INTENT – Why do we teach what we teach?
In EYFS at Lawn we create a curriculum that provides our children with experiences, knowledge and a more mature awareness of the world that is around them. We aim to provide our children with the best possible start in life by offering them a curriculum that follows their interests, is engaging and fun, is challenging while also being aware of all children’s individual needs. Our children have the right to feel safe in school, safe to be themselves and loved and cared for by the adults in the setting. By the time our children begin to progress into Year 1 and the National Curriculum we want them to have a love of learning and a natural curiosity for new learning and new experiences. We want children to feel confident to ask questions to find out something new or to consolidate something they may already know. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.
To ensure children make outstanding progress in EYFS at Lawn Primary School it is our intent to consider every child’s individual starting points and individual needs. Every child has access to a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which prepares them for now and for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences.
Our EYFS curriculum aims to enable our children to:
- Be competent and creative learners – we want children to be curious about the world around them and to ask questions to find out more about it.
- Be secure and confident learners – We want children to enjoy coming to school, to build strong relationships with the staff in our setting so that they can feel safe and secure, and to feel confident to learn new skills and knowledge which builds on their existing learning.
- Be skilful communicators – We want our children to be able to use language to communicate with the world around them, to play with others successfully, make friends and to learn and use new vocabulary.
- Be resilient – We want our children to learn that mistakes are a part of learning. We want them to feel confident to make these mistakes and to not give up.
IMPLEMENTATION – How do we teach what we teach?
In the new statutory EYFS framework there are Four overarching, guiding principles which shapes our practice in our setting:
- 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 with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with SEND.
Our curriculum is also underpinned by the 3 characteristics of effective learning:
- Playing and exploring – observing how children engage with their learning.
- Active learning – observing how children are motivated to learn.
- Creating and thinking critically – observing how children are thinking.
Our curriculum provides a play-based and experiential learning environment, combined with focused teaching and basic skills which ensures children make rapid progress before moving onto Year 1. Our children are provided with ample opportunities in both our indoor and outdoor provision. They engage in planned, focused activities with an adult or independently as well as self-initiated and free flow activities. The learning experiences within our Early Years are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within EYFS. These are split into the three prime areas and four specific areas. The three prime areas are those which children should develop first and are considered the most essential for the healthy development and future learning for our children. These are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their coordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical Development – involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.
As children grow and make progress in the prime areas, this will help them to naturally develop skills within the four specific areas. These are:
- Literacy – the early teaching of literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics – the early teaching of mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and describing shapes, space and measures.
- Understanding the World – this involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive Arts and Design – this involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and D&T.
Children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum and our staff plan for opportunities for communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenge while always taking into account the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We aim to provide children with rich first hand experiences (school trips, inside and outside provision, investigations, assemblies) to widen awe and wonderment and give children a glimpse into the world around them to inspire them. Exploratory learning and thinking critically are also something we provide our children. New vocabulary and concepts through reading will excite and engage all learners which includes our staff modelling standard English and asking high quality questions. Our curriculum will promote and support children’s emotional security and development of their character enabling children to take risks in a safe and secure environment. Supporting children to be active and to develop physically including giving clear messages to our children as to why it is important to eat, drink and exercise as well as to be kind to others and ourselves.
IMPACT – How do we know what pupils have learnt and how well they have learnt it?
Our curriculum meets the needs of our children, including our children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with SEND. We spend time looking at and evaluating how children learn. This is achieved by talking to our children, playing in the provision with them, observing their learning, looking at the work they are doing, assessing what they can do and analysing data to find out which children need more time and support. Our data is tracked using Insight which enables us to measure our starting points and continue to monitor children’s progress on a termly basis. Evidence of children’s work is kept in a ‘special book’ which is shared with parents during parents evenings and sent home at the end of the year to be kept and cherished. We also take photos which are stored on our school Microsoft Teams server. We also take part in school, trust and local moderation activities to ensure that the decisions we have made are accurate and fair. Parents and carers are encouraged to share learning and celebrations from home using our class dojo pages so we can see what progress they have been making at home too. We regularly share children’s achievements through conversations with parents, through twice yearly parents meetings and an end of term report.
Our curriculum and it’s delivery ensure that children make good progress. During their time in EYFS our children make good progress so that they meet the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year. This give them the skills and knowledge they need to be successful learners when they transition into year 1 too. We believe that our rich balance of learning experiences, an ambitious curriculum, a nurturing environment which is fun and open is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious and well rounded children.