By Miss Rachel, Nursery Teacher and EYFS Leader
In my role as Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Leader I have recently updated the EYFS Action Plan. This specifically relates to the Nursery and Reception classes and I’d like to share some of the information from this document with you.
1) Development of outdoor environments
You may have already noticed that the EYFS team have been working alongside the children to redevelop the outdoor environments, which now consist of new and improved water, music, mud kitchen, construction, gardening and small world areas. We are constantly researching new ‘outdoor’ ideas online, including visiting other settings for inspiration, which ties in with our professional development. Heather Wardle, Head of Early Years at Forest Preparatory School (one of our sister Bellevue Schools) recently visited our setting and stated that the Nursery outdoor area was ‘exemplary.’ If you have any thoughts on how we can improve our outdoor environments, please feel free to share them with us.
2) Additional 1:1 focussed sessions
The children in the Early Years are taught through guided and shared ‘intensive’ class and group teaching sessions, in addition to targeting their needs and challenging them further through child initiated play. In the Nursery, we have recently been trialling 1:1 focussed sessions with individual children as we feel it is imperative to focus on each child’s specific needs, helping them produce their best work in their ‘new book.’ This initiative has been extremely successful, and many prospective parents visiting the setting have commented on the high standards of work and how they liked the idea of children having additional 1:1 time. This area of development is now being trialled in Reception as well.
3) Development of IT skills
Globally, the importance of Media and Technology is significantly increasing. At Brabyns we recognise this, with timetabled Computing sessions across the Early Years. The Nursery Children in particular were very excited and felt ‘grown up’ visiting the Computer Suite to develop their computing skills.
4) Development of speech, language and social skills
We will shortly be conducting our own Brabyns EYFS ‘speech groups,’ using the ‘Black Sheep Press’ scheme which is a very effective way of supporting and developing individual children. These sessions will run regularly and will help individual children develop their speech, language and social skills. Great emphasis will be placed on developing vocabulary and word level, confidence, speech sounds, understanding and narrative. The sessions will consist of small groups and children will be chosen selectively, according to their needs. The scheme ties in nicely with the ‘Phase One Letters and Sounds’ programme.
5) Development of handwriting
This year a lot of emphasis has been placed on writing in both classes. The Kindergarten children are currently learning Phase 2 Phonics; some children have already progressed onto Phase 3. We have put a lot of focus on making sure the children are forming their letters correctly. The children play daily interactive whiteboard phonics games to help them develop their segmenting and blending skills further. This is helping to prepare the children for the subsequent class. In Reception, we are focussing on promoting independent, child initiated writing across all areas of learning in both the indoor and outdoor environment. This stands the children in good stead for when they enter Year 1.
6) EYFS policy updates
During the short time I have been at Brabyns, I have updated the ‘Indoor and Outdoor Risk Assessment’ document (in line with the development of our outdoor spaces), in addition to the ‘EYFS Behaviour Policy’ and ‘EYFS Policy.’ If you wish to see these documents, they are displayed in the Nursery classroom on the ‘Parent Board.’
Thank you to all parents for your continued support.