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Luddington & Garthorpe Primary

EYFS information

Principles of EYFS

EYFS header

The four principles of the EYFS are:

  1. Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
     
  2. Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships 
     
  3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
     
  4. Children embrace learning and development in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Phase 1 Phonics

Early phonics teaching in pre-school, nursery and at the start of Reception focuses on developing children’s listening skills.

In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:

  • Environmental sounds
  • Instrumental sounds
  • Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)
  • Rhythm and rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Voice sounds
  • Oral blending and segmenting (e.g. hearing that d-o-g makes ‘dog’)

Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.

This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.

Phase 2 Phonics

In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make (phonemes). There are 44 sounds in all. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the 19 most common single letter sounds. ‘These are broken down into smaller sets of about six sounds to make them more achievable for children to learn,’ says Sara.

Although the order in which sounds are taught will depend on which scheme your child’s school follows, usually, they will learn the most commonly used phonemes first, starting with: /s/, /a/, /t/, /i/, /p/, /n/.

By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words and to spell them out. They also learn some high frequency 'tricky words' like ‘the’ and ‘go.’ 

 

Phase 3 Phonics

Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. There are around 25 of these, depending on which scheme is followed, mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /ow/ and /ee/. ‘We need these sounds to be able to read and form useful words,’ says Sara.

Alongside this, children are taught to recognise more tricky words, including ‘me,’ ‘was,’ ‘my,’ ‘you’ and ‘they’. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make. Activities might include learning mnemonics (memory aids) for tricky words, practising writing letters on mini whiteboards, using word cards and singing songs like the Alphabet Song.

Phase 3 takes most children around 12 weeks. By the end, they should be able to say the sound made by most, or all, Phase 2 and 3 graphemes, blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes, read 12 new tricky words and write letters correctly when given an example to copy.

Maths

Maths is one of the four specific areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each specific area is divided into Early Learning Goals, for maths these are:

  • Numbers - children learn to count and the value of numbers, higher and lower. These skills support them to solve problems, use money and calculate more or less.
  • Shape, Space and Measure - these skills support children to understand size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money and compare quantities, objects and solve problems.

All children participate in maths activities daily. The sessions are practical and fun and are designed specifically for the age and ability of the children. Reception and Nursery children do mix in these sessions. We ensure that maths is a focus throughout the curriculum and throughout the day. For example, counting how many children are in school and comparing more and less.

English

Reading and Writing makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Reading's Early Learning Goal is:

  • Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
  • Writing - children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
  • Moving and handling - children show good control and coordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
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