Early Years Pedagogy

Here at GEMS Founders School, we recognise that young children learn best when they are active. We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Therefore, we believe that early years’ education should be as practical as possible and our setting has an ethos of learning through play.  Play is an essential part of the learning process, supporting children in all areas of development. Practitioners provide both structured and unstructured play opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. These activities are designed to engage children in practical, first-hand experiences designed to encourage children to discover, explore, investigate, develop their personal interests and areas of curiosity, and help to make sense of the world around them as they begin to understand specific concepts. A day in EYFS at GEMS Founders School will see children experience a balance of adult-led sessions and time where they can safely consolidate their ideas in activities and exploration they have initiated themselves.

Teachers support children with their learning through observing, developing their play, supporting their thinking and asking open-ended questions. These interactions form the basis of our observational assessment of children against developmental milestones.

Across the Foundation Stage, we provide opportunities for children to develop their early literacy and number skills.  In Foundation Stage 2, our teachers introduce discrete phonics teaching through the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, Floppy’s Phonics.  Short mathematical inputs are provided using inspiration from the Power Maths scheme of work and associated Maths Mastery strategies.

At the end of Foundation Stage 2, teachers will assess children’s attainment in line with the Early Learning Goals. Using observational evidence gathered over time, these assessments will help inform the children’s next teacher of their starting points. The EYFS framework allows a natural progression into the National Curriculum at the beginning of Year One.