At Redhill Primary Academy the EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home, 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 settings. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts, and values.
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 learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively, and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.
To ensure children make outstanding progress within the EYFS, it is our intent to take into consideration their starting points and needs of our pupils as they begin their learning journey. Every child has access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum which prepares them for now and for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences. Following personal interests and individual needs, allows us to plan and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning and development and achieve their next steps.
Within the EYFS through our curriculum we incorporate the ‘Statutory Framework for EYFS’ and ‘Birth to Five, as well as other experiences and opportunities which best meet the developmental needs of the children in our school with value added to their culture capital and the development of a range of transferable skills.
The curriculum and early years practice have been shaped with respect to the four overarching principles:
Age-related expectations combine the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills to create an purposeful and exciting learning journey for every child. The curriculum programme of study has high expectations to combine transferable skills, demonstrate a breadth of vocabulary and develop strong, meaningful links. Inviting environments to stimulate children and interests, engaging them in quality thinking and reasoning. Through a ‘thematic’ approach planning is responsive to the children’s needs
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 in the EYFS curriculum:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported.
Daily guided activities are set up and planned that cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. We teach differentiated phonics following ‘Letters and Sounds’ and Guided Reading daily to ensure the children are given the skills and time to apply their phonics skills to read and write. 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 practice.
We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning to ensure learning takes place:
Children in the 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.
Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s Learning Journey. We regularly assess where the children are using the Development Matters and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps
Pupils work towards the Early Learning Goals of the Early Years Foundation Stage with the intentions of being ready to move onto the National Curriculum Programmes of Study at the start of Year 1. Throughout this period and beyond children are still developing their phonic knowledge and their fluency in reading through structured teaching of daily phonics.
The delivery of the curriculum uses an integrated thematic approach where the 17 areas of learning and development are integrated into a theme if appropriate but also taught discretely where this might be more suitable to the circumstances. Throughout the year we have special days or weeks which have a clear focus, for example, Science Week, World Book Day and Friendship week. These are special events that enable children to put learning into practice in a variety of other situations.
We take pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners of all abilities can demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and many make good progress in their learning. Children at all levels of ability are helped to achieve their potential. Through pupil progress analysis, those who learn rapidly are challenged and supported with tasks that provide opportunities to develop mastery. Those children who are presented with a barrier or are slower graspers are provided with target support through modified activities and additional interventions in order to embed skills. Examples of interventions provided are Nuffield Early Language Intervention, reading, phonics, cool kids, funky fingers and mathematics.
Staff support transition into:
Nursery-Preparing videos and photographs to share with the children before transitions days.
Reception-Sharing photographs and videos of the environment and staff. The EYFS lead contacts the previous settings to arrange visits or discussion with key workers to meet the children. We also offer taster days towards the end of the summer term, where they meet the children and staff within the EYFS.
Year 1-Preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of Reception and the start of Year 1.
We anticipate that our curriculum program of study will ensure that children are equipped with skill sets and prepared for the future. During their time in EYFS they become fantastic role models and the very best of themselves. Their individuality is valued and the unique child has every opportunity to achieve and excel, based upon their own personal strengths, interest and core values whilst learning in EYFS, and in the future.
From different starting points, children progressing from their first year in Nursery to transitioning into Year 1 will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be promoted and eventually mastered to ensure children are ready and fully prepared to begin learning the National Curriculum programme of study in Year 1.
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 near National expectations.
Evidence in children’s Learning Journeys and other workbooks support all areas of the EYFS curriculum. Class teachers use observations to make 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’s attainment to age related expectations using Development Matters to support us. 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 with local schools. Experienced staff undertake moderator training through the LA which helps validate school judgements.