making a robot, a handbag and a home for a creature so far. The children have experienced paint, chalk, collage and textured painting so far. They are learning to join resources develop their cutting
Importantly, what have our parents said about the start to school this year…
‘My son comes home happy and excited for school the next day. He even asks to come to school at the weekend!’
‘I love the way the teachers have greeted the children at the start of the term and every morning since!’
‘X has settled really well and is enjoying learning, playing and making friends. He says how he loved his teachers and they love him which is lovely to hear. He is very confident and happy and it’s wonderful to see him grow and develop.’
‘X is settling well due to feeling safe and loved. The early years staff have ignited a whole new passion for her learning.’
‘I love that my daughter’s teacher engages with my younger child, we all feel very welcome and happy!’
‘My boys have loved the activities especially the bug hunting! X has come home most nights with the actions from phonics and describing the sounds, we love this school!’
‘X has enjoyed being active and the outdoor area. She came home and wrote her name with only one letter incorrectly written, this is amazing!’
‘Transition was really positive. I love that the teachers started reading early on as my child is loving it!’
‘The stay and play session helped a lot. As a child with no known peers coming up, it helped us learn some names and helped her confidence.’
‘The early years staff feel genuinely loving towards the children. Greeting them with warmth every day. My child says ‘I am loved at school!’