Early Years Foundation Stage

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework, which sets the statutory standards for the development, learning and care of children from birth to five years. You can find further information on the Foundation Years website. We use Development Matters to help plan, assess and observe children in order to support their development.

At the end of the Reception year, we carry out a statutory assessment of all children using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.  The EYFS profile is intended to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of each child’s development in the Summer term of reception. It is made up of an assessment of the child’s outcomes in relation to the 17 early learning goal (ELG) descriptors. Practitioners are expected to use their professional judgement to make these assessments, based on their knowledge and understanding of what the child knows, understands, and can do. The results of this assessment are reported to parents and carers in their child’s annual school report and to the Local Authority. For each ELG, teachers must judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS (expected) or not yet reaching this level (emerging).

We teach phonics using the RWI scheme from the very beginning of Reception, following the additional RWI Guidance, ‘Making a Strong Start’. Please refer to a specific section for RWI on our school website, found under Subjetcs/Phonics.

Here at Marshwood Primary we have a thematic approach to the curriculum in Reception, meaning we develop children’s skills through half termly themes such as ‘Things that Grow’ and ‘Celebrations’. We tailor our curriculum around the children’s individual interests and needs as well as tying in with the Key Stage 1 curriculum in our mixed-age class. Our planning is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning. We also join in with the whole school Christian core values each half term using age-appropriate activities.

The Reception staff keep ongoing learning journeys of each child through Tapestry which are available for parents and carers to view online. As an Early Years Team across our Trust, we now categorise observations using hashtags, e.g. #GG or #CI to show whether an activity was guided or child initiated. We also use a hashtag for each area of learning, e.g. #maths, #literacy, #UW on so on. We also encourage parents and carers to add Tapestry observations of their child, as we understand what a significant part parents and carers play in their child’s early learning and development. When completing an observation, we ask that parents and carers include #homelearning within their observation. Clicking on a specific hashtag allows staff to view the progression of a child’s skills in a specific area of learning, over time.

Tapestry Hashtags

Within the first six weeks of your child starting in Reception, they will complete a Reception Baseline Assessment, (RBA), one to one with their class teacher. The RBA is a short, interactive and practical assessment of a child’s early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills when they begin school, using materials that most children of Reception age will be familiar with. It became statutory for all schools from September 2021. Its main purpose is to create a starting point to measure the progress schools make with their pupils between reception and year 6 / the end of key stage 2.

Homework is introduced in Reception. This predominantly relates to practising phonics at home, using the sound cards that they will bring home as they are learnt, and to read and re-read their RWI books as regularly as they can. We also encourage you to share books with your child at home. In Reception, your child will choose a school library book to bring home every week. Reading to children is the best way of encouraging them to love books and reading. By reading stories aloud to children every day, you are forming a link for them between reading, comfort and love.

The Reception staff are always happy to talk to you about your child’s learning, so if you have any questions please ask.