There is a significant focus on the personal, social and emotional development of our youngest children and this forms an integral part of the learning in the Kindergarten and Reception classes; not just in the classroom but throughout the day, whatever the activity or environment. From the ‘Hello’ song at the start of the day, through activities and playtimes, to carrying their own book bags at home-time; the children are learning important skills that they will continue to develop through to adulthood. They learn to take risks and challenge themselves and each other, to make mistakes, to negotiate, to respect and care for others and the world around them, and all within a safe and nurturing environment.
Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. Opportunities are provided for the children to talk and perform in front of others on a daily basis, from Show and Tell, to singing songs and telling stories. Wider opportunities ensure they feel confident to perform to an unfamiliar audience, such as the Nativity and events such as Sports Day.
Children enjoy the support of a range of specialist staff, as well as EYFS professionals. Great emphasis is placed on promoting strong, positive relationships between the children and all of the adults that they meet, to help develop their confidence.
Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or as a class, and understand and follow the class Golden Rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and have different opportunities to try new activities, such as watching a production from a theatre company, thus ensuring that the children take changes of routine in their stride. There are high expectations of behaviour for all children, and it is particularly important that all EYFS staff model clear expectations, helping them to establish boundaries within their immediate environment.
Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and children. ‘Learning through play’ is an essential process in introducing and developing children’s social skills. They enjoy extended periods of child-led activities to give them the opportunity to demonstrate and develop these skills; simultaneously engaging in developing their independence through problem-solving activities with their peers. The class rules that are established help the children to adhere to whole-school rules, which in turn promotes the development of positive relationships with a wider range of adults and peers.