We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We aim to enable children to participate in the current and future society with confidence and responsibility. It is our intent to ensure children fully develop and achieve fulfilling lives and leave the EYFS with the confidence and skills necessary to continue their school journey. It is our intent to work in partnership with parents to encourage confident, happy and independent learners. We want to give our children lots of opportunities and enable them to recognise what is out there for them, locally, in the community and in the wider world. It is our intent to build upon their prior learning and experiences from home by providing quality, rich and hands on learning and to promote positive attitudes and behaviour for all children.
We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential. Children in both our Nursery and Reception classes follow the EYFS curriculum and the Redcar and Cleveland EY Outcomes, which has seven main areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts
We place a significant emphasis on the prime areas to ensure children are fully ready for their next stage in their school journey An example of this is the strong emphasis we place on fine and gross motor development in Nursery with Dough Disco, Squiggle while you wiggle and weekly activities in provision. This has moved the focus away from letter formation and name writing in Nursery to ensure the best possible starting point for these elements of writing in Reception, that is not to say that children who are physically ready for writing can not access it as each child is developed from their individual starting point. Similarly we place a large focus on Rhyme and Stories in Nursery to develop listening and reading skills in Reception. Our long term planning ensures that teaching and learning is progressive throughout Nursery and Reception with a reading spine to provide a rich diet of ‘classic’ stories by well-known authors and new ones driven by the children’s interests that can enhance provision areas. Continuous provision is also planned to show progression across the Early Years for example small world boxes in Nursery based on familiar experiences and in Reception moving to the wider world and fantasy play.
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. These values are shared with the children in line with the whole school approach to ‘Growth Mind sets’. This can be seen with children being encouraged to be independent from the earliest stages of snack with ‘pouring partners’ in Nursery continuing to Reception with ownership of the snack area eg refilling refreshment jugs to half full, using 10 tens frames to ensure there is enough fruit for all and preparing weekly additional snack for friends. Our children are encouraged to be problem solvers, trying first on their own, then approaching a friend and finally asking an adult. This can be all tasks from zipping our coats up and putting wellies on for outside play to group / individual tasks at tables.
All of the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we intend the children to learn are taught through themes throughout the year and the children’s interests are a basis to what is taught and learnt as well. These themes are driven by Understanding the World to ensure our children have high aspirations and are open to new possibilities at school and beyond, encouraging calculated risks and courage for what is new or unknown We want our children to develop a sense of pride in themselves and respect for others
Our learning environments are also adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care and are based upon our assessment of next steps and interests. We highly value the importance of Outdoor play and aim to ensure that both the inside and outside classroom areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, importantly, they are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. The environments are developed to promote independence within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge. An example of this is the use of collections such as large building outside where the children are scaffolded to think about their own and others safety. This includes the transportation and use of resources such as large crates and planks. Mirroring the indoors the children build on independent skill, problem solving and team work. Inside classroom displays that are designed to be at child height have meaning with information being added as they experience it such as timelines for the passing of seasons, birthdays, celebrations and world maps to discuss places they know and explore new ones they are learning about. Hands on displays are also used for book voting on morning and encouraging maths vocabulary such as more or fewer and similarly at the snack table for Reception.
Within our EYFS Curriculum, children are assessed continuously through accurate and important observations. These provide us with information for future planning, not only for our individual classes but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning. They enable us, as EYFS practitioners, to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make progress within our EYFS setting. This is one of the main areas we encourage parents to have an ongoing dialogue with us through communication such as forms sent home when their child is ‘focus child’. These ask for parents knowledge of their child’s interests, developments, skills, whilst also asking them if they would like us to talk further about particular aspects of their child’s learning. Regular feedback is given through daily contact at the classroom door, Marvellous Me App and Seesaw. They are all used as a way of feeding back significant points of development and to build the big picture of the child.
Please Click here to read our Nursery and Reception booklets for parents
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum gives our children every opportunity to meet the Early Learning Goals or exceed them from their varied starting points. This is shown through a wide-ranging collection of evidence in the children’s learning journeys.
Adults in our setting have a wealth of experience, which means a high quality delivery of our intentions is possible and successful. This includes forming strong relationships, working with other professionals, working with parents/carers and the wider community to meet different learning styles and interests.
The impact of our curriculum is measured using the percentage of pupils achieving Age Related Expectations (ARE) throughout the academic year. Those identified as not achieving ARE receive quality first teach and supportive interventions with familiar staff, these include both academic and social and emotional aspects of development. Summative assessment compares children’s attainment using monthly bands to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as SEND, EYPPG or children who are summer born. Our judgements are moderated externally by schools in our trust and at meetings organised by the authority. We also take part in local authority moderation, the most recent being summer 2019 where all our judgements were validated.
The impact of our curriculum must always be to measure how effectively our children develop into well-rounded individuals that embody the schools values and poses the skills, attitude and knowledge to tackle future learning a variety of contexts. We endeavour to make them not only ready for Year 1 on leaving EYFS but lifelong learners.
Please click on the links below to view our EYFS Curriculum