The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.
At Sidlesham Primary School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage provides the foundations for successful learners as they progress throughout their school career. It provides the children with the crucial skills required to establish the types of learners and future citizens that we wish to develop in order to support our community.
At Sidlesham Primary School we aim:
To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
To provide a nurturing and engaging environment, offering first-hand experiences that will foster a love of learning and enjoyment at school.
Establish a routine that helps our children to feel safe, secure and happy and to become part of the whole school community.
To design a curriculum that recognises children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We follow children’s interests and ideas and tailor our environment accordingly.
Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start.
To create an engaging and inspiring indoor and outdoor environment which supports the play-based EYFS curriculum.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small focused group work. This means the teacher can 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. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘Exploration’ (Tiger’s Explore) throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside environments and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.
English / Literacy
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have ‘Our Favourite 5’ each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These five books will be embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories.
We currently follow Read Write Inc Phonics, in line with the newly accredited synthetic phonics programmes. We use a wide range of physical and online resources to support our daily phonic sessions. To support, we have also invested highly in decodable books for Early Years and KS1 to run alongside our teaching programme. Parents are encouraged to support and extend their child’s learning at home and promote a love of reading.
In Reception, children are introduced to Set 1 and 2 sounds where they will develop GPC and segmenting and blending skills to decode words. During the Summer term, children may move on to Set 3 sounds if they are ready. Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly in school. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of becoming successful, confident and fluent readers.
In Reception, we follow the White Rose Maths Scheme of work which is divided into 3 weekly units. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed, applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. Children in Reception are given the opportunity to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions.
Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. At Sidlesham we are fortunate to have our own Forest School on site which allows the children to regularly explore the natural world around them. This promotes independent, resilient, confident and creative learners and allows the children to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves .
Key to the implementation of our curriculum is our team knowledge about the Areas of Learning, our role in facilitating the learning and our response to what we observe. Quality Interactions with the children ensure that we can address misconceptions and adapt the teaching as necessary. Our teaching is designed to help children remember long-term and to practice and refine their skills in many different contexts.
As a team we collect evidence of children’s learning through observations and photos using the SeeSaw app . Parents can contribute to this journey through observations made at home and upload any ‘wow’ moments. Encouraging parents to share their child’s journey is paramount to us and we offer ‘Stay and Play’ sessions for working alongside the children on a variety of activities and joining us for workshops. Sharing information with parents about progress occurs 3 times throughout the year (2 x parent’s evenings and one report).
The key impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in the happy and confident children that move to Year 1. Our children are ready to take the next steps and have developed the key skills to support this transition. At the heart of the impact of the curriculum is the children’s progress from their starting points, reflected in their ability to articulate what they know, understand and can do.
Of course progress is measured through the use of formative and summative assessments. We carry out the statutory National Baseline during the first half of the Autumn term. Going forward we moderate at 3 key points in the year to determine whether children are ‘on track’ or ‘not on track’ to achieve the ELG for each area of the curriculum. Importantly, we also monitor the characteristics of effective learning to ensure that we are developing the skills of how our children learn, not just what they learn. Taking part in whole school pupil progress meetings with the HT or subject leads also holds us accountable for all children.
Our children make good progress from their starting points. We attend County moderation and network meetings where appropriate to assist our judgements. Monitoring is carried out by the EYFS lead and HT. The Early Years lead also reports end of year information to Governors and also keeps them aware of changes to the curriculum and assessment.
As a team our teaching and pedagogy is reviewed and evaluated regularly by ourselves and is then reflected in adaptations to our classroom practice.