EYFS at GRDS

Early Years Foundation Stage

GEMS Royal Dubai school is an outstanding school with an experienced team of Early Years Practitioners. We are a passionate and dedicated team who take pride in delivering an enhanced version of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum framework combining it with our core values and ICARE dispositions. We specifically plan and adapt our teaching through inquiry based thinking, using the child’s voice as the starting point for all of our focus activities and provision which have cross curricular links and real-life learning opportunities.

The EYFS underpins our approach through the early years principles; children need to learn through actively exploring, creating and critical thinking. Children develop creative ideas and solutions by completing open ended activities that require children to find solutions through exploration and discovery and ignite investigations.

foundation head-emma
Emma Docherty

Head of Foundation Stage

WELCOME TO FOUNDATION STAGE!

Our Foundation Stage provides an inspiring and engaging environment, where every child is valued and made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. We are a family feel school with children at the heart of everything we do, ensuring there is a good balance between child initiated activities and adult directed activities that enable children to reach their full potential socially, emotionally and academically with confidence. We understand the importance of working together with the whole family, building positive and supportive relationships always motivated by our school vision of Achieving Excellence Together.

 

Foundation Stage Overview

Our child centred approach allows us to focus on children’s individual needs, specifically targeting development areas and providing continuous next steps to support best progress. Our Early Years Practitioners have great relationships with the ACe department who support us with meeting the needs of all our children. We also adopt some of our whole school approaches, they include: Talk 4 Writing and Read Write Inc. which are embedded in the early years and supports transition into the primary phase. Although Arabic is not compulsory within FS we do provide an Arabic experience within the early years timetable which involves songs, stories and initial vocabulary,  preparing the children for Key Stage 1.

The areas of learning and development are broken into seven areas. There are three prime areas which are particularly important for developing children’s enthusiasm for lifelong learning:

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

 

Explore the Foundation Stage (Early Years)

  • Assessment

    In the Foundation Stage we use the 2Simple assessment tool which links to our teacher judgements. This tool captures in the moment observations with photographs and video clips as well as providing detailed information about the learning happening at that time. These observations are then shared with parents to make them aware of their child's progress and the next steps in their child's learning.

  • Planning

    We use the Learning to Learn planning document which is consistent across the school. On this we share; child’s voice, key vocabulary, ICARE links and cross-curricular learning opportunities. Our planning is accessible to the Inclusion Support Teachers who work with English Language Learners and children who require intervention/enrichment support.

  • Action Plan

    Our Foundation Stage action plan outlines our aims for the department for the year ahead, showing the success criteria of how we aim to achieve our objectives. These objectives are closely linked to our whole school development plan and is reviewed regularly in team meetings, updating and adding to when necessary.

  • Parental Engagement

    Parents are informed about teaching and learning in FS in many different ways; Seesaw provides information about learning objectives; weekly 2Simple observations give personalised next steps and Facebook and Instagram showcase our WOW moments. Our department also offers many parental engagement opportunities with timely workshops which provide support for parents with strategies to use at home.

  • Enhanced Learning Environments

    Additional to indoor and outdoor provision, we also provide children with enhanced learning environments, including Technobase, FS library and Multi-cultural room. These environments provide a range of technological devices, selection of FS books and opportunities to explore different communities and cultural celebrations. Learning from each other and celebrating our personal identities.

  • English Language Learners

    We have a wide range of English Language speaking abilities within FS and need to support children at all levels. We provide support with fun and engaging activities suited to each child’s level. They work in small ability groups and are given personalized targets to work on. These targets are shared with parents and teachers and are worked on regularly to encourage quick progress.

  • Child Led Learning 

    As a department we follow the interests of the child, gathering information through class observations, parent voice and discussions with children. Teachers use this information to provide lessons which directly focus on their needs, wants and interests. We ensure consistency across the phase by having an over-arching theme with some set objectives but give flexibility in how they are delivered.

  • Trips and Events

    The Foundation Stage children are extremely lucky to have such varied trips and events. The teachers link the visitors and trips to the personalized learning happening in each class not necessarily completing them as a year group or phase. FS always take part in whole school events, such as Flag day or International day, joining in with the age appropriate activities with the RDS community.

  • Arabic Experience

    In preparation for Key Stage 1 we provide Arabic experiences for all children. We have introduction sessions to Arabic which are delivered through songs and games. The children remain in their play based environments and explore a range of activities linking to the Arabic focus. Children are introduced to simple vocabulary related to the class theme and gradually build up to learning the Arabic alphabet.

  • Enrichment Support

    Children are identified as requiring additional support or have gaps in learning through our baseline assessments. The Inclusion Support Teacher selects objectives or areas of concern, such as, PSED to provide enrichment sessions focusing in on those who most need it. As the year progresses we provide more sessions to incorporate our more able children by running challenge Busybee sessions.

  • Stay and Play Assessment

    We provide opportunities for our potential new students to attend stay and play sessions. This gives parents and children a chance to meet the FS Teachers, get use to the environment and make new friends. We provide time for parents to ask any questions about our school and give support about the EYFS curriculum.

  • Professional Development

    The Foundation Stage team are included in whole school training sessions as well as personalised training to support our department’s wants and needs. We also have access to the GEMS Professional Development training framework which gives individuals a wide selection of courses to focus on their personal targets or areas of interest.

 

More To Explore

 

Next Steps

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