Our EYFS Curriculum
At St. Pauls C of E Primary School our key aim is to continue and extend the education which has begun at home and in pre-school provision to enable every child to develop an enthusiasm for learning throughout their lifetime.
Intent for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
It is our intention at St. Pauls C of E Primary School that children in the Early Years Foundation Stage feel happy, safe and secure. Everything we do is underpinned by our Christian ethos, which aspires for all children to fulfil their God given potential by encouraging a delight in the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. All children are valued as individuals. We aim to deliver a curriculum that provides memorable experiences and firm foundations for learning to enable every child to thrive. We endeavour to give children the Cultural Capital they need for the future by giving them the best start in life to enable them to fulfil their full potential and achieve future success.
To ensure the best outcomes for our children we:
- Offer a broad curriculum with a balance of adult led and child initiated activities.
- Provide a stimulating environment and exciting opportunities both indoors and outdoors to promote curiosity, problem solving and imagination.
- Encourage our children to be confident, resilient and independent.
- We continually promote and develop social, personal and emotional skills to enable children to play and learn together. Throughout the curriculum language and communication skills are a key focus as we recognise these are crucial in children’s development, learning and progress.
- Provide high expectations encouraging them to develop perseverance and self-belief so that they can problem solve and achieve far more than they expected
- Provide a learning environment that helps children achieve their potential and support those who need additional help in order to maximise their chances of achieving the Early Learning Goals
- Provide children opportunities to develop their sense of wellbeing and ability to regulate their feelings so that they feel confident in our community and are equipped with all the tools they need to transition to Year 1 effectively
- Develop the skills and expertise of staff working in EYFS through regular and comprehensive professional development either run by the EYFS Lead or attending courses run by other providers
Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. It is about giving children the best possible start to their early education. As part of making a judgement about the quality of education, inspectors will consider how well leaders use the curriculum to enhance the experience and opportunities available to children, particularly the most disadvantaged
The government has released new guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage for September 2021. We will therefore be following the new Early Learning Goals for planning and assessment.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
To prepare for the revised EYFS curriculum September 2021, we follow the guidance in Development Matters (September 2020) and the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The framework sets out the seven areas of learning and development.
The three prime areas of learning that underpin everything in the early years are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
The four specific areas of learning which help children to strengthen and apply the prime areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
All of these seven areas are connected together. In addition there are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning which weave through all the areas. These are:
Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things
Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and thinking critically -make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things– children develop their own ideas
In planning and guiding what children learn we incorporate the seven areas of learning, take into account the different rates at which children develop and provide the opportunities to encourage the three characteristics of learning?
We use our professional judgement to make these assessments based on the knowledge and understanding of what the child knows, understands and can do. These assessments are informal and based on day to day observations of the child. In addition, comments are added to describe how a child demonstrates the three characteristics of effective learning. The main purpose of this profile is to support a successful transition to Key Stage 1. It is also used to inform parents about their child’s development. Children are defined as having reached a Good Level of Development at the end of the EYFS if they have achieved at least the expected level for the Early Learning Goals in the three prime areas of learning and the specific areas of literacy and mathematics.
This document specifies the requirements for learning and development in the EYFS and provides the prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum. Through our knowledge of each child and formative assessments the EYFS team plan exciting and engaging activities that will move the children’s learning forward. This may involve following a class theme where we take advantage of cross curricular links in order to combine transferable skills and develop a wide-ranging vocabulary which underpins the children’s learning. This may also include following individual children’s interests and making the most of those focused moments where the teaching and learning can be maximised in a one to one way with teacher and child. Each year creates its own unique blend of whole class, guided, adult directed play and child-initiated play activities dependant on the nature and needs of the class of individuals.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and thinking critically and creatively and this takes place both indoors and in our outdoor area. Our outdoor area is open all year round and in all but the most challenging weather conditions. Children make their own decisions about where they learn best and teachers ensure that there are opportunities for all areas of learning both inside and outside.
The school follows the Read, Write Inc. phonic programme, using a wide range of physical and online resources to support this. Every child has access to a phonics session every day with intervention opportunities for those who find this area of learning more difficult. We use the phonics session to also develop children’s expertise in handwriting.
We provide effective and focused intervention for those children who are finding learning challenging and are not on track to meet expectations at the end of the year. This will be provided in an inclusive way and support from parents is also enlisted at an early stage to ensure that the children have every chance to achieve the Early Learning Goals.
The team in our EYFS, work tirelessly to ensure that children are surrounded by a kind, caring and happy environment which helps them develop the same skills in their journey through school. It is a positive place to be where resilience, perseverance and successes are celebrated and every child feels valued and respected.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum will ensure that we have happy, confident well rounded children. We measure progress and children’s learning across the year starting with the new Statutory Baseline Assessment at the start of the year and continuing through the year with formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their learning journeys and observations. A Wellcomm language assessment is also carried out during the baseline period in both Nursery and Reception to identify children’s language and communication skills level. This is assessment informs us if the child is at expected for their age, requires intervention, or needs to be referred for specialist support. Phonic assessments are carried out 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. Our assessments ensure that each individual child makes progress.
Alongside vigorous assessments, the implementation of a rich and balanced curriculum and a safe, active and challenging environment both indoors and outdoors, the children will have developed the skills that will enable them to be successful learners. Children will be actively engaged and enjoying learning. Children will more fully appreciate and understand the world around them and will use their language skills to ask questions and make sense of the world around them. Children will be successful learners and fully prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from Foundation Stage to Year One.
Mrs Thomas - EYFS Lead
Review September 2022