Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We will support your child to be happy, active, inspired and feel safe and secure as they transition into school life at Weeth and will be supportive of their development, care and learning needs.
In EYFS, our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior knowledge and learning, including from both their experiences at home and any previous setting. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Weeth Primary School, ensuring each child progresses from their various starting points. We plan for purposeful transition before children start school by inviting them to spend one morning each week in the setting during June and July. This enables the teachers and children time to get to know each other and start their school journey positively.
We provide an engaging curriculum which is sequential and maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and opportunities for sustained thinking. Our curriculum consists of everything we want our children to experience, learn and be able to do. It is carefully planned to provide children with experiences, knowledge and skills needed to transition to year 1 and their continuing learning journey at Weeth. Our recently redesigned curriculum focusses on children having the power to Inspire, Influence and Impact and we use inspirational key figures linked to areas of our curriculum to demonstrate this. We provide opportunities to follow children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning. We ensure that their abilities and needs are at the forefront of our planning.
At Weeth, we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy which support the child’s well-being. 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.
We want children to succeed through collaborative learning principles and working with others. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of Learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, including oracy and Physical Development.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children reach the Early Learning Goals and ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points. We also ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make a smooth transition into Year 1.
At Weeth, we ensure that children experience the world through the seven areas of learning. Through our rich, enabling and resourceful, indoor and outdoor, learning environments skilful practitioners are able to meet every child’s needs and follow their unique interests and fascinations.
While there are a number of priorities in relation to learning within the early years, at Weeth we consider communication and language (speaking, listening and understanding) to be at the very foundation of all we do and as such practitioners use strategies that are highly effective in the development of language skills, for example, through the use of commenting “I can see that you have drawn a butterfly, tell me about it. When we feel that children need more support we offer targeted intervention using Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we follow the Read, Write, Inc (RWI) programme faithfully so that children meet good outcomes for reading The majority of children leave EYFS working above age related expectations for RWI. As with the rest of the school EYFS follows Literacy Tree which provides a book based approach to the teaching of English and has strong cross curricular links with other subjects.
In EYFS we follow the Power Maths Scheme to teach children following the mastery approach. 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 have daily sessions following the Mastering Number Project. This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.
Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s feed into the National Curriculum through our robust planning. In reverse, colleagues throughout the school are also aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject and the progression of the subject. Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. Building further on our oracy focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled, both verbally and orally, by supporting practitioners.
We recognise that children learn best through being provided first hand experiences and as such we ensure that all our children are given as many opportunities as possible to experience the things they are learning about. For example, when learning about seasons we visited the local area to experience how it changes across all four seasons. These real life experiences then feed in to the learning that takes place back in the classroom and provides building blocks for future learning across the rest of the school. Learning takes place through ‘child initiated’ and ‘adult led’ learning. Children are encouraged to access the learning enhancements through ‘continuous provision’ to consolidate all that they have been taught and to practice and apply them independently.
Practitioners have a secure knowledge and understanding of how children learn and what they know. Children are encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge through high levels of engagement and curiosity. Adults model expectations and positive attitudes to learning. By observing and listening to children, adults are able to review their progress and success. Taking into account children’s prior knowledge and achievements, staff plan their next steps to move learning forward. Parental involvement is highly valued across the EYFS and we recognise parents as the children’s first educators.