Early Years

Welcome to EYFS at Black Horse Hill

At Black Horse Hill Infant School, our Foundation Stage is an exciting, vibrant place to learn. We provide high quality care and education for all our Early Years Foundation Stage children. As children join our Foundation Stage, we focus on building secure, positive relationships so that the children feel safe, happy and cared for. If our children are happy, then they achieve more.

Our children have lots of fun learning and develop academic and character skills in line with our school values. They explore through play and independent learning. Our children are excited to come into school every day and find out what they will be learning about. We recognise that young children learn best by 'doing' and by being active, and this is reflected in all aspects of our teaching. We aim to give our children the best possible start to their education.

The Foundation Stage at Black Horse Hill Infant School consists of Foundation One (F1/Pre-School) and Foundation Two (F2 or Reception) . There is currently an F1 class, providing up to 30hours provision per week with a full time teacher and one F2 (Reception) classes. Foundation Stage staff work closely together to ensure teaching and learning is lively and progressive across the whole of the Foundation Stage. Children in F1 become familiar with the school routines and get to know the F2 teachers, ready for the transition into Foundation Two. There is a consistent approach across the Foundation Stage which leads to a smooth transition when starting full time school and similar routines being followed. 

Our Curriculum - We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The curriculum consists of 7 areas of equal importance:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Our environment has been carefully planned by skilled EYFS teachers and Teaching Assistants. The provision, indoors and outdoors reflects both our children’s interests and carefully planned, teacher led, fun and challenging activities. We provide motivating and enjoyable learning experiences for all our children. This enables them to become confident, enthusiastic, resilient and independent learners.

The children in our Foundation Stage have access to practical activities to support their learning. They learn indoors and outdoors daily, whatever the weather. There is a distinction between indoor and outdoor learning. Outdoors, the children are encouraged to use their imagination and staff are led by the children’s interests. Children are taught discretely outdoors and staff often use questions to challenge the children and move their learning forwards. Their progress is monitored and attainment is measured. Outdoors is designed with an emphasis on physical development. There is usually a mix of gross motor skills – a small climbing wall, large cubes to negotiate, vehicles and a variety of PE type equipment and fine motor skills for the children to use. Literacy and Maths activities often take place outside too, for example, searching for a Gruffalo, counting 10 leaves and sticks or practising letter formation with chalk on the trees.

Indoors, the children are taught by a teacher and will be expected to participate in sitting, listening and responding appropriately, as part of a class, for a short period of time to begin with. This period of time spent learning is built up throughout the year. They are taught Literacy, Maths, phonics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design as part of a whole class. Children are then encouraged to consolidate the knowledge and skills they have been taught in the Areas of learning around the classroom.

Every classroom contains areas of learning that include –
Reading, Writing and Mark Making, Role-Play and Imaginative Activities, Construction, Small World, Creative and Art Activities, ICT and Maths. The children are encouraged to use all these areas. Once the children have learnt to access these areas confidently, teachers then enhance these areas and set up new challenges for the children. These challenges may be a particular skills challenge or an adult asking questions to further your child’s development.

We recognise that all children develop at varying rates and we value every child as an individual and work alongside parents and carers to ensure your child is challenged and encouraged in the most appropriate and individualised way. This ensures all children are able to reach their full potential.

Parents / carers are invited to a Parent-Teacher meeting in the Autumn and Spring terms to talk about their child's progress and give ideas for how to help at home. In the summer term a detailed report will be sent out that evaluates your child's achievement in each of the 7 areas of learning as described above. We also invite parents to meetings, showing how to help your child at home in particular areas such as mathematics or reading. Many parents find it useful to see how and what we teach.

We are very proud of our Foundation Stage, and we hope that your child thrives here. Have a look at the Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 information pages on this website if you would like to get a fuller picture of what we do. We value strong partnerships with all our families and look forward to working with you and your child.

If you have any questions, or would like to have a tour of the Foundation Stage classes and meet the staff, please contact Mrs Julie Morris, Headteacher, or Mrs Sarah Lucan, Foundation Stage Leader, and we will be pleased to help.