Early Years

Welcome to the Foundation Stage.

This is what the children think their teachers look like:








Check List For your child’s first day in Reception On the first day please bring:

1. All completed registration forms.
2. A set of spare clothes in a bag with your child’s name on to leave on their coat peg.
3. A Garfield Primary reading folder with your child’s name on.
4. Any inhalers or medication that your child needs. Please name all school jumpers and T-shirts
Welcome to Garfield Reception Your child is about to enter the second year of ‘The Early Years Foundation Stage’ which, at Garfield, starts in the Nursery and continues through the Reception year.
Early childhood is vitally important; it is the foundation on which we build the rest of our lives. In Garfield Early Years we aim to support the building of strong and broad foundations for all our children.

Why does Garfield Primary provide the best start for your child?

 Children consistently make good to outstanding progress in the Early Years at Garfield Primary. We regularly meet or exceed National standards for attainment.
 Our Early Years practice has been featured in books by Early Years Authors such as Jenny Linden.
 We are a source of inspiration to professionals. We have regular visits from practising teachers, Early Years specialists and newly qualified teachers who have heard about our provision.
 We have a large, well equipped, stimulating outdoor environment which enables us to provide outstanding teaching and learning encompassing all areas of the curriculum.
 In our parent surveys, the overwhelming majority of parents indicated that their children were happy and safe at school.

Settling in procedures

The Reception classes can take up to 30 children per class.
Children are admitted into Reception in small groups for half days for the first few weeks.
During the half days your child is not at school the staff will conduct home visits to enable them to get to know you and your child better.
You will receive a letter stating the date and time your child will start at Garfield. It will also outline when your child will be half days, the date they will stay for lunch and then the date that they will be at school full time.
In the Early Years at Garfield we create a welcoming environment where children and families feel safe and secure. We want children to be stimulated and happy in the setting and to feel comfortable with staff. We also want parents to have confidence that their child’s well-being is being appropriately catered for and that they are valued as active partners with the Reception staff.
Young children need time to build relationships with the staff and other children. It is most important that the settling-in period is a gradual separation from parents. Please expect to stay with your child in the first few days to enable them to build strong relationships with staff while you are there to support them. We will adapt the settling in procedure to suit the individual child as necessary.

Bringing and collecting your child

Bringing your child
On the first day please come to the school office and you will be taken to class.
From the second day onwards when you are bringing your child to Reception please come through the Reception playground. This can be reached through both entrances at Upper Park Road and Springfield Road. However, the Springfield Road entrance is on the same level as the Reception playground so is more convenient if you have a buggy.
It is vital to be prompt for the start of each session; this is an important time for settling and learning. Arriving late causes disruption for your child and for everyone else. When children arrive late they miss important learning opportunities.
Please accompany your child into their Reception class every day, to see that he/she is settled and, if you have time, look at a book or take part in a shared activity with them whilst the rest of the class is assembling. Another important reason for coming into the class each day is so that you can share any important information about your child that may affect their learning that day.

Collecting your child

If someone different is collecting your child please tell us and ask that person to identify themselves to Reception staff so we can ensure your child’s safety at all times. We may also ask you for a password. If we do not have this information we will not let your child leave with an unknown adult.
Please do arrive promptly to collect your child. It is very worrying for a young child to be left when everyone else has gone home.

Breakfast and After School Care

We have both a breakfast club and an after school club which your child can attend for a fee. The times are as follows:
Breakfast Club 8:00am-8:50am
After School Club 3:15pm- 5:30pm
For further information or to book a place, please contact the main school office (020 8368 4500). Please note places are limited.

Free School Lunches for all Reception children

All Reception and KS1 children are entitled to a free school meal each day from September 2015. In order to claim your child’s free school meal you need to complete a Universal Free School Meal Form. The forms will sent to you in the post and on the early years information evening or ask at the school office.

Reception Routines

Each day, the children have a fruit snack and a drink of milk. Water is also available for the children. Please do not give the children any other drinks, sweets, crisps, chewing gum etc. to bring with them.


Most physical activities take place outside. Hall sessions are sometimes available for Reception children so they have the opportunity to explore a different space, to refine skills and to use different equipment and apparatus. In the hall children work with bare feet.


 In Reception the children are expected to wear school uniform. You can purchase the uniform via the school website www.garfield.enfield.sch.uk, look for the ‘School Uniform’ link.
 Whilst children are in Reception some activities available can be “messy” These are vital for your child’s learning. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that children wear aprons for painting and water play, clothes do get dirty at school.
 We ask parents to bring a bag with a full set of spare clothes to school in case their child needs to change for any reason. This bag is to be left on their peg. Please ensure the bag is named. If your child borrows clothes from the Reception class, please wash them before you return them to school.
 Please remember that your child will be playing outside, whatever the weather and will therefore need adequate clothing. They will need o Gloves, a hat and a warm coat in winter o A sun hat and sun protection cream in the summer
 To help children become more independent in changing, please avoid shoes with laces; shoes with Velcro fastenings are much easier to manage.


We have certain expectations from the children with regard to behaviour. Rules and their consequences are discussed and devised in collaboration with the children. If they do something that is unkind or dangerous to themselves or others (e.g. throwing sand at someone etc.) children will be disciplined. This means we will talk to the child about what he/she has done in order to help him/her understand what s/he has done wrong. If necessary the child will be removed from the activity for a while. In cases of repetitive unacceptable behaviour, the child will be given ‘Time out’. This means s/he will sit down and not play for five minutes and then the teacher will talk to him/her about their behaviour and ask them to apologise to the injured party.
If anything ‘serious’ occurs at school with your child, we will discuss it with you and decide how best to solve the problem at home and at school.


Each class has a class Library. Your child will be able to borrow books on a regular basis. Please can you purchase a strong reading folder from the school office.
The Reception staff will read to each child individually at least once a week to encourage a love of books. You can help with this too by spending some time with your child looking at and enjoying the book and encouraging him/her to talk about the pictures and the story. Children often like to ‘read’ the same book time and time again. Please be patient and even if you are tired with the book, try not to let your child see this, but encourage their interest.
We would like you to return the book (in the folder) on your child’s allocated day for book changing. There will be a reading diary enclosed for you to make comments, either about the book or if your child enjoyed the book.
In Reception the children will be bringing home books to read which relate to the phonics sounds they are learning. Teachers will explain more about the teaching of reading during home visits and early in the Autumn Term.

A Child’s ‘Special Week’ for planning

Every child in Reception will have a special week for planning three times per year. This is when your child is at the centre of planning in the Reception and we will follow their particular developmental needs, interests and ideas. We will send a letter and form home before their special week which will help you to share with us your child’s interests at that time.
During your child’s special week the teacher/key person will record your child’s learning journey in photos and on paper. We will invite you into school to spend some time with your child during that week. The following week the teacher/ key person will meet with you to discuss their learning journey and achievements so far. This process will be explained to you in more detail by the Reception Staff in September during home visits.

Working with parents/carers

We look forward to involving you in the following ways:
 We will be conducting home visits to get to know you and your child during the first few weeks.
 On the Friday before your child’s special week we will send a letter home detailing how we would like you to be involved. Included will be the class email address where we would like you to send pictures of your child with their family, of any special celebrations, or any outings you have been on. Your child will share these pictures with the class
 During your child’s special week we will invite you into class to spend some time with your child. You are welcome to observe or join your child in their learning during this time. We would also encourage you to bring something in to show or share with the class. This could be a story or song in your home language, an interesting object or recipe that we could follow together.
 In the week following your child’s special week we will also meet with you after school to discuss their learning and development.
 At the beginning of the day please tell us any important information regarding your child which may affect their learning that day. Please  also share any concerns you have about your child or their development.

Parent helpers

We value the assistance parents are able to offer in the school. There are a variety of ways that parents can become involved in the school
If you are available during the day and would like to help in the school please speak to your child’s class teacher or to David Newson Assistant Headteacher.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Every child is different, and you will know better than we do what your child enjoys, what helps them, and what does not. But here are some ideas for how to help your child develop:
 Talking. This is the single most important thing you can do to support your child’s language, thinking, and learning. Through talking children come to understand much about how the world works, and deepen the structures of their thought.
 Sharing stories. This could be in the form of books that are sent home from school, books that you have at home, stories you were told as a child, or stories from your own lives. Also, encourage your child to tell their own stories, either about what they have seen or done, or about imagined situations.
Doing maths on the move. Maths is a language which helps us to understand the world, and it can be found everywhere – notice the numbers on the bus, for example, or talk about the change you get from the shopkeeper, or the weight of the flour you are weighing out. Even better, allow your child to give the money to the shopkeeper or involve them in the cooking. These experiences will help your child to understand how numbers and concepts such as ‘bigger’, ‘heavier’, ‘more’ and ‘less’ relate to the real world .
 Providing creative opportunities. Whether on a small or large scale, and whether very messy or not messy at all, creative opportunities are very important for children. Activities like painting, drawing, junk-modelling, singing, dancing or playing musical instruments all contribute to a child’s sense that they are worthwhile and can have a positive impact on the world. Beyond this, creativity in thought is one of the main factors determining a child’s educational success – if they can think imaginatively and creatively there is a better chance of them succeeding in school.
 Encourage role-play. Children will naturally copy what they see around them, acting out scenes from family and school life. This is one of the most important ways they come to understand the world, as it is a safe environment in which to test out their ideas. Why not make a dressing up box with old clothes for them to use, or collect old phones, hairbrushes and other household items for them to play with? Ready access to paper and pens will help children to develop writing and number skills in meaningful situations.
 Get outside. Children often feel constricted by the formality and rules of indoor environments and a regular opportunity to explore outdoor areas will provide many learning opportunities they may otherwise have missed. For example, playing with a bucketful of water at the beach or park, where it doesn’t matter if water spills on the ground, a child may make discoveries about capacity, and how water is displaced – a 10 discovery they may well have failed to make if they were worried about spilling water on the carpet!
 Playing games. Many rule-based games (board games, card games, etc) help children to understand the need to co-operate and follow rules, and will often develop a child’s memory and thinking skills. Physical games such as ‘It’ or pat-a cake develop children’s physical coordination and help them learn to be sensitive to other people’s needs.
 Singing songs and rhymes. Many of the songs which you learnt as a child may have seemed silly or ‘just for fun’, but they often provide a valuable educational experience. For example, counting songs help children to internalise the order of numbers, and rhyming songs familiarise children to the sounds of words – a vital step in learning to read and write.
 Be a role-model. Your child will be aware of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it nearly all of the time, so let them see the kind of behaviour you’d like them to emulate. If you’re writing a letter or an email, for example, let them watch and explain what you’re doing as you’re writing. Let them see that you enjoy reading too, and have your own books that you like to read for pleasure. Talk them through how you’re using a calculator to work out your accounts, or a map to plot the route to their uncle’s house, etc. Children are very interested in the adult world and if they see you using your skills in maths, reading and writing, they will begin to copy and learn these skills for themselves.
 Have fun! Bringing up a child can be incredibly difficult, but it can also be a lot of fun; and research has shown that the brain learns best not when it is stressed and under pressure, but when it is relaxed, happy, and confident.

The Early Years Curriculum at Garfield

Child Development and Learning in Reception
In the Early Years at Garfield we feel it is important to take the child as the focus throughout their early years. We recognise that parents and carers are the child’s first educators and value their opinion and input. We feel that the inter-relationship between growth, learning and development and the environment in which children are cared for is very important.
We plan and provide a challenging and broad curriculum, based on our own and parents’ observations of their child’s individual interests, schemas and developmental needs. The Reception staff are fully aware of their role as educators and seek to extend children’s language and thinking through appropriate activities and opportunities.

Principles of Early Years Education

We adhere to the principles of the ‘Revised Statutory Framework for the Early Years’ (DfES 2012).
These principles underpin our philosophy for working with children and families at Garfield. Each principle has a set of commitments which early year’s settings can use to help put the principle into practice.
 A Unique Child recognises that every child is competent from birth and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. The commitments are focused around development; inclusion; safety; and health and well-being.
 Positive Relationships describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents/carers and/or a key person; the commitments are focused around respect; partnership with parents; supporting learning; and the role of the key person.
 Enabling Environments explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. The commitments are focused around observation, assessment and planning; support for every child; the learning environment; and the wider context- transitions, continuity, and multi- agency working.
 Learning and Development recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected At Garfield we support the children’s learning and development by fostering, promoting and developing characteristics of learning and providing for the Prime and Specific areas of learning.

Characteristics of Learning

Playing and exploring-
This includes supporting children to develop the skills and attitudes
 to engage with their learning
 to be curious and explore and experiment
 to use objects in their play in a variety of ways to represent things
 to be confident enough to initiate activities seek challenges and take risks .

Active learning-

This includes supporting children to develop the skills and attitudes
 to be motivated by their learning
 to be highly involved in their learning and concentrate
 to persist with their learning
 to enjoy achievements they have made.

Creating and Critical thinking-

This includes supporting children to develop the skills and attitudes
 to develop their thinking as they learn and be able to talk their thinking through
 to develop their own ideas and solve problems
 to make links in their learning
 to make predictions.
 to explore cause and effect
 to be flexible and adapt their strategies when solving a problem

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into Prime Areas and Specific Areas Prime Areas

 Personal, Social and Emotional Development We promote this aspect of the curriculum by supporting the transition between home and school, promoting an inclusive ethos and providing opportunities for each child to become a valued member of the group and the community so that strong self-image and high self-esteem are achieved. We aim to enthuse children so that they have a positive attitude towards learning and see themselves as successful learners. We also provide opportunities to enable them to learn how to co-operate and work harmoniously alongside others.
 Language and Communication We provide opportunities for children to talk and communicate in a wide range of situations. They learn to respond to adults and to each other, to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and communication skills, including being able to listen carefully. Children are taught Phase 2, 3 and 4 phonics skills through a series of fun games and activities. These include games to enable children to learn letter sounds and names and how to blend and segment them to read and write. They will also learn ‘tricky words’ (words which do not follow the normal phonetic rules) and will be able to read them as a whole word.
 Physical Development Children develop and practise their gross and fine body movements through a variety of challenging activities. Our work in the Reception also helps children to increase their understanding of how their bodies work and what they need to do to be healthy and safe. Children are given a variety of experiences to develop their fine motor skills through malleable and mark making materials such as large paintbrushes, and playground chalk.

Specific Areas

 Literacy
Reading In Reception we help children further develop a love of books and to explore and enjoy the written word. Children read with adults and are told traditional stories and sing rhymes and songs.
The children have daily phonics lessons. The school follows the Letters and Sound programme. It is very important that your child attends regularly and on time so that they do not miss any sessions.
Most children will quickly be able to take apart simple words to begin reading and this will develop further as the year progresses. Reception staff will give you weekly information on the sounds and words your child is learning and you will have a set to practice with at home.
In Reception children are encouraged to mark make as part of their play. Adults role model the writing process and support children to give meaning to their marks. As the year progresses children will begin to use the phonics they have learnt in their writing.
The Reception environment is rich with opportunities for children to develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space. In addition to these experiences, the children will be taught a daily maths lesson to enable them to further explore mathematical concepts.
Understanding of the World
Opportunities are created for children to explore and to find out about their environment, including the people and places that are important to them. This involves the children in solving problems, making decisions, experimenting, predicting, planning and questioning in a variety of situations.
Expressive Arts and Design
Children explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities which include art, design and technology, music, movement, dance and imaginative and role play.
At Garfield learning through play is central to our philosophy of learning and teaching. We strive to create a stimulating and challenging learning environment for the children both indoors and outdoors, which they have access to all year round.
We know that young children learn best when they are engrossed in their play and have space and time to develop their ideas. While playing, children behave in different ways: sometimes they may be quiet and reflective, sometimes they will describe what they are doing at other times they will be boisterous. All the aspects are important to develop the child’s key personal, social and emotional skills.

Learning through Play and The Outdoor Curriculum

Why a play-based curriculum?
Through play, in a secure environment, with effective adult support, children can:
 Explore, develop and represent learning experiences that help them to make sense of the world.
 Develop, practice and extend skills, concepts and ideas.
 Learn how to control impulses and understand the need for rules.
 Be alone, be alongside others or co-operate as they talk or rehearse their feelings.
 Take risks, make mistakes and learn from these.
 Think creatively and imaginatively
 Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems.
 Express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations.
A well planned play environment both indoors and outdoors, which facilitates child and adult-led learning, will help children to learn holistically with enjoyment and challenge. Practitioners will observe children at play and reflect on how best to support their learning. This can be done by providing suitable props or equipment, joining in sensitively, modelling play, offering suggestions or asking questions.

Outdoor Curriculum

At Garfield we place great emphasis on the outdoor curriculum. We have a large spacious outdoor area which is just for our early years children. Not only do young children enjoy learning outside, but it is important that they have access to good outdoor provision for the following reasons:
 Movement is a vital component of play and other ways of learning and requires space.
 Growth and development of brain and body are inseparable.
 Ample experience in running, climbing and balancing is necessary if children are to learn to read and write successfully.
 There are fewer places where children can play freely and safely; many families do not have a garden or easy access to parks etc.
 Children need to be active throughout the day and have access to outdoor activities in all weathers.
 The potential for heart disease begins in early childhood. Being active helps children to be fit and strong.
 Children need freedom to be safely adventurous.
 Some learning can only take place outdoors such as sensory exploration of different types of weather, trees, digging in soil etc.
We have several sets of water proof clothes available for the children to wear when playing outside in the rain or with a lot of water. This is so their own clothes stay dry while they explore without worrying about getting wet.
Please feel free to talk to Reception staff about any matter regarding your child. We hope that your child enjoys joining our Reception Class and we are sure the experience will be of great benefit to them. We look forward to meeting you and your child very soon.


The Early Years Curriculum at Garfield

Child development and learning in Nursery

Nursery Booklet 2015



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