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Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year.

 

EYFS Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement September 2021

The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.

Intent

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 Longwick Church of England Combined School, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points. Our curriculum has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of Learning;

Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language, including Oracy.  At Longwick Church of England Combined School, we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy which support the child’s well-being. Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start. We  provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking. We following children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school. By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.

Cooperative Learning Behaviours: We invest in the power of cooperative learning, and promote, instil and reward the following behaviours into each learning session:

1. Active Listening

2. Helping and Encouraging Others

3. Completing Tasks

4. Everyone Participating

5. Explaining Ideas and telling ‘why’

Implementation

Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small focused group work. This means the staff can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.

English / Literacy Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. The books chosen are embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories. There is cohesion and consistency within our approach to align with the whole school English Curriculum.

• The inclusion of high-quality texts which are age and stage appropriate

• Modelled reading and re-telling opportunities

• Comprehension questions

• Dedicated phonics sessions, employing tricky and high-frequency words

• Cooperative learning behaviours which develop oracy and interdependence

Phonics

We follow the DfES approved TWINKL programme to ensure consistency across the school. In our local feeder preschools, Nursery children focus on Phase 1 which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills, prior to GPC. In Reception, Phase1 continues but children are introduced to Phase 2 and 3 where they will develop Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence and segmenting and blending skills to decode words.

During the Summer term, children may move on to Phase 4 if they are ready. Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to in school. In class, we provide them with the ‘I read’ opportunity and the books taken home are the ‘we read’ reading scheme books to be shared with parents and carers and read together.  

Mathematics

In Reception, we follow the White Rose Maths Scheme of work which is divided into 3 weekly units. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. Children in Reception have the opportunity to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions through their directed tasks.

Children’s fine manipulative skills are a focus to develop 1-1 correspondence so children count each object only once.

Wider Curriculum

Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELGs feed into the National Curriculum through our planning and CPD opportunities. Curriculum leads throughout the school are aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject and the progression of the subject. Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. For example, building a boat for their favourite toy enables them to think like a ‘Scientist’ and ‘Engineer’ as they explore a range of materials and test out their own ideas. Building further on our oracy focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled, both verbally and orally, by supporting practitioners. Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential, or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics.

Monitoring of teaching and learning by SLT ensures staff develop good subject knowledge and have opportunities to develop their practice.

Impact

Baseline: Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments is also carried out- NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention). NELI is an evidence-based oral language intervention for children who show weakness in their oral language skills and who are therefore at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading. The assessment informs us if the child is at expected for their age or requires intervention from a trained NELI practitioner.

Ongoing Observation: All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, observing, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing or making. Some observations are uploaded using Tapestry and shared with the supporting parents and carers.

Assessment: Phonic assessments are carried out using our phonics Tracker every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible. Assessments are completed three times per year and shared with parents, whereby the Class Teacher updates the progress children have made. In Summer Term 2, the EYFS Profile is completed where the teacher judges whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher. Impact is also evident through transition into Year 1.

We aim for the children to leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers, with a love of learning and to be curious about the world around them.

 

 

 

 

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