Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. 

Reception classes have been planned to provide a happy and secure environment where your child can learn and develop by following the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The new curriculum was introduced in September 2012. The emphasis is on the three prime areas of learning which are Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional and Physical Development. These three areas are taught through the four specific areas which are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Emphasis is laid on the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which are playing and exploring active learning and creating and thinking critically; the ways in which your child learns.

Communication and Language:  This area is divided into three sub-areas; listening and attention, understanding and speaking. Your child will listen to a variety of stories, poems and rhymes and be encouraged to participate and ask questions. Teachers will encourage children to extend their vocabulary and speak within small groups. 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Children will explore their own feelings and those of others. They will be encouraged to become confident within the classroom setting accessing equipment and resources independently. Behaviour expectations will be introduced and children will become familiar with routines and rules of the classroom.

Physical development: Children will become aware of their own space and learn to move with control and coordination. They will have access to a variety of tools and learn to use these safely. Children will learn to hold a pencil correctly and use it to form recognisable letters. Children will learn about the importance of keeping healthy including eating and sleeping habits. They will recognise the changes that happen to their bodies following exercise.

Literacy: This area incorporates both reading and writing. Your child will learn letter sounds and names and use these when reading and writing. They will form letters correctly. Children will be encouraged to write labels, captions and short sentences using their phonic knowledge.

Numeracy: At Castilion, we believe that mathematics should be an enjoyable and exciting activity.  In the reception class children undertake practical tasks which involve matching, sorting and counting.  As they progress through the school they will be involved in both practical and more formal activities.   At all ages they are encouraged to choose the equipment necessary to solve problems, to talk about their work, to explain their findings and to record their work in writing, through graphs and in tables.

Understanding of the world: This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design: This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

In Nursery and Reception, we follow children’s interests to offer them a stimulating and engaging curriculum. We use these interests to teach the 7 areas of learning described above. Children are continually assessed through observations and focus groups and the provision supplied is a result of this assessment.

We have 60 Reception places and a total of 52 Nursery places (26 morning and 26-afternoon places).

Tapestry - An Online Learning Journal: At Castilion we use the Tapestry online system to record your child's learning in Nursery and Reception

Using a piece of educational software called 'Tapestry' every child in the Early Years at Castilion will have their own individual learning journal. By logging on with a secure username and password you will be able to access your child's journal. You will be able to access your child's journal/ You are able to access your child's learning journey via a web browser or via the Tapestry App (Apple and Android). Parents are only able to view their own child's journal and all information is stored on a highly secure server, which is monitored closely.

Please see below for our Tapestry Welcome Letter which contains more information.