Early Years Curriculum
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and Early Year’s professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get into the routine of school life and is the foundation of their future learning and successes. From the moment your child starts in our Nursery your child will experience a full, active, exciting, and secure world that supports their development, care and learning needs. At Harvey Road Primary School, there is one Nursery and one Reception class and the teachers follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What is the EYFS Framework - why do we have one?
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape educational provision in Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Our children’s learning experiences enable them to develop competency and skills not just academically but also socially, emotionally, behaviourally and physically.
The three prime areas of learning are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn and form relationships. They are:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
Our staff will also support children in four other areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive arts and design
All areas of learning are connected together. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning weave through them all. That’s because children in the Early Years are becoming more powerful learners and thinkers. These characteristics develop as they learn to do new things, acquire new skills, develop socially and emotionally, and become better communicators.
At Harvey Road School, we plan learning experiences considering both the children's individual needs and achievements as well as a range of learning experiences that will assist them to make progress. Well planned play is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge during the Foundation Stage. Children deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and to each other.
Our learning environment is made up of areas which reflect all areas of the curriculum. Children will make their own choices, encouraging each other to play and explore. They will be active learners and will create and think critically.
We operate indoor and outdoor learning experiences for our young children whatever the weather, where they can move freely between both areas. Links are made between both learning environments to ensure that all children receive a rich and varied curriculum that supports their learning and development.
Early Years Goals
Communication and Language
Listening, Attention and Understanding: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions
- Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding
- Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers
Speaking: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary
- Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate
- Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Self-Regulation: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly
- Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate
- Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions
Managing Self: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge
- Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly
- Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices
Building Relationships: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others
- Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers
- Show sensitivity to their own and to others' needs
Gross Motor Skills: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others
- Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing
- Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing
Fine Motor Skills: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases
- Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery
- Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing
Comprehension: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary
- Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories
- Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play
Word Reading: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs
- Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending
- Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words. 10. Writing ELG Children at the expected level of development will
- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed
- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters
- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others
Number: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number
- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5
- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts
Numerical Patterns: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system
- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity
- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally
Understanding the World
Past and Present: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society
- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling
People Culture and Communities: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps
The Natural World: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter
Expressive Arts and Design
Creating with Materials: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
- Share their creations, explaining the process they have used
- Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories
Being Imaginative and Expressive: Children at the expected level of development will:
- Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher
- Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs
- Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music
How can I support my child’s learning?
There are many things that you can do that will have a huge impact on how well your child develops while in our early years classes. Some of these include:
- Reading with your child every night
- Make sure your child attends school as often as possible
- Positively reinforce the values of the school at home
- Encouraging your child to share experiences and learning from home through ‘Ask me about’ stickers and engaging with the online journaling system ‘Evidence Me’
- Reading the weekly newsletters to discover the topics and themes being covered so they can be discussed, supported and explored at home.
Characteristics of Effective Learning is a key element of the Early years foundation stage development. It covers the ways in which children should learn from their environment, their experiences and their activities and how this is to be reflected in teaching lessons.
The 3 characteristics are:
Playing and exploring - e.g: showing curiosity about objects, events and people
Active learning - e.g. showing a ‘can do’ attitude
Creating and thinking critically - e.g. observing and solving a problem.
Induction into Harvey Road School
The most important consideration is the welfare and successes of your child. To begin the induction process parents are welcome to have a tour around the school before the admissions deadline.
Following confirmation that your child has a place at Harvey Road you will then be invited to an induction meeting in the summer term where we will share with you aspects of our practice so that you can start in September confident that you and your child are making a very exciting first step into their educational life.
Towards the end of the summer term teachers will visit your child in their current setting to begin to get to know them and chat to their keyworker. Your child will also be invited to spend an hour in school with some or all of their new class to get a feel of what life will be like when they start school.
In the first week of September members of the EYFS team will visit new starters at home in order to get to know them and you better and discover how your child can be best supported as they join the school.
You are also welcome to come to our exciting summer fair and Celebration Evening as well so that you and your child can see what Harvey Road School is like before the summer break.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
We would encourage you to speak to your child’s teacher at any time should you have any concerns (although this is better done at the end of the day when the teacher is likely to have more time). Each child also has a link book which can be used to communicate important messages. You can speak to your child’s teacher at any time you need to. It is easier to do this at the end of the session rather than the beginning and there is a communication book where you can leave important messages should you wish to.
We will keep you updated on your child’s progress at regular intervals throughout the year and let you know straight away if we have any concerns. One to one parental consultation meetings take place in the Autumn and Spring terms as well as the annual report at the end of the year.
Upon completion of the Reception year teachers will complete an assessment known as the EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception team and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over the year. This information will be shared with you as part of your child’s annual report which also outlines your child’s general progress, strengths and possible next steps.
Your own knowledge of your child’s learning and development is also a key component of assessing your child so we would encourage you to share this important information with is through the online journaling system ‘Evidence Me’. This information could include how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers. All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development.
Each child has a learning journal where evidence of their achievements is kept, this can be shared at any time and particularly during the school’s celebrating progress events which are held termly.