Information for New Parents
Learning in the Foundation Stage
At Cockwood Primary School we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This curriculum is based upon four themes and principles;
- Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments – 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 carers.
- Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning in the Foundation Stage framework curriculum.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In the Foundation year children continue to build on their home, nursery and pre school experiences and learning. There continues to be a strong emphasis on developing children’s skills in the 3 Prime Areas. As these areas of learning become more fully embedded there is a further focus on the Specific Areas of Learning, including reading, writing and maths.
Our Foundation children share a class with Year 1 pupils, but the class is excellently equipped with both age and developmentally appropriate resources to meet the individual children’s needs. The Year 1 children enjoy supporting our youngest children as they quickly settle into school routines, and act as wonderful role models demonstrating kindness, patience and a helping hand.
We strive to ensure that our youngest children receive their entitlement to a free flow enabling environment that supports both indoors and outdoor learning through both adult led and child initiated activities, whilst enabling our Year 1 children to build on their early experiences and develop their learning skills in a more structured environment that meets these needs.
What sort of things will children learn during the Foundation Stage?
In the Prime Areas children will learn to:-
- Share, take turns and develop respect for each other.
- Make friends and become confident independent learners.
- Behave appropriately when playing with others.
- Listen to others and understand spoken language.
- Learn new words rapidly and use them in conversations.
- Join in conversations with adults and children.
- Develop control of their bodies using both large scale movements such as running and jumping, and small scale movements such as holding pencils and using scissors.
In the Specific Areas children will learn to:-
- Enjoy sharing books and stories with adults and friends.
- Read words and simple sentences (Foundation children).
- Draw, make marks, write letters and words.
- Count accurately groups of objects and recognise numerals.
- Add, subtract and problem solve during practical activities.
- Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, distance, time and money.
- Look closely at how things work, why things happen, living things and the natural world.
- Use ICT equipment, e.g. programmable toys and computers.
- Be imaginative, sing songs, dance and create fantastic models, drawings and paintings.
What will children do during their school day?
Your child will take part in a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. Your child will learn through activities he or she has chosen, or from those that are led by an adult. They will develop their ability to concentrate in small guided group activities, in which they will learn and practice their phonics, read, writing and maths skills. Children in the Foundation Stage learn through play based activities that are fun and enjoyable. These activities are supported by caring adults who will work closely with you to ensure your child makes progress. We keep careful records for each child to monitor their progress, celebrate their achievements and identify their next steps in their Learning Journey book. This record is directly linked to the Development Matters in the Foundation Stage Guidance. Parents are actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s Learning Journey books through WOW slips and sharing of their child’s learning steps and achievements at home. You will also be invited to join us in Class 3 for open sessions to see how we support your child in their learning and play. These sessions take place in the late Autumn, Spring and Summer terms once the children are settled, as we recognise how difficult extended separation can be for both parents and children in the early days.
What will your child need for school each day?
Your child will need the following things in school every day. Please support them in organising their belongings by ensuring everything is clearly named, and checking periodically in case names have worn off!
- A healthy snack for morning break (fruit, dried fruit, bread sticks, cereal bar, rice cake; NO NUTS OR PEANUT BUTTER PLEASE to ensure we keep any children with allergies safe)
- A water bottle
- A book bag with their reading book and reading record book (this will be provided when your child joins our school)
- A PE bag with their coloured house t shirt, shorts / joggers and trainers (brought to school on Monday and sent home on Friday)
- A coat
How you can help your child
- Encourage and praise them for both their efforts and their achievements so that they feel successful and proud of themselves
- Support them in practising their sounds and reading at home, and in their wider home learning as they move up through Cockwood School
- Write in the reading contact book; this shows your child that reading is valued by you and is an invaluable way of sharing learning experiences between home and school.
- Come into school whenever you can, such as assemblies, parent lunch days, school fairs, open sessions, sports days and forest school days to name a few. Children really love to see you in school
- Take time to share a book with them – take them to the library regularly. Talk about what they are reading at school.
- Encourage good manners and respect at all times to everyone in and out of school
- Encourage them to take care of their belongings and respect things that belong to others
- Support your child in developing a Have a Go attitude, and to develop the skill of perseverance so that they can become resilient learners
How you can help your school
- Ensure that all contact information is up to date
- Make sure that we are aware of any medical problems
- Let us know immediately if you child is absent
- Let us know if you have a change in home circumstances – this information will be kept confidential, but enables us to understand and support your child’s emotional well being
- Make sure your child is in school on time every day
- Send your child into school in the correct school uniform
- Send your child in with their PE kits
- Ensure that reading books are in school daily, and communicate how your child is getting on with their home reading or home learning through the record book
- Make sure that everything is named clearly
- Check your child’s hair regularly
- If there is a change in the person collecting your child, please let us know!
Parents in School
When families support their children with their learning they make better progress, so we are very keen to get you involved in school life wherever possible. We encourage parents to bring their child into their classroom each morning to support them in putting their snacks and drinks bottles away, choosing what they would like from the daily dinner menu, and settling to play, but please leave by 8.55am so that we can start our day. As children become more settled we encourage them to go out onto the playground with their friends once they have done their morning jobs; a member of the Class 3 team will be outside to be with them. Newsletters will keep you up to date with all that is happening at Cockwood School, and will be shared with you by email and hard copies, so please take time to read these and note down any important dates! If you would like to support in school as a helper with something such as outdoor learning, gardening, hearing readers, sharing stories or arts and craft, please do get in touch. We ask all adults who support in school to complete a DBS check through our school office, but are always happy to receive extra help as this enhances our provision for your children.
At Cockwood Primary School we strive to work closely with each child’s family to ensure that we are working together to support every child’s learning journey. We appreciate that school is a long- unfamiliar place for many parents, and are keen to help you feel comfortable joining our school family, and to feel supported as parents. The Class 3 (EYFS and Year 1) Team will always do their best to make time to speak with you at the start or end of the school day regarding any concerns or worries you may have; please do come and talk to us. If we cannot address an issue straight away we will arrange a time when we can discuss things in greater depth with you. If your home or family are going through a difficult time, or change in circumstances, please do let us know. It will remain confidential within the school team, and enables us to be aware of any additional emotional support your child may need, and to be more sensitive and understanding of any behavioural changes.
The following links may provide you with some useful information prior to your child joining us at Cockwood School. If you don’t find the support you need, please do come and speak with us and we will endeavour to help.
- A Guide To Toilet Training
- Dump the Dummy
- How to help your child with shoelaces and cutlery
- How to help your child with planning and organising their movements
- How to help your child with pre-writing skills
- How to help your child with balancing
- How to help your child using scissors
- How to help your child to coordinate the two sides of their body together
- Helping your child with play and hand skills at around the 3 to 5 year level