What We Teach
We follow the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (DfE, 2012) framework, providing an active learning environment for our children. We encourage the children to develop their independence and expand their social and emotional development using a play-based approach.
The EYFS recognises that there are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning: Playing and exploring, Active learning and Creating and thinking critically. Here at Stamford Junior School these characteristics form the basis of our approach and provide a foundation for the Stamford Endowed Schools academic ethos of Independent Learning and Intellectual Curiosity (ILIC).
The EYFS is organized into seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are the three prime areas of learning and development.
Communication, language and literacy development: involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical Development: involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The prime areas provide the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. It is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas. This approach is seamless from Stamford Nursery School into the Reception classes.
Specific Areas of Learning and Development
Literacy: development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, digital media and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics: involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding of the World: 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: 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.
Stamford Junior School have recently invested in and renovated their Reception classes, which are now housed in a purpose designed environment reflecting the principles of the EYFS. The Reception classes and Stamford Nursery School are overseen by a Director of Early Years, which ensures that the principles of early learning are embedded across our Early Years provision. Our children find the transition from Stamford Nursery School to the Reception Classes a natural progression as they visit the Reception Classes during their pre-school year, taking part in Assemblies and enjoying lunches in the Junior School Dining Hall.