Early Years Foundation Stage
At Yorkley Primary School we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities and promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning. It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment that values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others. We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We recognise the crucial role that Early Years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Yorkley Primary School, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points. Our curriculum has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the prime areas of learning; personal, social and emotional development and communication and language, including oracy. Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start. By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
At Yorkley Primary School we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children. Children are encouraged to become early readers through the enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through the Letters and Sound Little Wandle programme. The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We have built our school environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play and children spend time outdoors in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit, water area and other sensory spaces. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children’s interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language and communication development. All planning, however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted depending on children’s interests. We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but have a range of additional interventions and support for children who may not be reaching their potential, or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need a further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics and mathematics.
We have high expectations to ensure that all children make strong progress across all the areas of the EYFS curriculum. Progress is evident in learning journals and data. We 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 also measured by how effectively it helps our children develop into well-rounded individuals who embody our school values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for our children to be ‘Year 1 ready’ by the end of their Reception year. Our children make strong progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Knowledge, understanding and skills are secured and embedded so that children attain highly and are fully prepared for their New Year group.
At the end of EYFS our children;
- Have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Our children also listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others
- Take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best
- Demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenges
- Develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities
- Are kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society