At our school, our Early Years Provision is driven by a clear intent: to foster a love for learning in every child, igniting their curiosity and providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed as they progress into Key Stage 1. We firmly believe that all children, regardless of their background, can achieve great things, and we view high-quality Early Years education as the foundation for their future success. Our goal is to ensure that every child receives an inclusive and tailored education that addresses their unique needs, including special educational needs and behavioural considerations. Through a carefully planned curriculum aligned with the Early Years Framework and Development Matters, we strive to provide a sequential and targeted learning experience that supports and challenges each child along their individual learning journey. For children who are unable to access the curriculum at an age-expected level, we aim to differentiate the learning and provision to ensure that learning is accessible, ambitious, and achievable for all.
We place a strong emphasis on language development and cultural capital, aiming to provide enriching experiences that broaden children's horizons and support their overall attainment. Our children are encouraged to wonder and ask questions about the world around them, share their ideas and explore their passions and interests.
We are aware of the community we serve, and as such, place a high importance on the language and vocabulary of our pupils. Adults model high-levels of spoken language consistently, and we aim to help children to hear, understand and use a wide-range of vocabulary. The children we teach should leave our Early Years having had experiences which they may not have the opportunity to experience elsewhere.
By the end of Early Years, our hope is for all children to be reading age-expected words and sentences accurately. This is supported through the use of Read Write Inc where your child will be in group at their reading stage not age, alongside weekly trips to our school library and daily reading sessions with teachers. Where we identify children as falling behind, we act swiftly to support those children with extra teaching to fill gaps.
Overall, we aim for our children to leave our Early Years as effective, passionate, and engaged learners who can discover and explore the world around them with the skills and knowledge that we have helped them to develop.
Key learning points are identified in planning, using the EYFS Framework and Development Matters documents as a guide, and teaching is aimed at supporting the children to meet these learning points. This learning is presented in a clear, and engaging way. Classrooms also use visual symbols and communication boards to communicate. The visual timetable is referred to consistently to allow children to be comfortable in a familiar routine. Staff check children’s understanding and address misconceptions as they arise and in so doing, they respond and adapt their teaching, as necessary. Where children have specific interests, planning and teaching will reflect this. For example, our children showed strong interest in our theme of how things change exploring life cycles, in our classrooms we looked after our own caterpillars and observed them change into butterflies. Children were able to draw on this experience and discuss how and why things change. This is just one example of how learning is planned in an engaging and child-centred way, with a hope to make it meaningful and valuable.
The environment is central to supporting effective teaching and learning. The outdoors area is an extension of the indoor classroom, and planning reflects this. Teachers are thoughtful in how they set up and resource each part of the classroom. This has been reflected in a recent re-organisation of all three classrooms and the outside environment. Opportunities for learning have been promoted, and how language, communication, reading, writing and maths can be present in every area has been a focus.
Activities are designed to be accessible for all children, for example writing tasks are scaffolded appropriately, sensory opportunities are available etc. For children with significant SEND, advice is sought from the SENCO and the local Inclusion Service to ensure that any personalised curricula are meeting the needs of the individual. We always work closely with any outside agencies involved with our children and ensure that their targets are included on our class provision maps and any personalised plans.
Language is given a primacy and high standards of spoken language are modelled consistently by all adults. Where children are identified as needing support, we have a speech and language therapist on site to support and interventions are quickly put in place to support the closing of any gaps in knowledge.
The school’s approach to teaching early reading children take home a reading book which matches their phonics knowledge and receive a phonics lesson every day. Children who are not at the expected level are receiving individual keep-up and group catch-up sessions with the class teacher, TAs and our ‘buddy reading’ system in which our older children come and read with ours. This to ensure the gaps are closed and all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception. Children are explicitly taught the correct letter formation in line with the Read Write Inc programme, and this has been shared with parents. At the beginning of each year, parents are invited to an information session and workshop to ensure they feel able to support their child, in a consistent partnership with school. You can also access any resources on our school website. In addition to the explicit teaching of reading, children in EYFS are regularly read to in a manner that promotes enjoyment, curiosity, and excitement. Learning opportunities are often linked to high quality texts and maths and English activities are often inspired by stories.
Early mathematics is structured around the My Mastery Programme, in line with the rest of the school. Maths is taught in an exciting and engaging way, often through songs or rhyme with lots of manipulatives and physical or sensory opportunities. Our environment indoor and outdoor will reflect the learning the children are focusing on in the week for them to independently build on their skills learnt in our carpet sessions. Any children with gaps in their mathematical knowledge will spend time with the class teacher or TA in small focus groups working on skills tailored to their needs.
The approach to assessment in EYFS is consistent with the current guidance and statutory framework. Adults are asked to focus on having high quality interactions with the children, promoting engagement, learning and effective communication. In order to assess whether each individual child is at the expected level of development, the adults in EYFS draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. This is then supported by a targeted and thoughtful gathering of evidence throughout the year, both of children’s physical work (writing, maths, and EAD) as well as their spoken words (PSED, C&L, UW etc). The team works closely together, both internally and via external moderation, to ensure consistency and accuracy of these judgements. To monitor your child’s development, we will be using a system called Tapestry, on here will document ‘WOW’ moments performed by your child showing an aspect of the curriculum they have displayed, and we will share this with you at home too. We believe your child’s education is a partnership and we want you to be a part of seeing them grow and development through their journey in Reception.
Children’s emotional and physical care is prioritised. It is impossible to learn if children do not first feel safe, valued, and respected. All staff understand and follow the school’s safeguarding policy, as well as receiving regular training on safeguarding. All EYFS staff have read key documents, such as ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’. Personal, social, and emotional development opportunities are planned regularly to explore feelings, emotions, and coping mechanisms. At our school we use the ‘Zones of Regulation’ to support children to begin recognising their feelings and teaching them techniques how to get back into the ‘green’ zone. This something used across the whole school so techniques taught in Reception can be carried through their educational journey with us. This helps to provide character development and emotional security in the children. This is further supported through the environment, where independence and autonomy are promoted in a variety of ways, such as children Choosing when to have their snack, and deciding if they need a coat, jumper, or drink. For any children struggling with self-regulating, we have a range of support/therapy groups children can attend to support their emotional development.
A healthy and balanced lifestyle is promoted in class – fruit and milk are available at regular times each day, in addition to regular opportunities for physical activity including PE. At our school, Reception children will have PE once a week as well as regular access to our outdoor area trim trail where children can build on their gross motor skills. Our PSHE programme ‘Jigsaw’ also includes teaching our children about healthy eating and drinking choices, brushing their teeth and the importance of sleep and exercise. These sessions are taught in an engaging, hands-on way providing real-life experiences ad opportunities to practise what they have learned.
Parent Partnership is crucial to us, and families are communicated with regularly. Informally, our families have the opportunity to speak with the class teacher on a daily basis before and after school. They are kept up to date with our learning through half termly documents which outline a week by week break down of what we are learning, as well as a display outside each classroom informing you the learning we did for the day. Formally, parent consultations take place throughout the year and attainment reports are sent home. Parents are invited into class for open afternoon sessions and special events such as ‘parent mornings’ where you get the chance to see your child in action in the classroom with their teacher.
Children demonstrate good behaviours for learning, which support the characteristics of effective learning. Children look purposeful and busy in the learning environment, can explain their learning to others, as well as adults, and act with confidence and independence. They show respect, both for each other, and to others, as well as to the environment.
Interactions with children are of high-quality. They model a wide, appropriate vocabulary, and engage the higher order thinking skills of the children. Interactions, discussions, and questioning are targeted and are aimed at developing understanding within the children of the ELGs from the Early Years framework curriculum.
Children show their curiosity and passion for learning in their play. They ask questions of wonder and try to find the answer. Teachers support this rather than lead. When children suffer setbacks, they show resilience to try again and develop new strategies. This is a demonstration of the wider positive view which children have of learning.
By the end of reception, children are ready to progress to KS1. They have an age-appropriate level of phonics, reading, and writing. They can listen and attend to adults in class discussions and during lessons, and model the behaviour expected of children across the school. Through our thoughtful planning and continuous professional development of staff, our aim is for your child to complete Reception being a resilient, passionate, and independent learner ready to change the world.