Our Foundation Stage is a very friendly and supportive team who value creating well-rounded children. We do our best to make everyone welcome, making the transition from home to school as smooth as possible. It is important to us that children feel safe; and that they enjoy positive experiences in an engaging, curiosity-led environment. With a range of activities on offer we encourage children to explore and experience them all. We love watching them thrive and grow in confidence and independence.
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.
We enhance the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ for each child by providing numerous opportunities to explore our indoor, outdoor and Forest School environments and to be creative proactive learners, encouraging them to think critically and solve problems. At Holywell, we pride ourselves on offering children regular access to the outdoors gaining real life experiences in the outdoor environment. Nursery Reception have access to a shared outdoor area that is accessible all day throughout the year. We are also extremely fortunate to have two sites set on the Waseley Hills, Foundation Stage children have weekly access to the sites are able to learn new skills from den building, bow sawing cooking yummy food on the campfire.
Throughout the Foundation Stage we give great emphasis on oracy and as such the development of the children’s speaking and listening skills are at the heart of all we do. We always want to hear their ideas and opinions whilst also encouraging them to take a moment to listen to each other too. A unique way we do this is through our regular visits from Merryn the therapy dog. It fosters the nurture side of our curriculum as well as another opportunity for speaking and listening.
To develop a love of reading, we encourage the children to take books and Nursery Rhymes home to share with their families. In class, we have a rhyme and story of the week which we repeat daily. Our aim is to give the children a bank of rhymes and stories they are familiar with and can talk about independently.
Throughout the Foundation Stage the children develop their skills through play… it is our superpower to learning!
We base our day around a free flow system where children can initiate their own learning and develop their interests both indoors and outdoors. However, we also have ‘focus activities’ where children are supported by the adults in the setting to develop specific skills and knowledge.
The classroom has clearly defined zones to support their learning and interests. We have a reading tent, a construction area, a curiosity corner, a role play area, an outdoor area and a studio area.
We focus greatly upon the Personal, Social and Emotional Development of each child, encouraging them to work and play together in all our environments. We encourage independence by ensuring that all the resources are freely accessible to the children and can be tidied away easily.
The Foundation Stage curriculum extends into Reception class where we continue to build the stepping stones the children require to carry on their learning journey.
The 7 areas of learning are covered in Reception: Personal, Social and Emotional; Physical; Communication and Language; Literacy; Maths; Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Expressive Arts and Design. The indoor and outdoor environments provide opportunities for the children to access all 7 aspects of the curriculum.
Throughout the day we have discreet phonics and number groups, as well as time dedicated to Kinetic Letters our fun and active way for our children to learn to form their letters. The other areas of learning are delivered through a child centred, curiosity approach. We get to know our children well and use their interests and favourite topics and build the curriculum around these themes.
Our passionate staff work hard to develop strong relationships with our children and their families. We look forward to working with you and welcoming you to Holywell Foundation Stage.
To find out more about the early years curriculum and what to expect, have a read of the following document: