Fern Class: EYFS Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact
Our intent for Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Lealholm Primary School is to inspire, engage and enthuse our pupils to be active learners every day so that they become confident and independent thinkers. It is important that our children feel happy, safe, secure and cared for within an enabling and nurturing environment. Before children start at Lealholm School, staff make regular visits to nursery settings throughout the year to help build valuable relationships with the children, making the transition to school seamless and enjoyable. Our regular stay and play sessions throughout the year also allow children chance to know the school, peers and teachers, ensuring a smooth and confident transition in September.
Lealholm School is at the heart of the community. We take part in many community events, giving children a sense of belonging and understanding of their locality. Our high-quality provision areas both indoors and outdoors ignite curiosity and enthusiasm and promote the development of skills needed to learn, form relationships and thrive. These areas include construction, mud kitchen, role play, sand and water and many more which the children are involved in creating. High aspirations are instilled in our pupils from a very early age and pupils’ self-belief and ownership of learning allow them to take risk and develop resilience.
Our aim on leaving Reception is that children are:
- Confident learners, who are resilient and willing to take risks.
- Positive about their learning andare able to self-regulate.
- Able to effectively express themselves.
- Able to form positive relationships and work collaboratively with others.
Our approach is implemented through our EYFS curriculum. All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for ‘in the moment’ to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Our little learners are encouraged to explore, take an active part in their learning, and use their creative and critical thinking through a range of purposeful and engaging activities, both indoors and outdoors. The children particularly enjoy our River school sessions in the Esk, where they explore nature and learn many life skills. We love to learn through play and activities are based around the children’s interests and fascinations so that children have ownership of their learning. Play is enhanced through meaningful interactions with highly effective practitioners to ensure that the development of the whole child is supported and extended. All adults in EYFS are highly skilled at furthering the children’s development through open ended questioning and they have excellent knowledge of the children’s next steps so that they can facilitate opportunities and extend learning within the moment that is personal to each child. The provision both indoors and outdoors encourages independence so that children can access and select a range of creative materials, from junk modelling to our home corner.
Loose parts provision supports the children’s creativity and imagination through carefully selected and versatile objects. We also promote a language rich environment, through daily ‘Talk through stories’ sessions, exposing children to rich, tier 2 vocabulary. This enables children to communicate and express themselves effectively, and as a result grow in self-confidence.
The impact of COVID has lead our Prime Areas to be of greatest importance in EYFS, in particular Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language.
Our dynamic curriculum is planned and regularly adapted to meet the needs of the children with the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning at its core: Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking. This supports our children’s learning and development in preparation for Key Stage One as well as encouraging the children to explore, take an active part in their learning, and use their creative and critical thinking through a range of purposeful and engaging activities, both indoors and outdoors.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning for adult-led activities and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. This ensures that children make good progress from their starting points. The impact of our Early Years approach is that children become independent and curious thinkers who carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens.
We are proud to be a Little Wandle Champion school, having met the 16 strands of excellence in the teaching of phonics and early reading. This means our children make accelerated progress in learning to read, evidenced through 5 consecutive years of 100% Phonics Screening Check passes.
In Early Years, we have a rigorous approach to phonics teaching. Children work together with targeted support. We rigorously follow ‘Little Wandle’. Each phonics adult-led session comprises of four parts: revisit/review; teach; practise and apply. This ensures that children make rapid progress. Three reading sessions (fluency, prosody and comprehension) ensure accurate reading at the matched level to their phonics attainment, ensuring children read books with 95% fluency. They can choose a library book to read for pleasure too. We enjoy daily story time sessions where we enjoy books together and promote a love of reading. Children enjoy a weekly, high-quality poem from the poetry basket, further enhancing our vocabulary offering.
Mathematics in Early Years at Lealholm is loosely based around the White Rose Mathematics programme of study. This is taught through a range of planned and structured play situations, both independent, and supported by teachers as play partners, where there is plenty of scope for exploration. Not a moment is wasted throughout the day, as Maths is emphasised in all aspects of the daily routine e.g. snack-time /lining up etc. Maths through real-life and meaningful experiences, using practical hands-on resources is key here, with maths learning sometimes witnessed at the woodwork bench or mud kitchen.
We work in partnership with the Maths Hub, with our EYFS/KS1 teacher being part of a TRG exploring the importance of oracy within maths. We use sentence stems, have vocabulary displayed and start verbal reasoning and problem solving skills from Reception.
Parents as Partners
We value parents as partners in the children’s learning and use the secure online learning journey Tapestry alongside to record photos, observations and comments to capture and capitalise on the children’s achievements, not duplicating Tapestry observations. The learning journals celebrate children’s achievements both in school and at home. This system allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children’s play and learning inside and outside of the classroom on a daily basis and it builds up a record of your child’s experiences during their time with us.
The benefits of our mixed age class
Our mixed reception, year 1 and 2 class has countless benefits for our littlest learners. Reception children are naturally immersed in year 1 and 2 learning. In the 2021/22 academic year, our tapestry observations evidence this superbly. From learning the role of inequalities in maths or recalling key facts about the 1969 moon landing and Great Fire of London, our reception children learn so much!