Early Years at Lady Elizabeth Hastings
Our philosophy for EYFS at Lady Hastings
Can I go and play now?
Continuous Provision is at the heart of my Early Years practice. Getting it right is the key to success. Get it wrong and we open the door to stagnation, lack of engagement, challenging behaviour and low attainment.
Our continuous provision is open-ended, accessible, flexible, large scale and skills driven. It is planned but only in a loose sense. An adult's plan isn't a child's plan. Children don't have to reach a specific outcome determined by the adult. Instead continuous provision should offer an index of possibilities. It should enable children to bring their magic with them into the environment and shape it. Equally it should create the conditions for collaboration and self-chosen purpose.
As soon as we apply adult thinking to continuous provision we are in danger of fencing in its possibilities. Crossing the line into an ineffective environment usually happens when we think 'children will achieve this...' in a specific area. The more flexible we are, the more magic we will witness, and the more magic we witness, the more we will be able to use it to move learning forward.
Adult thinking should address the skills that children need to grow. It should focus on process as a means for rehearsing or strengthening these skills. Plan for skills rather than activity. 'Can I Go and Play Now...?' has created an effective approach to continuous provision that embraces child-centered play and open-endedness.
Children are born with magic inside them. They live in a world of exploration, connections, dreams and imagination. They are trying to tell us about this world all the time. They want us to join them in it. Their whole being is yearning for us to cross over into their Narnia. They offer their hand each day and they can lead us there if only we would take it.
Once upon a time we lived in that world. But now we are 'grown up'. We probably don't believe in that world. We don't think that the child's world is for us. But it is. We just need to have faith and follow. Once we do that then we will find several things happen:
Our children will flourish. They will bring their light to our setting. They will engage more.
Lady Hastings adults will flourish. We will bring our light to the Ark. We will engage more.
Allowing children to be at the centre of their own learning, giving them the freedom to BE is our passport both to their magical world and to effective early years practice. Don't let play just be a daydream. Live it, embrace it, make the most of the magic.
This is what we do at Lady Elizabeth Hastings under God’s guidance and love.
Mrs Vignes – Headteacher
Mr Edwards – EYFS lead
Everything we do is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are statutory and are referenced in the EYFS (2023).
They are referred to in the Overarching Principles section on page 6 and section 1.15 states that:
‘In planning and guiding what children learn, practitioners must reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things’
So in Ledston class we focus on our dinosaurs! They help us be more determined, independent and go getters!