EYFS Curriculum Statement
At St Erme with Trispen Community School, the EYFS curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and happy learners. We recognise children’s prior learning and differing starting points, and create a holistic curriculum that maximises cross-curricular links and builds strong foundations for their future learning. Our EYFS curriculum is specifically designed and evolves to provide children with important foundational skills and knowledge that will later be enhanced and embedded in Key Stage 1.
Every child is recognised as unique, and we invest time into helping children to recognise their personal goals, which allow them to reflect and aim high. We acknowledge and promote children’s interests and use these to provide them with opportunities to follow their imagination and creativity. We strive to promote a love of learning, recognising that children have a thirst for new experiences and knowledge, and should be provided with opportunities to engage their inquisitive minds. Therefore, we provide appealing and challenging continuous provision in both our indoor and outdoor areas, that follow the children’s interests in investigating and developing their skills to support the development of the three characteristics of effective learning. We work closely with parents and carers throughout the year to encourage children to reach their full potential. We also aim to provide a smooth transition from EYFS to KS1 by providing children with the knowledge, skills and emotional development they need to succeed throughout their education.
Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges. The weekly timetables are carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in Phonics, Literacy and Mathematics daily. We also ensure regular Circle Time, Show and Tell and listening games to focus on C&L and PSED and Topic sessions to focus on UW and EAD. These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to practice the skills they have explicitly been taught, developing their individual targets. The focus group time enables the teacher to systematically check understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide instant verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Children are provided with an abundance of opportunities to engage in exploration throughout a variety of experiences, which are carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for inside and outside learning and is planned in a cross curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development including UTW and EAS as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. Planning is led by the EYFS teacher, however whole class planning discussions are regularly conducted with the children to ensure that they have ownership over their environment and that the provision leads to depth of learning across all areas of the curriculum.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children follow a highly engaging synthetic systematic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. to support them in meeting good outcomes for reading. Topic themes in EYFS are based on foundational ideas from the EYFS curriculum: from ‘All about me’ as part of PSED, to ‘Around the World and into Space’ related to UTW. From this, we have chosen multiple high quality texts to create an integrated approach to learning from which the children can experience the full curriculum. We enjoy story time sessions as a class throughout the day, sharing a minimum of 5 stories or poems each day, developing vital communication and language skills through making predictions, describing characters and discussing vocabulary within the story. Children are sent homes with a fully decodable phonics reading book that is tailored and suited to their individual phonics level. Our rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. At all stages throughout the delivery of the programme, children’s reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively.
We follow the White Rose Maths Mastery approach in Reception with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of Mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration and in adult directed activities. These collaborative and practical mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. Teaching Mathematics in such a kinaesthetic and practical way supports our children to become logical problem solvers that can demonstrate resilience and justification when learning. This approach to teaching Maths ensures children gain progressive mathematical knowledge and skills as they continue their journey through KS1.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, however we also use a range of additional interventions to support, enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential or to help move on children who are having difficulties making progress. Some examples of this include our NELI programme to further support a small group of children in developing communication and language skills
Class teachers and teaching assistants spend time informally observing children, engaging in play with them and providing them with challenges to support their learning through sustained shared thinking. This time spent ‘in the moment’ with the is used to support teachers make to informative assessments and inform potential next steps for each child, this includes careful consideration of children with SEND or are who are disadvantaged. Formal assessments are recorded using our Whole school tracking system ‘OTrack’ linking to the Early Learning Goals. These summative assessments are completed termly to judge each child’s progress in the 7 areas of learning. Their progress against the Development Matters age related expectations is monitored. This allows us to assess the impact of our teaching and decide if sufficient intervention measures are needed to help specific children. This is reported to members of the SLT during pupil progress meetings.
The Early Years lead and teaching staff receive relevant up to date training and keep up to date with important Government/Ofsted focuses and initiatives. We are also highly focused on frequently moderating outcomes across the year group so that every member of our team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual pupils are and what their next steps are. This is also supported by external, small group moderations with other Early Years teachers within our cluster group.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1.
We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s extensive knowledge of the child.
The judgements of our school are moderated with other schools and the EYFS Lead regularly liaises with the KS1 team. This supports us in providing clear, consistent and linear progression of knowledge and skills for children as they progress through to KS1.
The Early Years provision features in all areas of the School Development Plan and has a rigorous plan for development each year. This is monitored and evaluated by the EYFS Lead, Assistant Head Teacher and Head Teacher.