So your child has just started school and you’ve had about a week, give or take a few days, for them to get used to the new routine. They come home talking about what they have done during the day. It all sounds quite familiar: they’ve played in the sand and water, with the cars, build and knocked over a tower, sung a song or two. It sounds like fun! But..what are they learning? Should you be doing anything to help? Where are the Maths/English/Science lessons? Don’t panic! It’s all pretty simple once you get the hang of it!
Basically, the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is broken up into 7 areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development e.g taking turns, sharing, relationship building, developing confidence.
Communication and Language e.g following instructions, listening skills, expressing ideas and using different tenses when talking.
Physical Development e.g learning about healthy diet and exercise, handling different types of equipment and tools such as those used for writing, developing co ordination of movement.
Literacy e.g using phonics to read straightforward words, read simple sentences, use phonics to write words and sentences.
Mathematics e.g counting with numbers up to 20, begin to recognise simple patterns, describe shapes and objects using mathematical language.
Understanding the World e.g make observations of animals and plants, recognise similarities and differences between communities and objects, talk about events in their own lives and families.
Expressive Arts and Design e.g experiment with songs, music and dance, use art, music, role-play, dance and stories to represent ideas.
Over the course of a week, the EYFS teachers and team will set up various activities designed to give the children opportunities to experience all of these different areas, and will assess the children from a distance as they play and explore. The children will, in all likelihood have no idea that they are working on different key areas, and this is exactly as should be in Reception. The curriculum is mostly based on play and giving the children time and space to explore their worlds!
So, in a nutshell, the only things you might want to do at home are exactly what you are probably already doing! Reading stories, talking to your children about their day and enjoying the new discoveries and facts about the world that they’ll be delighted to tell you. It’s a wonderful year – enjoy it!