Our intent for our youngest pupils is to provide them with an exciting, rigorous, creative curriculum that will fire their enthusiasm, broaden their horizons and enable them to build a network of links. We aim for them to become independent, happy learners who have the academic skills and emotional maturity that will enable them to transition smoothly into KS1.
We have created an EYFS curriculum that outlines what we want our pupils to have learnt and experienced during their Reception year. Each term, we introduce a new broad theme that is then split up into smaller units based around at least one quality text. We have found that working in this way means that there is always something going on or coming up that will engage each learner.
Each week is structured so that pupils have directed teaching in Phonics, Literacy/ Communication and Language, Maths, PSED, PE and Music. Additional exercise sessions are built into each day. We are actively working on improving children’s language skills, recognising that this is crucial to their future success. Methods that we use for this include having key vocabulary that is introduced each week and modelled repeatedly, learning of rhymes and songs, areas designed to encourage story-telling and ensuring time for several stories at the end of each day.
Children learn through a balance of child-initiated, adult-initiated and adult-directed activities, both indoors and out. We are firm believers that play is integral to children’s success and welfare and seek to promote and encourage playful learning wherever possible. As we believe that ‘play is children’s work’, we highlight how learning, skills and interests developed at school can lead onto future careers.
In each term, we strive to visit somewhere and/or have someone come to visit us. We have found that this further engages children and helps to give what they have learnt in school a broader context.
We have created termly checkpoints for each area of learning. Staff monitor children’s attainment, building mental overviews and keeping digital records. In this way, we are able to identify children who are not on track to reach the Early Learning Goals and provide support, either through revisiting learning as a class or providing individual or group work.
We work hard to build positive relationships with parents and carers so that we can all work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children. Parents/carers are kept informed of how their children are progressing through regular notes in reading records, ‘Evidence Me’ observations, face-to-face consultations and informal chats.
Historically, our results have been in line with, or exceeded, national standards, with reading being a particular strength. With the introduction of the new statutory framework for the EYFS, we will be striving to continue to achieve good outcomes for our pupils. Crucially, our children are happy and enjoy school and their parents/carers talk positively about the time they have spent with us and the progress they have made. Our pupils are able to talk about what they’ve learnt and can identify how they’ve improved as time has progressed. They move smoothly into KS1, equipped with skills, knowledge and enthusiasm that will allow them to continue their journey as readers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, artists…
We have five broad topics over the course of the year and these topics are then broken down into mini themes, based around key texts. We know what we want our children to learn and have ideas for how we can achieve this but are always open to the interests and direction that the children pursue themselves.
Our EYFS curriculum outlines what we want our children to learn and be able to do by the time they finish their Reception year. This curriculum is then used to devise our long term planning where we outline the topics and key learning opportunities that we will provide for our pupils. These are accompanied by checkpoints that will help us to identify any children who may need additional support or resources to make progress towards the Early Learning Goals. Our medium-term plans provide a more detailed overview. In addition to these, weekly plans are also produced. These detail what will be taught in whole class sessions and outline provision informed by our assessments of 'next steps' for the cohort and individuals. These are not set in stone for, as everyone knows, sometimes children go in a different direction to what you have planned and therefore so do we!