Blackfell Primary School
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Blackfell Primary School the aim of our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is to provide a curriculum that underpins all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing all children to ensure they achieve their true potential so they can:
- Be the best they can be
- Be prepared for lifelong learning
- Develop values, ethos and wellbeing
- Work in partnership
Based on the Rosenshine Principles by providing instructional support; teaching new material in manageable amounts; good use of modelling; helping children when they have made errors and providing for sufficient practice and review we ensure that the children at our school efficiently acquire, rehearse, and connect background knowledge.
We aim to provide a secure, stimulating and positive learning environment where children are at the centre of our practice. An environment that ensures all children can develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and develop a curiosity in the world around them. Where they will develop a good moral judgement; effective communication skills, whilst becoming independent, confident learners and creative thinkers.
Blackfell’s EYFS aims to achieve this by:
- Considering the whole child: physical, social and emotional wellbeing, health, and learning
- Ensuring that each child is equally valued and reaches their full potential
- Providing a safe, stimulating environment, both indoors and outdoors
- Planning for and delivering a broad, balanced curriculum
- Recognising and recording individual children’s progress and achievements
- Establishing the child’s connections within family, communities, cultures and the natural world
- Securing a positive, on-going partnership with parents/carers and families, acknowledging the vital role they play in their child’s education
In EYFS at Blackfell Primary School, the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home. The curriculum is one that provides 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. 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.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year. Throughout their time in EYFS, children develop a sense of belonging to our school community, ready to transition to Year 1 the following academic year. They have 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 an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.
- To prepare children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points.
- To support transition into KS1.
Throughout EYFS at Blackfell Primary School, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, updated March 2021, by the DfE. This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we cover in our curriculum.
In the EYFS we use the Birth to Five Matters non-statutory guidance, that sets out the pathways of children’s development from birth to a child's year in Reception. This guidance is divided into broad ages and stages, for example, birth to 3, 3-4 years and Reception.
We have a curriculum that is child-centred and that is based upon wow experiences and topics 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 to ensure the delivery of a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum, which contain 3 Prime and 4 Specific areas of learning:
- Communication and Language (Prime)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Prime)
- Physical Development (Prime)
- Literacy (Specific)
- Mathematics (Specific)
- Understanding the World (Specific)
- Expressive Arts and Design (Specific)
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning experiences and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that the child’s unique interests are supported. During each week, the children in Reception work with an adult to complete at least one 1:1 reading session. To support our home reading, a range of reading schemes, such as Big Cat Collins, Floppy Phonics, Rigby Star, Oxford Reading Tree and other subsidiaries are used. These are all categorised according to the phonic phase our children are currently working. Children in Nursery begin home reading during the summer term, or when it is deemed appropriate to develop their needs. Daily phonics take place using Letters and Sounds to support phonic implementation and each child works through each of the 6 phases at their own pace, from listening and identifying environmental sounds, body percussion, rhythm and rhymes to learning new phoneme and grapheme sounds, together with a range of high frequency and tricky words.
There are Mathematics long and medium-term plans in place, highlighting the adult-led learning and interaction taking place daily in small groups and the activities that will support and develop the understanding of number and number patterns. Literacy long and medium-term plans are in place with daily adult-led activities to support early mark making, writing using labels, captions and simple sentences. Number and letter formation rhymes are in place to support correct orientation and formation of letters. A range of child-initiated tasks, through both the indoor and outdoor provision are provided to support and consolidate newly taught skills, ensuring that the children build on previous knowledge in order to know more and remember more. The children in EYFS develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. During the school day, children have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff.
Daily adult-led 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. A range of stimulating and engaging activities are provided to ensure children access a range of areas within the environment to develop independence and have a variety of opportunities to engage in child-initiated play.
In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice. Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected using floor books, documenting each child’s learning journey. We regularly assess the children, using ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ guidance and then ensure planning, adult interaction and the learning environment supports children to reach their full potential. We include 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 planned 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 techniques, such as, tooth brushing. We share a range of healthy snacks and learn about the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle to maintain our own wellbeing. All of children perform in a Nativity and class assembly, receive certificates in assembly, and participate in a range of cultural trips, providing first hand experiences. The children are visited by a range of People Who Help Us, such community members including the police, fire service and health workers. They are able to experience an eye and hearing test and participate in whole class assemblies. They plant bulbs, herbs and seeds, watch them grow and every year enjoy the opportunity to watch the hatching of baby chicks or ducklings. This provides the children with opportunities to learn about lifecycles and the responsibility of caring for living things.
To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and share their child’s work and celebrate successes. We keep parents and carers informed through newsletters, school app and website. Meetings with parents and carers are arranged to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy, allowing them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, nursery or home visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, learning journeys, wow moments, reports and parent consultations as well as more frequent informal communication to suit individual families. We also support the transition into Key Stage 1. We prepare children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of EYFS and the start of Year 1. The children alongside their new teacher complete ‘moving on’ activities and at home complete a summer project throughout the summer term. These aim to support the transition for all.
Special Educational Needs Disability (SEND) / Pupil Premium / Higher Attainers
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.
We strive to ensure that all 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.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of children achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. Observations of the children are made to support formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
Summative assessment compares children attainment to age related expectations using ages and stages set out in the non-statutory guidance, Birth to 5 Matters. This is tracked using target trackers to ensure rates of progress are good or better for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, disadvantaged or summer born children. Our assessment judgements are moderated in house and externally with local cluster schools. We also partake in local authority moderation which has validated our school judgements.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
Please click here to view Early Years Documenthttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/974907/EYFS_framework_-_March_2021.pdf