Early Years

Intent

Our aim in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is to guide children on the beginning of their journey towards a life-long love of learning. The EYFS is all about the ‘whole child’ which means that developing turn taking, listening skills and friendships are seen as vital skills alongside the core skills of reading, writing and maths.

Implementation

In EYFS we love to play! As children move through our key stage we will use our expertise to develop and guide children’s play to help them learn. In our ‘The Tiny Seeds’ room circle times are used to encourage speech, listening skills and turn taking, listen to stories, sing songs and explore basic number concepts. In our Nursery (The Very Busy Spiders) these circle times continue and are fine-tuned so we can be sure that children are ready to begin their school journey in Reception. In Reception children will have adult-led sessions in Phonics, Maths and Literacy which last around 15 minutes each.

In EYFS our children love to be outside. Children can spend much of their day outside enjoying a variety of activities such as water play, painting, building and gardening. Outdoor learning in planned for and purposeful throughout our EYFS.

We work closely with families for example, through stay and play sessions and an ‘open-door’ policy at the beginning of our sessions. These links are vital to ensuring children are happy and ready to learn during their time at school.

All children in EYFS have a learning journey. This is where teachers and parents record children’s’ achievements throughout the year. This evidence can vary from a painting or picture to some writing or outdoor number work. Our aim is to value all of a child’s achievements, regardless of their context.

Impact

Our aim is for children to have choice and freedom to learn in a way which suits them best whether this be outside, in the sand tray or at the writing table. Children who are happy and having fun will always prove to be the best learners! We are very proud of the number of children who leave Reception having made good or outstanding progress during their time with us.

Curriculum

The EYFS framework is the statutory guidance which we work to.

The documentation sets out what the EYFS seeks to provide;

  • Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported
  • The documentation also outlines the four guiding principles to which all EYFS settings should work to;
  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways (see “the characteristics of effective teaching and learning” at paragraph 1.9) and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

At Bradford Academy we work extremely hard towards meeting these principles in our EYFS classrooms. Alongside adult-led sessions we strongly believing in supporting children’s learning through their interests. Therefore we ‘go into’ their play to provide support and challenge rather than expecting children to come to us. For example children may complete their writing on big paper stuck to the floor, under a table or using chalk outside. This approach ensures we have motivated and happy learners in all our classrooms.

Policy and Assessment

Children are taught mainly through play, the amount of adult-led learning time gradually increases as children move through the EYFS. Children are taught across 17 areas of learning which fall under the following headings;

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Children are assessed in these areas at the end of their Reception year. This judgement determines whether children are working at the expected level, below the expected level or exceeding the expected level in each area. Children are not expected to complete any formal assessments or tests at this time. The decisions are based on teacher knowledge alongside evidence collected in children’s learning journeys collected throughout the year.

Resources

Staff are well trained and regularly monitor children’s progress to ensure that they are engaged in activities that develop their skills and help them grow in confidence. Staff provide many and varied opportunities for children to develop their speech through careful questioning and a range of interesting activities. Children are safe and happy and play well together.

Ofsted 2017

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