Foundation Stage Unit

Welcome to St. Martins Early Years Foundation Stage.

Our EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) consists of:

This is for Nursery children from the term that they turn 3 – 4 years old.

This is for our Reception children starting their first year in school aged 4-5 years old.

At St Martin’s we strive to give every child the opportunity to grow and develop into successful life long learners. We believe that children thrive when they feel happy, safe and secure and as such we work in partnership with families and carers to provide nurturing and stable relationships to help each child flourish in those early years. We have an open door policy and use the Class Dojo app to communicate effectively and efficiently.  We hold termly workshops to promote and encourage a shared understanding of how children learn and what parents & carers can do to continue this learning at home.

Our school recognises the importance and power of play and we place it at the heart of everything we do. We know that children learn best when given opportunities to be creative, imaginative, take risks and to collaborate within a framework of open ended play. This learning through play is scaffolded and supported by our skilled practitioners.

We place great pride in our school environment and use our extensive facilities to offer exciting opportunities to our children. Inside our classroom you can expect to find lots of ‘fascination traps’ open ended play opportunities, designed to fascinate, inspire and invite children to explore resources in their own way. Skilled practitioners will use their knowledge and understanding of the EYFS to support and challenge your children through play and record these observations on Tapestry  which is shared with parents. 

We also have designated outdoor spaces which your child will always have access to where they are able to create a delicious concoction in the mud kitchen, dig for treasure in the digging pit, explore sand and water, go on a minibeast hunt, become an architect with our giant wooden blocks and much more! We have weekly access to a beautiful forest school area, and the school hall, which we will use to support children’s physical development.

We are reflective in our practise and are always striving to deliver the very best provision for all our children.  One of our most recent initiatives has been Shoeless Learning. This has been so successful that we now have shoeless learning throughout the whole of Phase One.

Our curriculum focuses on 7 main areas of learning.  

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This is one of the three prime areas that we focus on in EYFS – the ability to share, negotiate and make friends with your peers is one of the most tricky things to learn! By providing children with an exciting and stimulating environment to play in, and thoughtful and caring practitioners, we aim to support your child with this area, all day every day.

Communication and Language

Another prime area, we play listening games and activities to support this essential lifelong skill. All of our practitioners have received additional training to support speech and language and we work closely with external agencies such as speech and language therapists to ensure our children leave our Foundation Stage with a secure knowledge of phonics and well developed speaking and listening skills.

Physical Development

Our final prime area also supports children’s development into healthy well-rounded learners. Children have plenty of opportunities to practise and hone their gross motor skills and fine motor skills in nearly all the activities they take part in. The children take part in weekly hall sessions where they can use the big equipment as well as access to our beautiful forest school to support their gross motor movements. 

Literacy

Reading and writing form the foundation of our education system, and as a result at St Martin’s we use a story-telling curriculum to promote a love of books and stories. Children will be encouraged to learn stories off by heart and will have a chance to explore and play with props to support their story telling skills, even at this young age.

For more information please click ‘Language and Literacy in Phase 1’

Maths

Children are born with an innate sense of number, and we harness this at St Martin’s in a variety of ways, using our provision, games with adults, counting games, stories and rhymes. Children will be encouraged to explore number, inside and outside, in the classroom and the forest, ensuring that they can see that maths is everywhere. 

Understanding the World

Making sense of the world around them is an important part of a child’s development and at St Martin’s we strive to give children a range of experiences to learn from and grow. Parents and carers are invited in to help with this, be it to tell us about their hobby or job or bring in pets babies and everything in between!

Expressive Arts and Design

Developing and supporting children’s creativity is one of the joys of St Martin’s nursery. Painting, making, role play and small world all feature prominently in our environment and presented in a way that children can’t wait to get stuck in. 

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