Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Implementation
At Holy Trinity we adhere to the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage and fully subscribe to the statement that:-
“Every Child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”
The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning –
3 Prime areas
- Communication & Language
- Personal Social & Emotional Development
- Physical Development
4 Specific areas
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts & Design
These areas are developed through adult led activities, structured play, and child initiated activities, following the children’s interests and topic led themes. Planned using Development Matters the non-statutory curriculum guidance for the EYFS with the four guiding principles shaping our practice. These are:
- 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 to 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.
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development at Holy Trinity. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial and planned for by the teacher. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners build children's language effectively. We read frequently to the children daily, and engage them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, this gives our children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from the teacher and practitioners, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults in our school enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve as they move in to Year 1 and beyond in later life.
Physical development embodies the whole being of the child, which we aim to develop through:
● PE activities alongside everyday curriculum – using imagination and showing an awareness of space
● Learning to understand how to stay fit and healthy through exercise and diet
● Using small equipment and materials to develop fine motor control and coordination
● Using equipment to develop gross motor skills.
Literacy skills transfer across the whole curriculum – children learn to read and they read to learn. They write for many different reasons and with a purpose, so that they are interested and inspired.
- Phonics – We have daily phonics sessions alongside phonics woven into all areas of learning, using the scheme 'Little Wandle’. We aim for all children in Reception to be blending by Christmas and have robust strategies in place using ‘Daily Keep Ups’ and more specific ‘Keep Ups’ for children who need extra support after each daily lesson.
- Reading – Using ‘Little Wandle’ the children have three ‘Reading Practise Sessions’ a week led by trained staff focusing on decoding, prosody and comprehension. The fully decodable books are taken home to be shared and celebrated with parents weekly after the three sessions in school. To promote reading for pleasure alongside these books children pick a book from our library daily which parents share at home. The children are read to as frequently as possible at school in both the indoor and outdoor environment.
- Writing – independent mark-making on a large and small scale is encouraged and developed further through phonics and reading. The direct teaching is via ‘The Write Stuff’ following the structure throughout the whole school.
Maths is all around us and children use their whole environment to help them to learn. Direct teaching is through ‘White Rose’. We focus on the counting principles and subitising to 10. Numicon and other concrete resources are used to support early maths skills. Reasoning and problem solving are developed through practical tasks, mathematical talk and discussions.
Understanding the World
The world around us is a fascinating place in which we all have similar and sometimes different experiences. Children use their senses to explore and in turn enriching and widening children’s vocabulary which supports later reading comprehension.
They are encouraged to:
- Use first hand experiences to explore the environments and people/communities around them for example visiting Northwood Library, Holy Trinity Church, Ruislip Woods/Lido, Waitrose, visits from the Fire Service and Police, The National Gallery London and hatching ducklings in the classroom.
- Develop their understanding of predicting, decision making, problem solving, investigating and observation in both indoor and outdoor learning.
Expressive Arts & Design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children at Holy Trinity have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe. For example in visiting The National Gallery in London and having creative workshops half termly.
Assessment in the EYFS
Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners at Holy Trinity to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment (also known as formative assessment) is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners knowing children’s level of achievement and interests, and then shaping teaching and learning experiences for each child reflecting that knowledge. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress and observations that parents and carers share.
We assess our children through child initiated activities, playing alongside the children as well as planned adult led activities. Observations and assessments are recorded in different ways, e.g. actual work, photographs and teacher knowledge. Assessment evidence is collated in Maths and English books, displays, practitioner knowledge/records and a variety of other ways depending on the learning and activities. This is transferred to Sonar the school based system half termly.
By the end of the Reception year, each child is assessed as 'Emerging' or 'Expected' against the Early Learning Goals and this is reported formally to parents. The ELGs support teachers to make a holistic, best-fit judgment about a child’s development, and their readiness for Year 1.
● meeting expected levels of development (‘expected’)
● not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)
We also observe each child and understand their Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.
The characteristics are split into three categories:
● Playing and Exploring – engagement
● Active Learning – motivation
● Creating and Thinking Critically – thinking
We complete the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) within the first six weeks of children entering our setting.
At Holy Trinity we see your child’s development as a shared commitment. Communication between home and school is vital and we are proud of our open-door policy for parents. We have Stay and Play sessions for children and adults in the Summer term, followed by Home Visits in September before your child starts school with two members of staff (usually class teacher and EYFS practitioner), two Parents Evenings during the year and a written report in July. We arrange many events throughout the year for parents to support and be part of their child’s development.
What can you do to help your child before they start school?
- Share books together every day, many times a day, re-reading their favourites over and over again!
- Turn off the i-pad/tablet/TV and talk to your child, taking an interest in what they say and teaching them the art of conversation.
- Help them to recognise their name, and numbers; practice being independent in dressing and hygiene routines.
- Take part in fun activities – playing games such as I Spy and Snakes & Ladders develops skills such as hearing sounds, reading numbers and sharing/taking turns.
- Use cutlery at home to prepare them for lunches at school.
- Share the Transition booklet constantly (given by the class teacher at the stay and play sessions) during the summer holiday
What can you do to help your child once they start school?
- Read the library books sent home with your child every day with as much expression and fun as possible - passing on your passion for reading
- Complete the fine motor/handwriting/maths activities sent home weekly
- Share the Storysack sent home weekly
- Check Google classroom for information provided by the class teacher
- Recognise, order and write numbers to 10 and then to 20
- Practice counting with one-to-one correspondence.