In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we plan and teach in line with the ‘Development Matters’ framework, which you can read here.
We have three ‘prime’ areas of learning; personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development. We also have four ‘specific’ areas of learning; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Children access this curriculum through adult-let and child-initiated learning experiences, in both the indoor and outdoor environment. We try to link many of the areas as possible via cross curricular links. This is what we call the ‘Creative Curriculum’. We feel that a creative curriculum is more exciting and more relevant to the children, engaging the children through ‘topics’ which reflect their interests.
We also have subjects taught by our specialist staff. Wednesday is Music day and every class has a session with the EY Music Teacher. The Nursery children begin to gain an understanding of French taught by the Nursery staff while the Pre Reception and Reception are taught once a week by our EY French specialist. PE takes place once a week for each Nursery session and twice a week for each Pre Reception and Reception class. All classes are also timetables to use the Adventure Playground several times during the week.
The children have the opportunity to perform before an audience. For Harvest Festival, all the Early Years children come together and the Pre Reception and Reception children sing songs to the Nursery children.
At Christmas, the Nursery children dress up and sing songs to their parents; while the Pre Reception and Reception have year group performances on the stage in the Long Hall in front of their parents. Each class dresses up to sing a song and at the end, each year group comes together to perform a song together.
The Early Years children also come together for an Easter Assembly. At the end of the Summer Term, the Nursery children invite their parents and carers to a Teddy Bears picnic and the Pre Reception and Reception have year group concerts on the stage in the Long Hall in front of their parents.
The Early Years children are taught Makaton, which is a language programme using signs, symbols and speech to help communicate. Signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. It is extremely flexible and can personalize to an individual’s needs, at a level suitable for them. Using signs can help children who have no speech, limited speech or whose speech is unclear.
These include an OTN Curriculum Evening (Autumn and Spring Term), PR and R Information Evening-How to help your child to read (Autumn Term) and PR and R Information Evening-Mathematics (Spring Term).
We assess children in the EYFS using a statutory framework, which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old. This framework ensures that the children’s experience in the EYFS will provide an effective foundation for their future learning and development.
Each child in Early Years is allocated a Key Person. This information is displayed in the classroom so parents are able to discuss with the appropriate adult about their child’s development. During each term for all Nursery, Pre Reception and Reception children – evidence is collected to illustrate how each child is developing and progressing against the Development Matters document and is collated to form a portfolio (Learning Journal). This evidence can be in a range of forms including informal observations, photographs, samples of children’s independent activities and quotations.