Early Years Foundation Stage

Nursery - Lauren Child Class

Nursery’s class name takes its inspiration from Lauren Child, author of the ‘Charlie & Lola’ books, who demonstrates great linguistic intelligence. She knows just how to communicate with words in a way that children love & connect with.

Reception - Quentin Blake Class

Quentin Blake shows outstanding artistic intelligence. The illustrator of hundreds of books, including those by Roald Dahl, he has the great gift of being able to express meaning and feelings in his pictures with a few quick strokes of his pen.

Our Learning

We love learning in the foundation stage. Sometimes we learn with our teachers in our own classrooms but for most of the time we can mix & learn together, Nursery & Reception children, inside & outside too.

Click here for Nursery Termly Overview

Click here for Reception Nursery Overview

Our Themes

Just like in the rest of the school, we have a different theme each term & all our learning happens around that theme. In the autumn term our theme is Me & My Family; we look at different festivals & why & how we celebrate them. Our spring term theme is called Me & My World; we make & play with toys & buildings especially this term. Finally, the summer term is all about Growing Up; we look at how different creatures like minibeasts move & learn all about lots of kinds of transport. We also start to get ready for when we move classes in September.

The 7 Areas of Learning

What’s different about the foundation stage is that we have 7 main areas of learning that we think are important; 3 of them are especially important for igniting children’s curiosity & enthusiasm for learning & for setting them up to be able to make friendships & learn more. These are called the 3 Prime Areas & include:

  • Communication & language
  • Physical development and
  • Personal, social & emotional development

The other 4 areas are called the Specific Areas through which the Prime Areas are strengthened & applied. They are:

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

We learn in all of the 7 areas every day, often all at the same time! Below is a short explanation of what each area means:

The 3 Prime Areas

We know how important it is to be able to communicate with each other and share our ideas. We love listening to stories and rhymes together and retelling stories we know. There’s language everywhere you look & all sorts of activities & role play to develop our speaking & listening skills.

We love being active. All our snacks are healthy and we enjoy finding out what happens to us when we exercise with each other. We learn to use our big muscles in order to use our small muscles. Playing football, using the climbing frame and riding our bikes will help us to develop our fine motor skills. This is essential for us, as we need to be able to hold pencils and pens firmly in order to begin writing and drawing.

Our Foundation Stage is a very exciting, happy and safe place to be. We love sharing and celebrating our learning together and we can all help each other to explore and grow. We can decide what we want to learn about, select our own tools and talk about what we are learning to do. We know how to care for ourselves and others, including eating healthy foods and making safe choices. We feel confident to try new things and we make lots of friends. We learn to take turns; think about others’ needs and talk about how we feel. We know that we are special and loved.

The 4 Specific Areas

There are lots of mark-making and writing opportunities in all the activities we explore. We have lots of books and labels that we can choose to read, both indoors and outside. We love to share books and to make our own. Every day, we practise our letters and sounds so that we can become even better readers and writers.

There are so many different ways we love to learn about numbers, shape, size and counting. We explore and talk about our ideas all the time, both outdoors and indoors. We enjoy finding patterns, sorting and matching using lots of different large and small objects. We love singing number songs together and counting with each other. We like to recognise lots of different numbers around us and we can challenge each other with fun problem-solving games, like smarties investigations.

We are encouraged to ask lots of questions and we get excited finding out about new things or exploring areas we find fascinating. We love everything to do with computers, including taking digital photos, loading our favourite games and tools, recording our voices and playing with our remote control toys. Our digging area is very popular and we often find mini-beasts to draw and identify. We learn all about ourselves and our families, and what other people think about too. We like to build large structures using lots of different materials and talk about our ideas together.

There are so many ways to explore our creative skills and use our imaginations. We love to paint, collage, make junk models, build sculptures, sew and design structures. Each term, we celebrate and explore the work of a famous artist, which inspires us to create art using the same techniques and materials. We dance and sing for each other on our performance stage and during whole school events. During cooking activities, we follow recipes and make delicious food to share with our friends.

Forest School

We are really lucky at Bygrove as we have a Forest School which we get to attend once a week.  We travel to a woodland area close to school and take part in unique educational experiences which embed our ability to work as a team and take part in hands–on learning experiences which develop our confidence and self-esteem.  Forest School helps us build a better understanding of the world and gives us confidence which is not achieved in the classroom by taking risks in a safe, natural environment.