Phase 1 Lead: Mrs Brookes
In EYFS at Godfrey Ermen Primary School, the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home and to provide first hand learning experiences, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity. Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values through play, exciting experiences and a progressive curriculum. We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning. Throughout their time in EYFS, the children develop a sense of belonging to our school community, ready to transition to year 1 after their EYFS journey. They develop the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
To create a language rich indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning. To support children in nursery to develop the essential skills in the Prima Areas to continue through to reception and deepen their foundation knowledge of the Specific Areas, when they are happy and confident learners.
We aim for our children to enjoy their EYFS journey and we support the children to make progress and reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure all children make positive progress from their 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 Godfrey Ermen Primary, 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 that, supports 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.
Throughout EYFS at Godfrey Ermen Primary School, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum. We have a curriculum that is child-centred and that is based upon relevant and exciting experiences and themes related to subject curriculum areas, which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested. We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning. All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development,
• Communication and Language,
• Understanding the World,
• Expressive Arts and Design
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s play, learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique interests are supported. During each week, the children will work with the different staff members to undertake a range of adult initiated activities to support different areas of learning and a range of child initiated challenges through both the indoor and outdoor provision. A vital adult initiated activity is out daily phonics session, which is planned to meet the needs of all ages and abilities. In nursery, we focus on a wide range of listening and attention, rhyme and sound activities to develop the appropriate skills in preparation for the children being ready to hear the letter sounds. The Read Write Inc rhymes are then introduced in nursery and then the RWInc approach is continued through to reception to support the children’s early reading development.
A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis. Continuous provision practise and principles begin in EYFS and support children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. Daily guided activities are also planned to cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Through observation and discussion, areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play. In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practise. Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning through their play and interaction with them, to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s online See Saw or paper learning journey. We regularly assess where the children are, using ‘Development Matters’ to support our professional discussions and we then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment; including continuous provision, support children to reach their next steps.
Our inclusive approach means we all learn together but we will include a range of interventions for groups or individuals if and when necessary. Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place.
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.
We have a dedicated time focusing on health and self-care where we explore yoga and relaxation techniques. We share a range of healthy snacks and learn about the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle. We learn how essential good teeth brushing is to maintain our own health and wellbeing. All of children perform in a Winter Wonderland, receive certificates in assembly, and participate in trips, for example, visiting a Farm and the Zoo. The children are visited by a vast range of People Who Help Us, such as community members including the police, fire service, postal workers, vets, doctors, nurses, their animals and vehicles. They plant bulbs and seeds, watch them grow and eat their produce such as strawberries and herbs.
To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and spend time with their child, share their work/play and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, nursery or home visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, teddy bears picnic, wow moments, reports and parent consultations as well as more frequent informal communication using See Saw.
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations. Evidence in children’s learning journeys support all areas of the EYFS curriculum. We assess the number of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year and we put supportive interventions in place when needed. Class teachers use observations and professional discussions to make formative assessments, which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Our Early Learning Goals judgements have been moderated both in school and externally with local schools in our clusters to support the staff when having professional discussions and making confident judgments.
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded, happy individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for our children to be ready for the next stage of learning and have our school PRIDE values embedded by the time the end of their EYFS journey, preparing them for their future.