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EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage

EYFS at Christ Church CE VA Primary School

‘Together, with God’s love, we can achieve anything’

Our Curriculum Vision at Christ Church CE VA Primary School

‘To be a family where we love one another as Jesus loves us, learning and sharing together, growing in character and giving of our best to achieve greatness – ‘For with God, nothing is impossible’ (Luke1:37). To nurture compassionate, thoughtful and knowledgeable citizens of their community, country and the modern world’

Early Years education is the foundation upon which young children build the rest of their schooling.  It is a holistic education that encompasses all learning and development.

In the EYFS setting at Christ Church C.E. Primary school children are at the heart of everything we do and we believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life, intellectually, physically and emotionally, in order to enable them to develop their full potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. We ensure that our ambitious EYFS curriculum enhances the experiences and opportunities available to children, particularly the most disadvantaged. We improve children’s experiences in their learning and play through interactions with our practitioners, engaging and challenging continuous provision and a range of both in house and external activities. Our EYFS curriculum allows our pupils to experience the awe and wonder of the world in which we live, through the seven areas of learning, and provides the Cultural Capital they need to thrive in society.

The EYFS curriculum at Christ Church C.E. Primary follows the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: setting the standard for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’ (effective September 2021) which has four guiding principles that shape practice in early years settings. These are:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The intent of our Whole School Curriculum:

A broad and balanced Curriculum

  • To deliver our Vision above for every child, inclusively, taking into account our Christian Foundation as outlined in the Church of England ‘Vision for Education’ document and our C.H.R.I.S.T. values
  • To prioritise the effective teaching of Reading.
  • To localise our curriculum through the incorporation of ‘Why Warrington’ contexts (within History and Geography in particular, but not exclusively) and associated local cultural and sporting events & opportunities, to engage and motivate.
  • To ensure sequence and progression through a mapping out of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years 2021 and the National Curriculum into all 3 Key stages and Year group cycles, seeking to widen and deepen children’s knowledge / cultural capital by using a thematic study approach within which subject-specific teaching is undertaken. This is intended to enable children to make links between knowledge and produce breadth of learning.
  • To ensure the curriculum content is learned – through revisiting of key concepts and skills, & the overt reviewing of previously taught information, to build knowledge. This is intended to ensure depth of learning.

Our EYFS Curriculum

Intent

We aim to support each child’s welfare, learning and developmental needs by:

  • Providing quality and consistency in our setting so that every child makes good progress and no child is left behind.
  • Recognising that all children are unique and special.
  • Understanding that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates – physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.
  • Providing a safe, secure and caring environment where children feel happy and know that they are valued by the practitioners looking after them.
  • Fostering and nurturing the children’s self-confidence and self-esteem through their developing awareness of their own identity and role within the community.
  • Teaching them to express and communicate their needs and feelings in appropriate ways.
  • Providing a secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
  • Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.
  • Providing partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Developing children’s understanding of social skills and the values and codes of behaviour required for people to work together harmoniously.
  • Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions different to their own.
  • Understanding the importance of play in children’s learning and development.
  • Providing learning experiences in play which reflect the children’s personal interests and areas of curiosity in order to encourage and develop their natural desire, interest, excitement and motivation to learn.
  • Providing experiences which build on children’s existing knowledge and understanding in order to challenge, stimulate and extend their learning and development.
  • Providing effective and differentiated learning opportunities and challenges in a range of environments, inside and outside, that enables children to fulfil their potential.
  • Deliver an ambitious curriculum which balances the need for hybrid teaching (teaching episodes that teach vital skills for children to then explore within their play), play based learning and child initiated learning experiences whilst having an emphasis on phonics, reading, mathematics and vocabulary.
  • Providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

Implementation

Teaching  and assessment in the EYFS department at Christ Church CE Primary School is delivered in accordance with the government’s statutory document  ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: setting the standard for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’ (effective September 2021). This document is a principled approach to Early Years education, bringing together children’s welfare, learning and development requirements through four themes: “Unique Child”, “Positive Relationships”, “Enabling Environments with Teaching and Support from Adults” and “Learning and Development – Children Develop and Learn at Different Rates”.

The curriculum is centred on 3 Prime areas of learning:

  • Communication & Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development

Providers must also support activities through 4 specific areas which strengthen the Prime areas.  These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts & Design

These Areas of Learning and Development address children’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development.  No one aspect of development stands in isolation from the others as all Areas of Learning and Development are all closely interlinked.  This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centred curriculum which allows children to make lots of links between what they are learning.

Active Learning through Play

At Christ Church CE Primary School we recognise that young children learn best when they are active.  We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Therefore, we believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible and our EYFS setting has an ethos of learning through play.

We recognise the importance of children’s play.  It is an essential and rich part of their learning process, supporting them in all areas of development.  Play is a powerful motivator encouraging children to be creative and to develop their ideas, understanding and language.  Play is also flexible and able to suit the preferred learning style of the child. It can provide multiple ways for children to learn a variety of different skills and concepts.

In the EYFS at Christ Church CE Primary School practitioners provide both structured and unstructured play opportunities inside and outside. These activities are designed to engage and challenge children in practical, first-hand experiences which will support children to discover, explore, investigate, develop their personal interests and areas of curiosity, and help to make sense of the world around them as they begin to understand specific concepts. The quality of enhancements within our continuous provision promote Age Related challenge and therefore progression of skills across all ELGs and provides extension for all pupils with no ‘Glass Ceilings’. Play opportunities are also set up to provide children with opportunities to apply newly acquired knowledge, demonstrating their skills and level of understanding.

In providing these active learning opportunities through play we understand the central position of play within the EYFS framework.  This is essentially a play based curriculum and pedagogy as the provision of play opportunities underpins its delivery within settings.

Planning

The EYFS Statutory framework 2021, Development Matters non-statutory guidance, White Rose Maths EYFS scheme of work and our whole-school Religious Education curriclulum have all informed our Nursery and Reception long term plans/curriculum overview which set out the pathways to children’s intended learning and development and which promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

Planning takes place collaboratively between Nursery staff, Reception staff and subject leads.

Medium term plans have been generated in colloboration with all core and foundation subject leads to produce and deliver a fully interlinking KS1/KS2 foundation and core curriculum with EYFS. Using these medium term plans, half termly ‘Knowledge Organisers’ have been created for both Nursery and Reception with a clear half termly focus for each of the core and foundation subjects.

Please note that despite the indepth planning of our long and medium term overviews we do not conisider our curriculum to be prescriptive and in fact advocate for our highly experienced staff to use their professional judgement to adapt these plans to support our pedagogy that ‘children are at the heart of everything we do’ and therefore allows for planning to be informed by individual children’s needs, development and interests.

Short term planning takes place on a weekly basis taking into account both the needs of the children and their particular interests and learning styles.

  • The needs of the learners will be fully understood by careful observation of their play, assessment during adult led tasks and through their own self-reflection to ensure that no child is left behind.
  • The learners will be given weekly age-related challenges and opportunities to explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world through structured and spontaneous play.
  • They will be given the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own.  They will communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
  • The learning environment is planned for both indoors and outdoors to encourage a positive attitude to learning that is not exclusive to a classroom setting and provides different approaches and tasks to be adapted to different learning styles.  The children make their own selection of the activities/challenges on offer as this encourages independent learning.
  • Daily ‘Hybrid’ teaching - teaching episodes that teach vital skills for children to then explore within their play.
  • Mathematics – in Reception to follow the ‘White Rose Maths’ scheme of work (Nursery to have a ‘Number of the Week’ and to move onto White Rose Maths in the Summer term for identified children).
  • Daily systematic synthetic phonics teaching – in Reception to follow the Phonics Play scheme of work (Nursery to deliver Phase 1 teaching moving on to Phase 2 in the summer term for identified children).
  • Reading books linked to phonics stage taught and are phonically decodable.
  • Children to read to everyday.
  • Reading sessions focus on phonics, vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Provide a vocabulary rich learning environment.
  • Daily opportunities where children can listen to stories.
  • Promote community friendly places in continuous provision to support interactions and provide opportunities to listen and respond to children.
  • Intervention sessions planned, timetabled and delivered for identified pupils/pupil groups.

In planning and guiding children’s activities at Christ Church C.E. Primary School, practitioners also reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice. The three characteristics of effective teaching and 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.

Admissions & Induction

Nursery

  1. On receipt of Nursery Admissions Form, parents along with their child are invited to visit the setting to discuss specific interests, additional needs, any medical/dietary requirements, answer any questions and to agree next steps to ensure a smooth transition into their learning journey at Christ Church. If a child is currently attending a different Nursery provider please see Reception point 1&2 below for procedures.
  2. Parents are invited to an induction meeting in June.
  3. A gradual, well supported admission to the Early Years allows children to be introduced to the routines of the school at a pace that they are comfortable with and gives the staff time to sufficiently support children into a new environment, with an understanding that some learners may require more comforting and socialising as they approach a more directed learning situation than they may have experienced before.  Therefore, we operate a staggered intake for the first 2 weeks to ensure all children begin nursery in a small group, thus enabling them to build relationships with staff more easily.
  4. Children are given the opportunity to visit the school for “stay and play sessions” at the end of the summer term.

Reception

  1. On receipt of the Reception Admissions list, Reception Teachers contact each child’s current Nursery setting to arrange visits by the Reception Teachers to the current providers to introduce themselves to each child and to discuss their level of develop, specific interests, safeguarding concerns, additional needs and any medical/dietary requirements.
  2. End of Nursery assessment data is requested for each child which is used to help to inform on-entry data to Reception. We have developed an open and professional relationship with a range of our regular intake Nursery providers where we provide feedback to moderate this data. External pre-school providers have been invited to attend local EYFS cluster meetings to moderate their assessments and to share good practice with a focus on early reading including delivery of systematic synthetic phonics teaching.
  3. Parents are invited to an induction meeting in June.
  4. Children are given the opportunity to visit the school for “stay and play sessions” at the end of the summer term.
  5. Children attend school part time for the first week of term.  Half the class attend for the morning and the remaining half attend for the afternoon. 
  6. The routine of the school day is introduced gradually, especially those aspects that take the child away from their environment i.e. PE and assembly.
  7. Staying for lunchtime is approached gradually and monitored to ensure that all children feel comfortable and secure; for the first few weeks the children are supported by the Early Years Practitioners in the hall.

At the end of Reception there is extensive transitioning between those leaving the foundation stage as they move into KS1. The year 1 teachers spends time in the Reception classrooms as well as the Reception children spending time in the Year 1 classes.

See ‘Admissions Policy for our School’ for more information.

Parents as Partners

At Christ Church C.E. Primary School we recognise the importance of establishing positive relationships with parents and carers, as highlighted by the EYFS framework.  We understand that an effective partnership between school and home will have a positive impact on children’s learning and development. So, practitioners endeavour to encourage the regular sharing of information about the children with parents.

We value the role of parents as children’s primary educators. Through feedback forms, emails, Evidenceme online learning journals, and informal chats at the beginning and end of the day, practitioners encourage parents to share their unique knowledge of their child, providing further insight into the child as an individual (e.g. characteristics, interests, experiences, likes, dislikes).  This supports practitioners in establishing interests and stimulating learning experiences, responding to children’s needs and interests.

Parents are kept informed of what is happening in the setting through School PING, regular letters, reading records and informal chatting at the beginning and end of the day. Whole school newsletters are sent home on a weekly basis and termly plans are shared on the school’s website along with class webpages which contain year group specific material. To support remote learning we also have class Facebook pages and Microsoft TEAMS class pages, including live face to face teaching sessions, which will continue to be utilised to strengthen our home/school communication.

See ‘Remote Learning Policy 2020-2021’ for more information.

Parents are invited to attend parents’ evenings during the course of the academic year.  The first of these takes place during the autumn term to allow practitioners and parents to discuss how children have settled into the school or nursery. Another parent’s evening takes place during the spring term where practitioners will feedback on children’s learning and development progress.

The school has a friendly and open-doors ethos and practitioners are available to talk to parents at the beginning (though with a class to supervise, this is encouraged only for very brief notices) and end of the day.  Parents are always welcomed into school and encouraged to discuss any concerns they might have.

Assessment

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning preferences, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners at Christ Church C.E. Primary School respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share.

Within 4 weeks of the child starting in our Nursery they will be given a ‘baseline’ assessment whilst children starting in our Reception will complete the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment’ (RBA) within the first 6 weeks of joining us – the aim being to do this as soon as possible after same.

Formative Assessment - As the year progresses children are monitored on their development and progress in all areas of development.  Examples of children’s learning, showing their individual level and stage of development are built up throughout the year. Provision is made for these observations and assessments through experience and play. Formative EYFS assessment software (EvidenceMe) is used to collate, track and analyse children’s progress throughout the year.

Assessment Cycle:

Baseline

Reception (RBA) - within the first 6 week of the Autumn term, but as soon as possible after starting. The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception. The assessment covers all intakes in reception within an academic year including during autumn, spring and summer terms.

Nursery – within 4 weeks of child’s start date.

Progress

Reception and Nursery – October, February & July – Children’s attainment and progress recorded on individual cohort tracker.

Summative Data 

In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, and no later than 30 June in that term, the EYFS Profile must be completed for each child. The Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a wellrounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their

attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1. Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the early learning goals (see below). Practitioners must indicate whether children are meeting ‘expected’ levels of development, or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’).

Early Learning Goals:

Communication and Language

1. Listening, Attention and Understanding ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

2. Speaking ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

3. Self-Regulation ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

4. Managing Self ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
  • Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

5. Building Relationships ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;
  • Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;
  • Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

Physical development

6. Gross Motor Skills ELG

  • Children at the expected level of development will:
  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

7. Fine Motor Skills ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.

Literacy

8. Comprehension ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

9. Word Reading ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

10. Writing ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

Mathematics

11. Number ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
  • Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
  • Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

12. Numerical Patterns ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
  • Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
  • Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.

Understanding the World

13. Past and Present ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling;

14. People Culture and Communities ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

15. The Natural World ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive Arts and Design

16. Creating with Materials ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

17. Being Imaginative and Expressive ELG

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

We have two formal Parents’ Evenings in the autumn and spring term. EYFS individual pupil school reports are given out at the end of the year which are shared with parents and include a commentary of their child’s Characteristics of Effective Learning.  Parents are given the opportunity to discuss their child’s report with the teachers in July.

Impact Exemplification

  • The vast majority of all pupils achieve at least the expected (good) progress in all 17 ELGs with the majority making accelerated (outstanding) progress.
  • Over the past 3 Years of reported data the % of all pupils achieving GLD has been in line/above the National average.
  • Over the past 3 years of reported data the APS of pupils at the end of EYFS has been above the National average in each year.
  • Pupils development a passion for reading and a confidence in their own early reading skills.
  • Ongoing formative assessment and summative data, alongside evidence from learning walks, pupil interviews, parental feedback, external consultancy feedback, learning journeys scrutiny and EYFS cluster/LA moderation demonstrates that our pupils are securing their development in all areas of learning and demonstrating their potential via their Characteristics of Effective Learning – this all ensures readiness for the next stage of their learning.

EYFS - Statutory Framework & Guidance

EYFS - Long Term Plans

Reception Subject Focus Planning

Nursery Subject Focus Planning

Schemes of Work

British Values - EYFS

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Examples of Continuous Provison in EYFS

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