HFS EYFS rationale
We put the individual child at the centre of everything that we do!
We understand that play based learning is the key to successful, happy, confident and resilient learners of the future. We want the children to learn how to think and be creative.
With a system of focus children, a workshop style environment and records kept on spontaneous planning sheets and learning journeys, the children are learning effectively all the time!!
Inputs (or when adults teach key concepts in small or larger groups) happen a number of times throughout the day e.g. maths usually happens for 15/20 minutes straight after lunch and phonics happens in the morning with or after ‘Funky Fingers’. (Fine motor skills development) The majority of this work is practical, hands-on and is not written down. Others areas of the curriculum are also taught through direct input by an adult at various points each week. We forward plan our Inputs based on children’s needs and interests to extend learning on what the children want to find out more, we support them to find information themselves using books or the internet. We do not have focus groups we have focus children.
Focus Children: 4 are chosen as focus children per week, 5/6 times per year. They each have personalised next steps for that week. These are created by adults the week before, either from previous summative assessment, incidental observations from the previous weeks or our own knowledge of the children.
Any interactions that staff have with other children are added to Tapestry. Group activities are recorded on the ‘spontaneous planning’ sheet. This is kept in the class and shows 3 things; what did the adult see, what did the adult teach the child or group, what was the outcome? These are the crucial moments when teaching takes place. They can range from encouraging a child to zip up their own coat or showing a group how to use the timer on the iPad to record their game. These are not planned activities. Here we can see what areas of the curriculum have been covered. These are the interactions that happen all day long in our Early Years.
Parents and carers are encouraged to add to the online profile for their child. Using this forum or class email, parents can correspond with the class teacher to ask for advice and support for their child. Parents may also share significant family events for the children to explain for ‘Show and Tell’.
We believe our environment is the third teacher. We do not put out table-top activities. Adults encourage children to choose what they’d like to do, indoors and out. Children have long sustained time to play. Adults model how to respect, play with and look after our resources. The principle is that resources are accessible to the children and they are varied, open-ended and high quality. This gives children the opportunity to select resources to support their chosen activity. These are available to play with at all times. ‘Tidy up police’ check on peers at the end of each session. While resources are changed periodically (possibly after they’ve been introduced to a focus child or small group) our environment is kept ‘clutter’ free – enabling good tidying and respect for these resources.
After we have completed our summative assessment staff analyse the data and make changes to the overall environment. Staff know that they are showing children how to learn, rather than what to learn.
Adults support early writing through ‘Story Scribing.’ Once or twice a week children’s stories are shared with the class. The class has a ‘toy’, the children take it in turns to take home (once writing is established) and record in a book their time with it. We also have dedicated ‘story time/ super sentence building’ sessions where adults and children work together to develop children’s literacy skills.
Sometimes provocations or invitations to play are added to an area e.g. if the area is not being used that much or to challenge and further children’s knowledge and experiences when an adult is not around.
During the week staff look on the planning board at the next steps for each of the focus children and tailor their interactions accordingly. They challenge and question where appropriate at the level that is right for that child. Adults move the child’s learning forward there and then – ‘in the moment planning.’ We believe all adults are teachers and every interaction is an opportunity for a ‘teachable moment.’ They use the words and guidance set out in OFSTED’s definition of teaching in the Early Years as a touch point for their verbal and written interactions. Some of these observations are collated on Tapestry towards the end of the week in order that parents can share in their child’s learning.
Week ending 12th January 2018
Phonics – we have begun to learn our Phase 3 phonemes and use them to blend and segment words.
This week we have looked at – y, z and ‘qu’
We have also learnt how to write the tricky words – the / to
Whilst learning about bears we have being comparing different heights looking at who is taller and shorter in our class. We then began to compare using a metre ruler to find heights and read the markings.
After the library visit we made a class information book about bears, we talked about how we find out information. We used the school library and the internet to help us find out facts. When using information books we looked at the index to help us find the correct pages to find our facts.
Homework – using the attached sheet please cut out and put the bears into height order, to extend the activity further, the children can if they access to a ruler or tape measure, measure the height of each bear too. Please place homework once completed in the postbox and please remember to add a name.
Welcome - RE Theme
In the class we have been talking about how we are welcomed into school, a nice smile and our teacher says good morning. We had our afternoon tea to welcome our parents into our school family. We also talked about how we are welcomed into God's family. We know that when we are Baptised we become a part of God's family. We role played a baptism and used the special words 'In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Class Newsletter for week ending 6th October 2017
In the month of October we celebrate Mary, mother of Jesus. This week the children have been trying to learn the prayer to Mary and at the same time have told us who they would like to say a prayer for and why that person is special to them.
In our Phonic sessions we have introduced a new vowel phoneme ‘i’ so that we can build a wider variety of words and we have spent this week building words and reviewing the phonemes learnt last week as well as writing them too.
During this week we have set a variety of number challenges and those that have succeeded have been pictured on our Maths Wizard wall. Some of the challenges have been ordering numbers to 10 to make a numberline, reading the numbers on a clock, counting to 20 plus making a teen number with Numicon pieces.
Some reminders for parents please
So far I have just one family who have asked for a paper copy of our class newsletter but from some of the questions from parents I’m not sure that all parents know how to view the class newsletter on our class web page. If you also require a paper copy then let a member of staff know, if you are unsure where to view the class web page then please ask too, thank you.
Week ending 29th September 2017
Thank you to the parents that were able to attend our introduction meeting on Wednesday, I hope it gave you a further insight into our approach to phonics and reading, plus the use of the online journal system.
This week we have begun to introduce some of the Phase 2 phonemes and tried to introduce blending sounds together to read words.
The phonemes we have taught this week are s - a - t - p, we have also tried forming these too. The trickiest part of this was to start in the correct position - the top of each letter ( please refer to the handwriting sheet sent home previously)
Each day we have counted the number of pupils in class a d tried to sort the numbers having different lunches to use the mathematical language of less and more.
For PE we took off shoes and socks and sat in our team groups to change to ensure no shoes or socks were lost. We will try a full PE kit on Tuesday, so please check all clothing and shoes are clearly labelled and continue to practise buttons, zips and also turning clothing the correct way to put on.
We will continue changing library picture books weekly until we have learnt more phonemes , meanwhile please check Bugclub for online e-books and notify staff if you are unable to log in.
In book bags this week I am including our pupil/parent/staff conduct agreement - can they be returned into the class postbox on the gate , thank you.
There is also a permission slip for the online journal for your child, once I have received this I can send out an email to you to set up your individual password. Please note there is a time window to complete this action so follow the email instruction carefully.
Enjoy a restful weekend everyone, there are some very tired children coming home tonight.
The Foundation Team.
PE days are on Monday and Tuesday
Please ensure no ear rings or watches are worn on these days.
Week ending 22nd September 2017
All the pupils should now have a copy of their passwords for our e-book site ‘BugClub’ . There is a school ID code that I missed from the copies and that is ‘ndbs’ to ensure you access the correct book list. Instructions on how to use the site are available on the home page but I will also run through how to use this at our parent meeting next week, Wednesday 27th at 2.30 pm.
The children are beginning to use each other’s names and have all joined a short PE session and visited the hall for whole school assembly.
Can I remind parents that all PE kits will need to be in school ready for next week please, all items of clothing should be named to ensure they can be returned to the correct owner. Our PE sessions will be on a Monday and Tuesday so it would help to have clothing that the children find easy to take off and on independently, this includes shoes too so only laces and buckles if the children can fasten them on their own, thank you. (homework -continue to practise at home please)
Watching the children writing their names we have noticed that many are mixing upper and lower case letters. Please continue to encourage the children to use an uppercase letter at the beginning and then to use lower case letters. We are also trying to teach them to use the correct starting points for their letters so that they will not need to relearn letter formation ready for joined writing in Year 1 and 2.
As the weather is beginning to change can the children bring a coat with them each day please. Many are starting to explore the Mud Kitchen too, for this we ask the children to wear protective clothing of waterproofs and wellingtons. There is a rack to store these in our outdoor classroom for when the children want to be involved in messy or wet playtime. If you are going to send these in to store at school then please ensure they are labelled.
Book bags should also be brought into school each day please, and can I ask that the books are kept in the bag so that we can utilise any opportunity to share books with the children. Reading books are changed weekly assuming there is a written comment from an adult to inform us that the book has been shared with an adult. Later in the year this may increase once other key skills have been developed.
Please can I remind you to help the children make their lunch choice each day using the named pegs from Monday. Children having a packed lunch can place their bag onto the trolley and leave their peg – please make their name visible on the outside of the bag. Please make staff aware of any food allergies or dietary requirements too.
If there is heavy rain in the morning then children will usually come into school via the main foyer so that they wait in the main hall together until school opens. (we will take a dinner register on these days) .
We look forward to seeing the groups come together next week, in the meantime have a lovely weekend and I hope to see many of you next week on Wednesday. I will explain the online learning jounals, BugClub and how we introduce phonics.
Class email address :Foundation@holyfamilyrc.essex.sch.uk
The children have settled into class routines that have been introduced over the week. Some have said hello to the rest of the school in morning assembly and also enjoyed a dance session in the school hall. They have had the opportunity to visit the main playground to integrate with their peers and siblings during morning play and they are now beginning to form new friendships too.
Can I remind everyone to ensure that ALL uniform is clearly labelled please to help us return it to you and so that your child doesn’t become distressed if something does get misplaced.
Routines for books will begin once all initial assessments have been undertaken to establish the base learning points for all the children. In the meantime, children can share some of the class library books or look at using Bugclub (our online e-books), passwords have been put into the yellow reading diary. Once you use the log in details, there is a parent section to view that should explain how this resource may be used.
I have also added a password for our online learning game of Busythings, this covers many aspects of the Early Years Curriculum for the children to explore including Maths and English.
The children have been assigned a school team from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their book bags should be put into the coloured trugs each day please.
Can I invite all parents to an information session on Wednesday 27th September at 2.30pm where I can discuss phonics, use of our Online Journals and how we approach challenges for the children in class.
Please do look at the class page on the main school website as it is here that I will add class photos and any messages for parents too. If you require a paper copy of the class newsletter then please let me know ready for next week, otherwise can I ask you to send an email to the class address so that I know you are happy to view this from the website instead.
Homework – We have enclosed a laminated sheet showing the letter formation to help with name writing, on the reverse is also a copy of the phonemes/sounds we will cover this term with the class from Phase 2. At present we are playing games from Phase 1 to develop good listening and sound distinction skills.
Have a lovely weekend everyone
The Foundation Team
Welcome to the Foundation Class
As the rest of the school begin their new year at Holy Family, the Foundation teachers will be making home visits during the first week to renew acquaintances with the children. We will also answer any last minute questions about the start of school after the Summer break. This is an important transition for you and your child and we want to help make it as calm and happy as possible for everyone.
PE sessions are on Mondays and Tuesdays this term and we will begin these in the first full time weeks starting on 25th September. For these sessions it would be helpful for children, if wearing winter uniform, to wear short sleeves and for no top buttons to be done up. However during the part time weeks we will practise changing for PE and following routines so a named PE kit will be needed as soon as possible please, especially by the second week. PE kits will then remain in school for the whole half term and will be returned for laundering in the holiday.
A reminder that (for Group 1 on 15th September, Group 2 on 22nd September ) the children are invited to stay with us for their lunch to end their week. Notify us of the menu choice as the children enter school on the Friday morning session or please can children bring lunch in a named bag along with a flask/bottle of still juice or water.
On these Friday lunch sessions please can you collect the children at 12.15 from the class gate, thank you.