At St Michael’s Church of England Primary School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is vital in securing solid foundations that children can build upon throughout our school. It is our intent that all children that enter our EYFS classroom develop emotionally, physically, verbally, and cognitively whilst embarking upon a lifelong love of learning.
We believe that all children will succeed and are passionate in supporting all children to achieve their full potential. We ensure that we get to know the individual needs of our children and know their starting points to enable us to carefully develop our EYFS curriculum.
Children in EYFS are immersed in an exciting, ambitious curriculum based on the seven learning areas outlined in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation.
Our curriculum is designed to stimulate children’s interests and is planned using the educational programmes stated in the Statutory Framework for EYFS with guidance from The Birth to 5and Development Matters documents. Through our approach and ethos, our children’s interest and needs are at the heart of all that we do.
At St Michael’s, we believe in the importance of building a secure foundation, to give children the key skills to be successful in school and in life. Our EYFS curriculum is delivered through a sensitive balance of direct teaching with uninterrupted opportunities to explore, practise and extend skills and knowledge independently through continuous and enhanced provision. Strong relationships enable the adults in our settings to become facilitators of learning, moving learning forward through quality interactions. Adults “teach” through modelling, suggesting, providing vocabulary or resources, explaining, or encouraging. In this way, if a child encounters a challenge they will be supported to persevere and find a solution.
Our community is at the heart of our ambitious, progressive curriculum. The curriculum enables our children to develop deep knowledge and skills about the world around them through key enquiry questions, quality texts, resources, and experiences throughout Reception that help to prepare them for learning in Key Stage One.
Children receive a rich daily diet of carefully sequenced Phonics and Maths learning through Sound!Start Phonics, a Department for Education validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics Scheme, and the Mastery in Number programme designed by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics.
Children are taught how to write and compose texts through our comprehensive English curriculum based on the Talk 4 Writing approach. This approach creates many opportunities for children to engage with texts and new vocabulary orally.
Reception, children receive daily sessions of systematic synthetic phonics using the Sound!Start Phonics scheme. Children also take part in Guided Reading Sessions from AUT 2 where they have an adult to support their reading of a new book, have opportunity to read independently and time to develop comprehension skills. Children take home a ‘Reading For Pleasure’ book along with their Guided Reading book that is matched to their phonetic ability. A love of reading is fostered by daily story time sessions where adults read a range of carefully chosen high quality texts. The children are also encouraged to select their own texts to enjoy throughout the day from our inviting Reading Corner.
Our Learning Environments are developed to promote independence and allow children to access the curriculum both inside and outside. Learning environments are accessible, clearly defined and promote all areas and aspects of learning in the Early Years Foundation stage. Areas are adapted regularly to meet the children’s developing needs and interests. We ensure that learning areas are stimulating and engaging and accessible to all children. Learning environments are enhanced by practitioners to develop children’s vocabulary and promote inquisitive minds.
Ongoing observations and interactions are key to effective assessment in the EYFS. Staff use their knowledge of child development and consult guidance documents, Birth to 5 Matters and Development Matters to ensure that children are receiving what they need both developmentally and educationally. At the end of Reception, children are assessed against The Early Learning Goals to determine learning needs for Key Stage One. Accurate, ongoing assessments enable our EYFS practitioners, to plan learning to ensure that children know more and remember more over time. Observations are recorded by staff and Learning Journeys are created for each child that include key observations, independent learning, experiences and wow moments. These are shared with the children and the parents where both are able to reflect upon the learning over time.
We develop a curriculum board display throughout the year to enable children to look at, discuss and retain key information that they have gained throughout the year in all learning areas.
Phonics is assessed half termly using assessment materials from the Sound!Start Phonics scheme, this data is used to plan and deliver interventions.
Children at the end of EYFS, have been fully supported to develop a strong sense of self and feel good and secure about themselves. Our children are successful, independent learners and are fully prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from Reception into Year One. They are able to make sense of the world around them and have an understanding and appreciation of our school values. At the end of EYFS, St. Michael's children have developed the essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. They are well rounded, happy, inquisitive, and successful individuals.
The Prime Areas of Learning
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Specific Areas of Learning
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts