Early Years Foundation Stage
At St. Andrew's, our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced start to education that allows all of our children to grow and achieve. They begin their education journey in ACORNS class and compete their primary school education in OAK class.
Intent - What do we aim to do?
- 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
- 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 good progress from their starting points
- To support transition into Key Stage One
Implementation - How do we do it?
We encourage active learning to ensure our children are motivated and interested - we take time to get to know our children’s strengths and interests so that we can support them within a nurturing environment. We keep families informed and meet regularly with parents and carers to ensure children’s transition into school and throughout their time in EYFS is successful as we recognise that strong relationships are fundamental. We want our children to feel safe and secure and have a readiness to learn. Our children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
These seven areas are used to plan our adult-led learning. We also provide a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for open-ended play. 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.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Personal, Social and Emotional Development includes:
- helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others
- forming positive relationships and developing respect for others
- developing social skills and learning how to manage feelings
- understanding appropriate behaviour in groups
- having confidence in their own abilities.
We want our children to understand their feelings, emotions and express their own needs. We help them to build the skills necessary to work and play well with others, such as sharing and taking turns whilst teaching them about ways to keep themselves safe.
Communication and Language
Our children are given opportunities to experience a rich language environment as they develop the confidence and skills for expressing themselves, learning how to speak and listen in a range of situations.
We want our children to speak confidently and clearly in front of others, whilst exploring and enjoying language. We will teach them to respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions, and they will learn to answer ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions in response to stories, events and other learning opportunities.
Physical Development focusses our children on improving the control and coordination of their bodies while learning to move and to handle equipment.
We teach our children to move confidently, explore space and avoid obstacles as they build their gross and fine motor skills. Our children learn how to stay healthy, manage their personal care and become more independent.
Literacy development involves encouraging our children to link sounds and letters and to 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.
We use the Sounds Write scheme to teach phonics. Our children systematically learn the sounds of the alphabet and how to write them. They are taught to blend the sounds together to read and segment words in order to write them. We aim to teach our children how to read and write simple sentences. We love to explore language and key features through listening to and learning from stories.
Mathematics aims to develop and improve skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and describing shapes, spaces and measures.
Our children develop an understanding of maths through stories, songs, games and imaginative play. They use a range of practical resources to build their knowledge and understanding of numbers up to 20, We help them to explore measures including capacity, weight, length, money and time, and they will learn about 2D and 3D shapes and how to use simple mathematical terms to describe them.
Understanding The World
Understanding the World guides our children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. We teach our children to use their senses to explore, ask and answer questions to find out more about the world around them.
They will have opportunities to:
- construct with a variety of materials
- find out about everyday technology and its uses
- complete a simple computer program
- discuss events from their own experiences
- discover facts about past events
- learn to embrace and respect different cultures and beliefs
Expressive Arts and Design
Expressive Arts and Design allows our 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, design and technology, music, movement, dance and role-play. Our children are artistic, creative and imaginative.
Impact - How do we know we have achieved this?
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is always good whilst being aware that the children all have different starting points. We work towards our children being able to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception, in line with national expectations.
Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that our children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Evidence in children’s Learning Journeys support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using month bands in the Development Matters. This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or who are disadvantaged.
Assessment judgements are moderated both in school and externally. Experienced staff undertake moderator training which helps validate school judgements.