EYFS (Early Years and Foundation Stage) Curriculum
At St Bernadette’s, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
Our EYFS curriculum ensures we are able to meet the individual needs of every child within the department. All our children have personalised targets. These targets ensure every child is working towards achieving the outcomes in their personalised Education Health and Care Plan. In the EYFS department personalised targets are developed through a curriculum that reflects the learner’s age, developmental readiness and individual needs.
The principles that guide the work in the EYFS are grouped into 4 themes:
- A unique child, Positive relationships, Enabling Environments, Learning and Development
- The EYFS Curriculum consists of the seven areas of Learning and Development.
- The three prime areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development
The four specific areas of EYFS learning are: Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding of the World, Expressive Arts and Design
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities
The curriculum in Early Years is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It facilitates them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and preparing them for the next stage of their education.
Our ethos in Early Years is to support children’s personal, social and emotional development so that they feel safe and secure and are ready to learn, enthused and excited to learn new things in a safe environment.
Through the seven areas of learning we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them.
We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children.
At St Bernadette’s, we offer an EYFS curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We follow the Early Years curriculum using topic themes and enrichment opportunities.
The aim of our EYFS curriculum is to develop a thirst and love for learning by:
- Carefully planning sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences, developing each child’s characteristics of learning.
- Providing high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children.
- Using high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions.
- Staff acting as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.
- Carefully assessing, through observations, which are recorded on tapestry and shared with parents. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs.
- Developing an effective and engaging environment that is set up so that children can access all areas of learning both inside and outside at any one time.
- Providing activity starting points for child initiated activities that enhance children’s learning and impact on progress.
- Allowing children to be successful in their attempts at an activity and using effective feedback to help facilitate next steps in learning.
- Suggesting home learning opportunities with information about what has been taught, allowing parents to build on their child’s school experiences, at home.
We recognise the changing needs and interests of our pupils and we are responsive to this, regularly developing existing topics.
Literacy opportunities are promoted in many of the continuous provision activities available to children during the week.
The Early Years staff use core texts as a basis for topic planning and usually start with an exciting hook to engage children in both the topic and the book. We have developed our own suggested text list and we also have class authors. These texts are chosen for their level of challenge and quality language. They have also been chosen with a view to promoting reading for pleasure.
Phonics is taught daily through story time phonics and the love of real books. Through stories and activities associated with these, phonic sounds are introduced to children each day in an engaging way. The phonics activities are revisited to embed over the year and supported in a range of ways including associating actions with these.
In Reception the maths curriculum is taught through daily dedicated sessions. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real life experiences across the theme and year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences. In Nursery we have a maths focus day once a week and children work on basic skills to 5, embedding throughout the year.
Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers through Tapestry. Regular ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for nursery, allow parents to join in learning activities alongside their children and share the nursery experience. Parents are invited in to look at the children’s learning and leave positive comments on a golden orb. We have a twitter feed where children’s learning and successes are celebrated.
Our EYFS Teaching and Learning Policy are attached below.