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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 we believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life, both intellectually and emotionally, in order to enable them to develop their full potential. 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 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, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers

·         Children develop and learn in different ways (“the characteristics of effective teaching and learning”) and 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.

Intent

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

·         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.

·         Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.

·         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.

Implementation

Teaching in the EYFS department at Christ Church CE Primary School is delivered in accordance with the government’s statutory document “The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage” (March 2017).  This document is a principled approach to Early Years education, bringing together children’s welfare, learning and development requirements through four themes: “A Unique Child”, “Positive Relationships”, “Enabling Environments” and “Children Learn in Different Ways and 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 framework provides a long term plan to follow by ensuring that all Early Learning Goals are covered throughout the academic year.

Planning takes place collaboratively between Nursery staff and Reception staff.

Medium term plans are generated according to seasonal changes, children’s interests and special times of year.

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 whilst using the Development Matters statements as a means of continuity and progression for their learning.

·         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.

·         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. 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

·         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.

·         Parents are invited to an induction meeting in June.

·         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.

·         Children are given the opportunity to visit the school for “stay and play sessions” at the end of the summer term.

Reception

·         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.

·         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.

·         Parents are invited to an induction meeting in June.

·         Children are given the opportunity to visit the school for “stay and play sessions” at the end of the summer term.

·         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. 

·         The routine of the school day is introduced gradually, especially those aspects that take the child way from their environment i.e. PE and assembly.

·         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, 2Simple 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 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 half termly plans are shared on the school’s website along with class webpages which contain year group specific material.

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 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 they will be given a “baseline” assessment.

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 (2Simple) is used to collate, track and analyse children’s progress throughout the year.

Assessment Cycle:

Baseline

Reception – September.

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 

At the end of the year we will assess the Reception Class children against the EYFS Profile Early Learning Goals, stating whether they are EMERGING, EXPECTED or EXCEEDING.

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

·         The vast majority of all pupils achieve at least the expected progress in all 17 ELGs with the majority making accelerated progress.

·         Over the past 3 Years the % of all pupils achieving GLD has been in line/above the National average.

·         Over the past 3 years 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

Schemes of Work

British Values - EYFS

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Examples of Continuous Provison in EYFS

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