The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is crucial in securing solid foundations that our children 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. In EYFS we strongly believe that we are at the beginning of our children’s educational journey. We want our children to acquire a lifelong love of learning that not only readies them for the next stage of education but prepares them to be active and engaged citizens in the future.
We begin each new year by looking at the individual needs of our children and take into account their different starting points. We will then carefully develop our EYFS provision to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum that is suitable for their unique needs and sets ambitious expectations for all children.
Our curriculum provides a play-based and experiential learning environment, combined with focussed teaching and basic skills, to ensure that children make rapid progress before entering Year 1.
We follow the Early Years Statutory Framework, provided by the Department of Education (DfE). The framework sets out the requirement for learning and development within the EYFS and focuses on the prime and specific areas. These are broken down into the areas
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Pupils follow the Educational Programmes set out in the EYFS statutory framework. At the end of the reception year they are assessed against the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage with the intentions of being ready to move onto the National Curriculum Programmes of Study at the start of Year 1. Throughout this period and beyond children are still developing their phonic knowledge and their fluency in reading through structured phonics teaching.
The delivery of the curriculum uses an integrated thematic approach where the 17 areas of learning and development are integrated into a theme if appropriate but also taught discretely where this might be more suitable to the circumstances. Throughout the year we have special days or weeks which have a clear focus, for example; Science Week, World Book Day and The Arts week. These are special events that enable children to put learning into practice in a variety of other situations.
We take pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners of all abilities can demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and many make good progress in their learning. Children at all levels of ability are helped to achieve their potential. Through pupil progress analysis, those who learn rapidly are challenged and supported with tasks that provide opportunities to develop mastery. Those children whom are presented with a barrier or are slower graspers are provided with target support through modified activities and additional interventions in order to embed skills. Examples of interventions provided are WELLCOMM, precision monitoring and dough disco.
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Gals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations. We have achieved this in recent years.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed.
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 in Development Matters. This is tracked using Target Tracker to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, disadvantaged or EAL children. Our assessment judgements have been moderated both in school and externally with other local schools in our trust. Our current EYFS Lead teacher has previously been part of a team which moderates other schools for the Local Authority. We also partake in local authority moderation which has validated our school judgements.
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 lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave reception, preparing them for their future.