In an Infant School there are two Key Stages and at Oakwood we ensure there is continuity and progression not only within but also between each key stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage is for Year R children [ages 4-5] and Key Stage 1 is for Year 1 and 2 children [ages 5-7].
The Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage there are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational programmes in early years settings, including the Reception year at Infant Schools. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas are:
- communication and language;
- physical development; and
- personal, social and emotional development.
There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world; and
- expressive arts and design.
Children will be given activities and experiences that allow them to develop their skills in:
- Communication and language, giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical development, providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development, helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; forming positive relationships and developing respect for others; developing social skills and learning how to manage their feelings; understanding appropriate behaviour in groups; and having confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy, encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
All children are taught phonics through a systematic phonics scheme called Letters and Sounds. This scheme teaches children to recognise and write phonemes and how to use these to blend for reading and segment for spelling.
At Oakwood children are taught to apply their phonic knowledge and key word recognition though whole class and group guided reading sessions. They are given the opportunity to practice their reading through our home school reading books. These incorporate a range of recommended reading schemes, such as Oxford Reading Tree, Nelson Thornes and Collins. The books are colour banded together according to the different stages of reading.
All children are also taught the correct letter formation using a cursive handwriting style through formal handwriting sessions.
- Mathematics, providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the world, guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design, enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
- These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The Year R teachers will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. The Early Years curriculum is designed to be flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique needs and interests. Children in the Early Years learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
A typical day in Year R
No two days are the same in Year R but here are some of the activities your child will engage with:
|Registration||A time to come together as a class at the beginning of the day and after lunch|
|Milk and Fruit||A social time, where children learn to share and use their manners|
|Direct teaching||Whole class and group teaching sessions, including phonics, reading, writing and mathematics|
|Enhanced activities||Tasks and choice activities covering all the areas of learning|
|Continuous provision||The opportunity for children to direct themselves to resources and activities on their own or with friends|
|Story time||A favourite time of the day, with maybe the opportunity to act and join in|
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 1 starts when the children leave the Early Years at the end of Year R and covers Year 1 and 2. In Key Stage 1 the children follow the National Curriculum.