Our EYFS intent – Why do we teach what we teach?
Our aim is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development, so that ultimately our pupils develop into happy, confident learners, who go on to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow. Everyone in Reception is a learner and our staff are committed to supporting learning in all its forms and will tailor individuals needs accordingly so that all children are capable of achieving their individual potential.
Our staff invest time in providing our children with a welcoming, nurtuting, safe, reassuring environment, which at the same time is visually explicit & well-resourced, to enable children to have positive learning experiences. We aim to provide a secure platform from which all children develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. They offer experiences that are rich, varied, imaginative and highly challenging and which are appropriate to the needs of the children.
The majority of our children transition from local nurseries but every child is an individual and arrives at St Nicholas with different cultural capital, experiences and at varied stages of development. It is our intent to take into consideration their starting points and needs of our pupils as they begin their learning journey with us. With this in mind, we aim to provide a sequential and progressive curriculum, which clearly outlies the knowledge and skills that children will learn and build on as they progress through the Foundation Stage.
Our EYFS Discovery curriculum aims to enable our children to be:
- Competent and creative learners; who are curious about the world around them.
- Secure and confident; who enjoy coming to school and learning new skills and knowledge building on their existing learning.
- Skillful communicators; who connect with others through language and play, ensuring that they play in a vocab rich environment.
Implementation – How do we teach what we teach?
At St Nicholas we follow the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The EYFS Framework includes 7 areas of Learning and Development which shape activities and experiences for children in all early years settings. Three of these areas are known as the prime areas - Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development and these are recognised as the main focus for learning in EYFS in order to provide children with the necessary skills to access the curriculum into Key Stage 1. The specific areas are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Reading and Communication & Language are at the heart of our Discovery Curriculum and we use books as hooks to engage and inspire the children and to provide exciting, enriching learning experiences that focus on specific areas of learning and development. For example, we use the story In every house, on every street by Jess Hitchman, as a hook to learn about where the children live, focusing on skills and knowledge in the areas of learning and development for Understanding the World, Literacy, Communication & Language and PSED. This approach, we feel, gives our wonderful children the best opportunities to apply learning from across the curriculum, to provide a language rich environment to support language acquisition, to share awe and wonder, to promote sustained thinking and active learning, encourage curiosity and allow the children to apply knowledge and skills they have learned. Thus becoming successful learners, who have a love of learning in the very beginnings of their educational journey. Our Long-Term Plan for our Hooks into Books, which we use to deliver our Discovery Curriculum and our Curriculum overviews can be found on our web page.
[11:51 AM] E Slack SNK
Impact – How do we know what our pupils have learnt?
Our Discovery Curriculum meets the needs of all our children, so we use every opportunity to look at and evaluate how children are learning. This is achieved through high quality interactions with staff and children, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress. We assess children in all areas of learning and development at the start of the year and then subsequently at the end of term using our rigorous assessment process. Evidence of children’s learning can be found on our learning journey displays, in our floorbooks, assessment folders and writing journals.
During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress so that we meet the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year. We believe our high standards are due to the enriched play-based exploration alongside the rigour of assessment and teaching the children have as they move through the early years – a rich diet of balanced learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children.