Our Intent, Implementation and Impact for the Early Years Foundation Stage
RATIONALE: We aim to make Learning irresistible.
In the early years at Kings Priory School, we believe that every pupil is unique. We ensure all children have the opportunity to develop and learn in a safe and nurturing enabling environment where play and learning is combined. Through practical learning experiences, we strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity. We are committed to giving our pupils the best possible start to their school life, teaching them skills that ensure their well-being now and success in the future.
We place strong emphasis on the moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and social development, so that ultimately our pupils can be successful in life and go on to be active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners. Our school community has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. These are respect, tolerance and friendship.
Children’s early learning experiences deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. We understand that building secure relationships with children and their families at the early stage is key to understanding how we can maximise learning opportunities for each and every child in our setting. We are fully committed to taking the time to understand and to follow children’s individual interests and provide a rich curriculum that supports learning, consolidates and deepens knowledge and ensures that children achieve their next steps. Both our indoor and outdoor provision is continually reviewed to ensure it optimises and enhances learning experiences. Areas are carefully planned and this demonstrates thorough knowledge and understanding of the way in which our children learn. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and promote a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. Our curriculum is therefore the cultural capital we know our pupils need, via the characteristics of effective learning, so that they can acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding needed for success.
We aim to prepare our children to achieve the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and ensure that all children have made good or better progress from their individual starting points. Our ultimate goal is to prepare our children with the knowledge and skills needed for the next stage of their learning journey in KS1. We view this as essential as we recognise that what children learn in these vital early years of life will stay with them forever and that optimising children’s early education is the best investment we can make in ensuring their future success.
We want our children to be independent in accessing high quality play-based experiences that encourage them to notice, question and wonder. High quality, effective interactions between staff and children and regular home/school communication ensures that our curriculum planning and provision is flexible and continuously reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of all learners and to reflect children’s needs and interests as they continue to develop and grow. This allows the team to demonstrate and impact upon the progress of all pupils. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed, daily, teaching in Literacy, Mathematics and Phonics. These sessions are followed by group work, where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets. This focused group time enables teachers to systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
The development of our indoor and outdoor environments are constantly under review to ensure they are effective and engaging allowing all pupils to access all areas.
Starting with our baseline, allows staff to identify individual start points and readily engage children in meaningful experiences which children can identify with and build upon to enable children to have very early experiences of success in their learning and provide positive outcomes. As a team we follow the EYFS curriculum, using Development Matters as guidance, and ensure that all learning experiences are linked to the Prime and Specific areas of learning.
In all learning experiences, we place huge importance on the development of children’s vocabulary and ensure that staff are skilled in assessing early speech and language development and have the expertise to support children in being able to communicate thoughts and ideas and explore the meaning of new words. We aim to culminate this, in the implementation of Launchpad for Literacy underpinning cross curricular learning experiences in Reception. Constructed and deconstructed role play is also seen as a valuable tool to support delivery of the curriculum and the development of key language skills. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we ensure fidelity to one phonics programme with the use of the FFT Success for All from Reception to ensure reading success at an early stage. We further ensure a depth within our reading scheme with the purchase of new books to allow all children access to a variety of high quality, well matched to phonic ability books.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together however we have a range of additional interventions and support to enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their full potential or moving on children who are ready for challenge. This is bespoke to the individual child and regularly tracked and monitored to ensure progress. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations of children.
Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes coaching and feedback from the phase leader so that teachers develop a good subject knowledge and are effectively supported. Our outward facing approach ensures up to date training and development of new ideas to inform our practise. This reinforces efficient and effective practise to enable all our children to achieve. We tailor our staff CPD to be early years specific and are focused on moderating outcomes across the phase so that every member of our team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual pupils are and their next steps for learning.
Parents are valued as first educators and every effort is made to inform them of the EYFS curriculum whilst providing them with the tools to continue school learning at home. Parents are also encouraged to inform school of their child’s interests and achievements at home as these are an essential part of each child’s learning journey. Strategies to include and inform parents include: Stay and Plays, termly reading challenges, curriculum, phonics and numeracy workshops, reading records, Seesaw, topic takeaways, regular updates re: progress and next steps learning, shared teaching videos to support early number and phonic skills.
Through implementing the above:
- All children make good progress from their varied starting points.
- The vast majority of children reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of reception.
- Children develop a love of reading which is promoted and nurtured throughout their primary learning journey and beyond.
- Evidence of children’s achievements are recorded in Online Learning Journals and floor books.
- Class teachers make formative assessments which inform in the moment or future planning and ensure that all pupils build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
- Judgements are moderated both in school and externally with local schools and at yearly LA profile moderations.
- Children are school ready in order to smoothly transition from the Early Years curriculum to the National Curriculum in Year 1.
- Children demonstrate curiosity, independence, resilience and other characteristics of effective learning.
- Children develop and nurture strong, positive attitudes where they become proud and respectful of themselves, others and their environment.