Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Statement
At How Wood Primary School we offer an Early Years curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We strive to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting learning opportunities, promotes challenge, resilience, exploration and a real love of learning. It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others. We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and child initiated learning ensures the best outcomes for pupils. Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key. We recognise the crucial role that Early Year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at How Wood Primary School, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.
Our Early Years setting creates a curriculum developed from the EYFS statutory framework.
This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.
We have a curriculum that is child-centred and that is based upon ‘wow’ experiences and themes which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested. We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning.
All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for in Nursery and Reception to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum.
The children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. In each area there are Early Learning Goals (ELG’s) that define the expectations for most children to reach by the end of the EYFS. These ELGs can be found within the Statutory Framework above.
The curriculum is taught through themes which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors that allow all children to experience a range of new experiences.
The themes are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
At How Wood, we prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Our Early Years practitioners ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place.
These Characteristics of Effective 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.
Observation and Planning
The planning within the EYFS starts with the Long Term Plan, which then feeds into a more detailed Medium Term Plan linked to Development Matters and the ELGs. These plans are used by the EYFS teachers as a guide for weekly planning; however, the teacher may alter these MTP’s in response to the needs (achievements and interests) of the children. This will be indicated on weekly planning.
Staff also carefully plan for continuous provision during child-initiated learning, both indoors and outdoors, to provide a positive context for learning and teaching. Their role during this time is to interact with the children to develop their learning through play, in addition to making skilled and meaningful observations of the children. Staff use their observations to identify and inform children’s Next Steps. This continual assessment forms a picture of every child’s development and progress within the EYFS framework and beyond.
MEDIUM TERM PLANS CYCLE A:
The Learning Environment
The EYFS classroom is organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The classroom is organised to create an independent working space, where the children are able to find and locate equipment and resources as they require them.
Our EYFS has its own enclosed outdoor area. Being outdoors offers opportunities for learning in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the children opportunities to explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We plan activities and resources for the children to access outdoors that help them to develop in all areas of learning. We also make full use of our physical environment to support the teaching and learning.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us our children make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of Reception. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One.
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 peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment.
Our curriculum is reviewed regularly to ensure relevance and to ensure the voices of our pupils, parents, staff and governors are heard.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
Regular assessments are made of the children’s learning and this information is used to inform future planning and to reflect identified needs.
The assessment processes in the EYFS:
- Offers all our children an opportunity to show what they know, understand and can do · Recognises all the areas of learning in the EYFS
- Relates to the individual characteristics of learning of individual pupils
- Relates to clear learning intentions
- Enables staff to plan more effectively
- Helps parents to be fully involved in their child’s progress
- Provides us with information to evaluate our impact
At How Wood, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Staff also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.
Nursery and Reception starting points are assessed by the end of the sixth week into the term in which the child joins the school.
Additionally, during the first 6 weeks that a child starts reception, staff will administer the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).
At the end of EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 early learning goals, indicating whether they are:
- Meeting expected levels of development
- Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)
The profile reflects ongoing observations, and discussions with parents and/or carers. The results of the profile are shared with parents and/or carers through their end of year report. The profile is moderated internally (referring to the Development Matters guidance) and in partnership with other local schools, to ensure consistent assessment judgements. EYFS profile data is submitted to the local authority.