The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education from birth to 5 years.
In our Reception Class, the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home, provide first hand learning experiences, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values.
We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning.
We are passionate about creating opportunities for children to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills and specifically teaching vocabulary.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year.
Throughout their time in EYFS, the children develop a sense of belonging to our school community, ready to transition to year 1 the following academic year. They have the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.
To prepare children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points.
To support transition into KS1.
Throughout the Reception year, we follow the requirement for learning and development as detailed in the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. As of September 2020, we are Early Adopters of the new framework.
The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum. • Personal, Social and Emotional Development • Physical Development, • Communication and Language, • Literacy, • Mathematics, • Understanding the World, • Expressive Arts and Design
Learning is carefully planned by the staff to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. Content is differentiated to meet the needs of all learners and is taught in a logical progression so that children build on prior learning. We plan through a topic-based approach on an annual basis, but these plans are adapted and amended to address the ever growing and changing needs and interests of all our children.
During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff, exploring a range of both adult directed and child initiated tasks through both the indoor and outdoor provision. A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis. Continuous provision practise and principles support children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving.
Outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions. Children also have planned outdoor learning sessions in our local woods which facilitates fantastic learning opportunities and experiences that we could not provide within the school grounds
We ensure our activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These 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, making links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Through observation and discussion, areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practise. Staff in the EYFS regularly assess where the children are, using ‘Development Matters’ and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment; including continuous provision, support children to reach their next steps. We will include interventions for groups or individuals if and when necessary.
To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, nursery visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, wow moments, reports and parent consultations as well as more frequent informal communication to suit individual families.
We also use the Evidence Me platform for two way communication with our parents. Here we are able to keep them informed about our learning in school, hear about exciting moments from home, share successes, and give advice and tips on how to support their child.
We also support the transition into Key Stage 1 for both child and parents. We prepare children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of EYFS and the start of Year 1. Parents have the opportunity to meet with new teachers and visit their child’s new learning environment. These aim to support the transition for all.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures, which allow us to monitor and moderate outcomes within school and against other schools, both locally and nationally.
Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments, which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Summative assessment compares children attainment to age related expectations. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, putting supportive interventions in place when needed. We ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, disadvantaged or summer born children.
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them not only ready for their journey into year one, but also lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.