At Curry Mallet C of E VC Primary School our aim is to create a learning environment and build relationships which support, enhance and invite a child’s curiosity and individual competency to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs. We aim to work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive and reach their full potential. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning. To ensure that children make good progress, it is our intent to take into consideration their starting points and needs as they begin their learning journey. Every child has access to a broad, balance and differentiated curriculum which prepares them for now and for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences. We follow personal interests and individual needs and this allows us to plan and provide opportunities to support learning and development and achieve their next steps. Our EYFS curriculum aims to enable children to be:
- Competent and curious learners; who are curious about the world around them.
- Secure and confident; who enjoy coming to school and learning new skills and knowledge building on their existing learning.
- Skilful communicators; who connect with others through language and play in a vocabulary rich environment.
It is our intent to ensure that all children will receive the teaching of early reading through systematic, synthetic phonics to learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception.
At Curry Mallet C of E VC Primary School, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.
This is made up of four overriding principles which our early year’s education is based upon:
Unique child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments – 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 carers.
Learning and Development – Children learn and develop in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Our curriculum provides a play-based and experiential learning environment, combined with focussed teaching and basic skills to ensure children make rapid progress before moving onto Year 1. The children in both Pre-School and Reception are provided with ample opportunities accessible in our indoor and outdoor provision. They engage in planned, focussed activities as well as self- initiated and free flow activities. In Reception, the timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, maths and phonics everyday as well as regular circle time to focus on PSED. In line with the rest of Curry Mallet Primary School both Pre-school and Reception have themes over the course of the year. These involve big questions which have to be explored and answered. The learning experiences within our Early Years are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. These areas are split into three prime areas and four specific areas. The three prime areas are those which the children should develop first and are considered most essential for the healthy development and future learning of our children: These include:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – this involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confident in their own abilities.
Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their skills and confidence in expressing themselves and to speak in a range of situations.
Physical Development – involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
As children grow and progress in the prime areas, this will help them to naturally develop skills within the four specific areas. These are:
Literacy – the early teaching of literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics – the early teaching of mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, have a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, explore and understand relationships between numbers and exploring number patterns.
Opportunities are given for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills and be able to use and describe shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World – this involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design – this involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, role-play and design and technology.
Children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum and staff plan resourcefully for opportunities for communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenges to build on existing skills taking into account the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We provide rich first-hand experiences (inside, outdoors, visitors and school trips) to widen experiences and add awe and wonderment. New vocabulary is introduced through meaningful interactions, experiences and reading high quality language rich texts. Staff model standard English and ask high quality questions. Our curriculum promotes and supports children’s emotional security and development of their character and enables children to take risks in a safe and secure environment. We support children to be active and develop physically and give clear messages as to why it is important to eat, drink and exercise and well as be kind to others.
The experiences of the task will be revisited and demonstrated through being deeply engaged in play. Our children will grow to be confident lifelong learners and good citizens. The children at Curry Mallet C of E VC Primary School experience a smooth transition between Pre-School, Reception and Year 1. Effective communication and collaboration ensure the children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning upon which to build. We use paper learning journeys in Pre-School and an Online learning journey in Reception (Seesaw). This is supplemented with exercise books in Reception which evidence the successes and progress of the children. We carry out regular internal moderation and ensure that staff attend training to feel confident. Assessment starts with careful observations which are then used to inform planning and as a result learning and teaching is effective as children feel a sense of belonging, curiosity and competence. Progress towards the ELGs will ensure a positive disposition to learn.
EYFS Curriculum by subject
In EYFS we learn our history through the areas of Understanding the world, Expressive arts and Design, Communication and Language and Literacy, as well as during our forest school sessions. The history skills that we develop are: using language associated with the past (including yesterday, last week, last year), using the past tense when speaking about things that happened in the past. We also remember and discuss the children’s lives and share significant events, talk about how things have changed and start to put events in order. We look for similarities and differences between now and in the past. The children are encouraged to share memories of things they have done with people that are special to them including friends, family, classmates and teachers. The children are encouraged to recognise chronology within stories and talk about the order of events in familiar stories as well as recognising language that shows the story happened in the past.
In EYFS we learn our geography through the areas of Understanding the world, Expressive Arts and Design, Communication and Language, Literacy and Maths as well as during our forest school sessions. The geography skills that we develop are: locational knowledge by discussing subjects such as where they live and how they travel to school. We explore the children’s knowledge of places by talking about differences they notice when they are in different places, encouraging them to talk about places they have been or places they have heard about in stories or when looking at books or TV/videos. We also use language that relates to place such (in, on, under, next to, in front of, behind, up, down). We talk about human and physical geographical knowledge and recognise elements of our environment that are manmade or natural. We learn about simple maps through stories and by following maps during play.
Understanding Technology has been removed from the EYFS Profile but at Curry Mallet we believe that children need to be prepared for a digital world so although there is no early learning goal which relates directly to Computing, children are exposed to computing and technology in a variety of ways such as spotting patterns in maths, music, PE, Science or English. We use Barefoot computing to develop key skills. The key skills that we develop are an awareness of technologies both in and out of school, an awareness of the cause and effect of technology (online safety), storing information digitally (photography, writing and research), input and output of devices (programming and algorithms) and using technology creatively. The characteristics of effective learning further support the key skills of an effective computing curriculum and we encourage children to use attributes of collaborating, perseverance, problem solving and logical reasoning.
In EYFS we learn our art and design through the areas of physical development, PSED and expressive arts and design. The art and design skills that we develop are to use a range of everyday art materials, to explore colour, texture and form, to use a range of tools like pencils, brushes and scissors with increasing precision, to explore ideas by creating drawings, paintings and sculptures, to explore a range of techniques to draw, paint, print and sculpt, to recognise and explore colour, pattern and shape, to express opinions and feelings in relation to their own art and other artist’s work, to share their work with other people and talk about what they have created.
In EYFS we learn our design technology through the areas of Communication and Language, PSED, Physical Development and Expressive arts and design. The design technology skills that we develop are: describing something they want to make/build or construct, explain who they are making/building or constructing for, discuss which materials they are going to use, planning constructions, joining materials with tape and glue, discuss and evaluate their constructions and say what they are pleased with, discuss how they could make it better, talk about everyday objects that they like and say why they are good, to build with a range of materials. In addition, in EYFS we develop understanding of food and nutrition by recognising healthy and unhealthy foods, following simple instructions to make food and learn how to use cutlery.
In EYFS we learn our religious education through the areas of communication and language, PSED and Understanding the world. The RE key skills that we develop are knowing that different people have different faiths (Beliefs), know that some stories come from different holy books and to express responses to these stories. We also explore the different ways people live their religion by studying different times of celebration and different ways of celebrating as well as describing how we can join in and enjoy our own family customs and routines. We also learn that people of all faiths can live well alongside each other. We learn about the different ways in which people express their beliefs such as prayer and worship and we learn about the similarities and differences between themselves and others.
In EYFS we follow the Jigsaw PSHE programme and have discrete PSHE adult led sessions. In addition, we learn about PSHE through all three areas of PSED: Building relationships, self-regulation and managing self. We also learn about PSHE through the areas of Understanding the world and Communication and language. The key skills that we learn are understanding right from wrong and why it is important to have boundaries and rules, learning how to play cooperatively and take turns, recognising and showing sensitivity to other’s needs and recognising similarities and differences between themselves and others.
In EYFS we learn our PE through discrete PE lessons as well as through the area of Physical Development, PSED and Expressive Arts and Design. These areas enable us to practice and master fundamental movement skills, balls skills, team games, gymnastics and dance. The key skills that we develop are coordination, balance and agility through learning to move in different ways, by practising and developing ball skills and confidently using a range of apparatus. We develop our understanding of teamwork and rules by working and playing cooperatively with others. We develop our understanding of the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet for our overall long-term health. We develop our understanding of goal setting, resilience, perseverance and achieving personal goals.
In EYFS we learn our science through the areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, PSED and Understanding the world as well as well as during our forest school sessions. The science skills that we develop are: using language to describe, comment, question, predict and seek clarification. We use observation skills to look for similarities and differences
between the world around us and contrasting environments. We use our fine motor skills to draw and label pictures of the natural world including animals and plants. The children are encouraged to use scientific vocabulary to describe their observations and predictions. The children are encouraged to recognise changes and processes in the natural world such as seasonal change. Our weekly forest school sessions provide opportunities to closely observe change in trees, plants, seasons, weather patterns and animals and their habitats as well as offering opportunity to question, predict and test ideas and concepts.
In EYFS we learn our music through the areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, PSED and Expressive Arts and Design. We have discrete music lessons which explore music key skills such as pitch, rhythm, beat, tempo and pitch. Nursery rhymes and songs allow children to develop their understanding of rhythm and pitch as well as learning words and performing. Children are encouraged to express their ideas and feelings towards songs and music by responding through actions, movement and dance. We explore and name a variety of percussion instruments and use these to enhance songs or represent movements, characters or feelings.
Children in the Foundation Stage (Reception Year) have a profile that tracks their progress against 17 Early Learning Goals (ELG).
This profile summarises and describes children’s attainment at the end of the Reception year. It is based on observations and assessment in the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning as well as the three learning characteristics, set out below:
The Prime Areas of Learning:
Communication and Language
Personal, social and emotional development
The Specific Areas of Learning:
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Characteristics of Effective Learning:
Playing and Learning
Creating and thinking critically
A completed EYFS profile consists of 20 items of information: the attainment of each child assessed in relation to the 17 ELG descriptors, together with a short narrative describing the child’s three learning characteristics. For each ELG, practitioners must judge whether a child is AT the expected level of development (expected), or WORKING TOWARDS reaching this level (emerging). As the completed EYFS Profile must include a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning this will form the basis of the End of Year Report for the Reception Class.
In addition to the EYFS Profile, a statutory assessment (Reception Baseline Assessment RBA) is completed in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception. The RBA is a short assessment focusing on language, communication, literacy and mathematics.