The Foundation Stage provides the curriculum framework for practitioners working from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is a distinct phase that provides rich and diverse opportunities for lifelong learning. Our aim is to provide a caring, safe and stimulating environment where every child feels empowered to develop as an independent learner.
Our practitioners will provide opportunities that build upon children’s experiences and interests to enable all children to reach their potential in every aspect of their development.
We recognise that starting school can be a stressful time for both the child and the parent. To support the smooth transition into school we plan to meet the needs of child and their family through an induction programme to enable a happy entry into reception and beyond to ensure ongoing well-being.
At the Aylesbury Vale Academy, we embrace the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012 – revised framework 2014) the principles and commitments. The Early Years Foundation Stage is a statutory document which details the standards for learning, development and care for all children within the Foundation Stage. At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage the children’s learning and achievement will be recorded by completion of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, Characteristics of Effective Learning. We recognise that the characteristics of effective learning as defined in the framework are, Playing and Exploring; Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
We place high importance on developing children’s physical and emotional well-being, through early observation our skilled practitioners create an environment in which all our children can thrive. We recognise that children arrive with a wide range of skills, abilities and particular interests. We understand that each child is a competent learner, so we start from the children, finding out about them before planning experiences to intrigue, challenge and extend their learning.
The provision in nursery and in our reception classes is organised to support the development of the 3 prime areas of learning for children from birth to 5 years old. These are communication and language, physical development; and personal social and emotional development.
By focusing on these areas, children form a firm foundation on which to build future learning and help they develop the skills necessary for developing reading and writing, for understanding of the world and for engaging with the arts and design.
Through a rich choice of play-based activities as well as group and individual learning with teachers and other adults, the children develop the skills of listening and developing language to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings; they develop the skills to control and coordinate their bodies and handle equipment and resources and they develop an awareness of themselves, of others and of their feelings and relationships.
Our Early Years classrooms are designed to enable children to develop independence by accessing high quality resources independently and by quickly establishing strong relationships between staff and pupils and amongst their peers. This emphasis on relationships helps to create a nurturing ethos which complements the strong emphasis on good manners and good behaviour and helps to develop the confidence and well-being that is crucial for children to learn and thrive.
Pupils who are ready to do so begin work on early phonics during the latter part of the nursery year and it is taught daily for all children from reception onwards. The school currently follows the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, initially working in whole class groups in reception before moving into working in groups tailored to each child's ability later in the year.
We recognise the huge contribution parents make to their child’s learning and we work hard to develop and sustain links with parents. We actively encourage parents to be fully involved in their child’s learning through our ‘Proud Clouds’, communication/liaison and regular meetings. Parents are actively encouraged to visit their child’s class and support the learning taking place.
Long-term curriculum plans are available below and more information about topics is published in our curriculum newsletters available from the Communication and Newsletters page. Details about the end of year expectations for nursery and reception as well as information on how to support your child in phonics and other areas of learning are available from our Support for Parents page.