The Early Years Foundation Stage is the curriculum your child follows from birth until the end of their first year in school. The curriculum in Early Years is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It facilitates them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and preparing them for the next stage of their education.
Our ethos in Early Years is to support and develop the child as a whole. Supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development and well-being is crucial so that they feel safe and secure and are therefore ready to learn.
In EYFS, personalised learning is developed through a curriculum that reflects the learner’s age, developmental readiness and individual needs. The principles that guide the work in the EYFS are grouped into 4 themes:
* A unique child
* Positive relationships
* Enabling Environments
* Learning and Development
Children follow the EYFS curriculum, which has seven main areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:-
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Through the seven areas of learning we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children.
The curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Those children with particular needs, including SEND, are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful.
In EYFS, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We follow the Early Years curriculum using topic themes and enrichment opportunities.
The aim of our curriculum is to develop love for learning by:
We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing and enhancing existing topics to cater for ‘in the moment’ learning.
In EYFS, children develop their literacy skills by the imitation of stories that they learn using actions and story mapping techniques. Children also have the opportunities to show independence in their writing by planning and writing their own stories through helicopter stories. Literacy opportunities are also promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week.
Our EYFS uses core texts as a basis for topic planning and usually start with an exciting hook to engage children into both the topic and the book. We have developed our own suggested text list for Early Years as part of our ‘fantastic five’ range so that children get to know key texts very well. Some of these texts are chosen for their level of challenge and quality language. They have also been chosen with a view to promoting reading for pleasure.
Phonics is taught daily through Read Write Inc. Phonic sounds are introduced to children each day in an engaging way. The phonics activities are revisited to embed them over the year and are supported in a range of ways in continuous provision activities.
The maths curriculum is taught through daily dedicated sessions focused on the White Rose scheme. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real life experiences across the theme and year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences and solve problems in abstract contexts by applying their knowledge of number.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers through Class Dojo and SeeSaw. Regular ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for EYFS allow parents to join in learning activities alongside their children and share the EYFS experience. Parents are invited in to look at the children’s learning and leave comments within their books. We have a class dojo page where children’s learning and successes are celebrated. Growth Mindset and core values are promoted and ,through these, children develop their independence, motivation, resilience and perseverance. Children requiring additional support to meet their needs have personalised interventions, for example, sensory diet interventions and Speech and Language programmes are delivered across the curriculum.
Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities, developing their speaking and listening skills, enabling them to effectively access more areas of learning and communicate to both adults and children. Children develop skills across all areas of the EYFS curriculum and show that they have made progress from their individual starting point.
Children develop a wider sense of the world around them and can draw on these experiences during interactions with others and link this to new learning.
Children develop their characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
From their own starting points, children will make excellent progress academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves so that they are well prepared for Key Stage 1.
The impact of our curriculum will also, in fact, 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 lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.