EYFS OVERVIEW (Intent, Implementation, Impact)
What is the intent of the Early Years Foundation Chew Stoke Church School?
Our vision for EYFS is to help all children develop a lifelong love of learning and lay the necessary foundations to give them the best possible start to their education.
We intend to do this by offering a broad and balanced curriculum that will excite and engage the children and provides them with the skills and knowledge needed to make good or better progress from their individual starting points.
We want all our children to become happy, confident and resilient learners who enjoy coming to school and feel safe and nurtured within the school environment. We aim to provide an environment where children can feel confident to try new things, to explore, to question and to make and learn from their mistakes. Children will have opportunities to have moments of continuous activity of their own choice, as well as some specific adult-led sessions. We will develop effective working relationships based on mutual respect with parents/carers to ensure that we fully understand the uniqueness and prior experiences of all our children.
Our curriculum celebrates diversity and promotes the children’s personal, social and emotional development alongside their academic progress. We recognise that children learn in different ways and will feel challenged and creative by different things. Our Early Years team use careful observation to utilise this approach. Opportunities to seize the moment when a child shows interest in an activity will build upon these needs being recognised. Skillful adult interactions will aim to address children’s next steps immediately, during both planned activities and child-initiated play. We have high and ambitious expectations for all children. We want to give all children the opportunity to realise their full potential and are equipped with all the tools they need to transition to Year 1 effectively.
Implementation (how do we achieve what we set out to do?)
Our curriculum is designed using ‘The Early Years Statutory Framework’ which sets out five prime areas of learning and four specific areas for learning within the EYFS.
We cover the seven areas of learning to ensure that pupils experience a curriculum that is broad and ambitious that develops their vocabulary and prepares them for their next stage of learning.
Alongside the Early Years curriculum, we celebrate our children’s ability to develop strong characteristics of learning which each focus on different learning behaviours including resilience, creativity, working together.
At Chew Stoke Church School we develop in-depth knowledge about each child through the use of observation, interactions and both formative and summative assessment. We use this information to carefully plan exciting and engaging sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences and move children’s learning forward whilst also taking into account individual interests and talents. Staff use high-quality questioning and interactions to check understanding, address misconceptions, reinforce new vocabulary and facilitate next steps in learning. The children will learn through a careful balance of whole class and small group adult-led activities alongside provocations for learning and child-initiated play.
Literacy, language and learning to read are a priority of our curriculum with an overall emphasis on early reading and phonics. Storytime is a valued part of our daily routine. Quality stories, poems and rhymes are used to feed the children’s imagination, encourage reading for pleasure, enhance their vocabulary and develop their comprehension. As well as taking home decodable reading books as part of their phonics, children take home additional story books to read for pleasure with their parents/ carers to promote a love of reading at home.
Our school’s approach to teaching early reading and phonics is systematic and ensures that pupils learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception. We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception so children make rapid progress in their reading journey. The children are taught phonics daily and in a structured way, building up the children’s phonics knowledge and skills explicitly. As a school we have selected the Unlocking Letters and Sounds programme to deliver phonics across Reception and Key Stage 1. At Chew Stoke Church School we promote a 'phonics first' approach in both our guided reading sessions at school and in the books, children take home. Children are regularly assessed to ensure texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.
We follow a whole school teaching for mastery approach in mathematics using the White Rose Maths programme alongside guidance from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths. The children have a daily Mathematics lesson where the children are given lots of opportunities to develop concrete experience of numbers and problem-solving with practical resources.
Understanding of the World
Our curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the pupils’ spiritual, social and cultural development through the syllabus ‘Awareness Mystery and Values’. Children begin their RE journey by understanding what it means to be a part of a community, listening to stories that explore morals and meanings and developing an understanding of both Christianity and other religions and cultures around the world. E.g. Hinduism and Judaism. To help ensure that children leave school prepared for life in modern Britain, the DfE issued guidance to all schools on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of children through the promotion of fundamental British values. Across our school, we aim to develop a climate where the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are deeply embedded at every level and lived through our vivid vision, core Christian values and curriculum. In the Early Years Foundation Stage spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is at the heart of our daily practice. Our learning environment and the activities within it have been carefully planned to provide our children with the opportunity to develop both emotionally and academically. We believe that the Early Years are essential in providing children with the strongest start, ensuring they become considerate, compassionate and respectful members of society. Our curriculum provides wide-ranging opportunities to develop both physical and emotional well-being.
Importance of Play
At Chew Stoke Church School we recognise the importance of play in helping children to develop their personal, social and emotional skills as well as their language and communication skills. We ensure it gives children the opportunity to investigate the world both physically and imaginatively. The children have free-flow access to both our indoor and outdoor learning environments where they can explore the world around them and develop their social interactions and physical skills.
Play is therefore an integral part of the learning experience for the children in EYFS as stated below.
Working with Parents
We aim to work collaboratively with parents and provide regular parent conferences, information evenings throughout the year, letters/ emails and text messages which both inform and support parents with the children’s learning. We also invite parents/carers to celebrate children’s achievements and progress through the use of ‘WOW’ stickers. These stickers are written by parents/ carers and celebrated as a whole class.
We provide effective and focused intervention for those children who are finding learning challenging and are not on track to meet expectations at the end of the year. This will be provided in an inclusive way and support from parents is also enlisted at an early stage to ensure that the children have every chance to achieve the Early Learning Goals.
We are very fortunate to be able to have a term of Forest School. The sessions take place both within the school grounds and off-site within the local area. These sessions primarily focus on developing the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world and allow children to take risks in an unpredictable environment whilst promoting their physical and emotional well-being.
Whilst in Reception the children will additionally share a daily snack time together, giving them the opportunity to develop key social and language skills such as co-operation, taking turns and asking for help. They also participate in activities such as ‘Show and Tell’ and ‘Basil Bear’. These opportunities within the school day enable the children to further develop their language, speaking, listening and attention skills.
Throughout the school year we plan additional experiences, such as external visitors and school trips which enhance and enrich our curriculum further.
What is the impact of our EYFS Curriculum?
Prior to children starting school children are inducted through an extensive induction programme, where children and their families visit to take part in story times, picnic, visits to the classroom and other events taking place in school. Staff also spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress.
The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment)
This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.
All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paperwork. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing/making. Some observations are used to create a Learning Log which is shared with the children and parents/ carers.
Phonic assessments are carried out using phonics Tracker every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible.
Assessments are completed three times per year and shared with parents, whereby the Class Teacher updates the progress children have made through parent conferencing or a written report. In Summer Term 2, the EYFSP is completed where the teacher judges whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher.
Children have a secure foundation to build upon as they move through the school due to the strong planning for the learning and development of each child. The regular reviewing and measuring of children’s progress through the use of observation, formative and summative assessment results in experienced teachers being able to use their good knowledge of the children across all seven areas of learning to make accurate judgements of the children’s achievements. At Chew Stoke Church School children’s Good Level of Development (GLD) is consistently measured as being above the National average.
Positive relationships are formed with parents and carers are established. They are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development throughout the academic year and any learning or development needs are addressed in partnership with them and any other relevant professionals so their child can reach their potential.
The overall impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well-rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. They leave the EYFS with key knowledge and overarching concepts to enable them to access the requirements of the National Curriculum.