Early Years

EYFS Curriculum Statement  

At Carnagill School, our curriculum is built around the attitudes and values of independence, curiosity, aspiration, commitment, kindness and prideOur school motto of ‘Inspiring Bright Futures Together’ demonstrates our commitment to developing the whole child so that they can succeed in life. Mental health and well-being is a key driver in restoring our school community after the disruption of the pandemic.  

 

At Carnagill School, the curriculum we offer is based around the four key principles of: 

                              

 

We underpin all of this with: 

Context

Children join our EYFS with varying experiences, of socialising, access to books and available, present adults. Children’s communication skills have suffered with the increased use of technology and the effects of the pandemic. Often children have been to multiple settings and have had to adapt to lots of changes in their lives. The pandemic has had a huge impact on our children, with limited access to playgroups, soft play centres and school/setting closures, children’s social and emotional resilience is not as strong as it once was.

A number of our families have little to no extended family support in the area and this has only heightened their isolation with the effects of COVID. Our families tend to be quite insular and are reluctant to engage in the wider community.

At Carnagill the ultimate aim of our Early Years Foundation Stage is to support and develop well-rounded, independent learners who show empathy, interest and curiosity about others and the world around them.

 “Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support that enables then 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. …High quality early learning provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.” – Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021

Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are:

  • A Unique child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments with teaching and support from adults
  • Learning and Development

This policy is based on requirements set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) that applies from September 2021.

Our Vision

I like to be independent

I need to run and play

I want to explore and discover

And ask questions through my day.

 

Give me time to wonder

To risk take and to mend

Space to make decisions

Work together with a friend.

 

I like to have a challenge

I must have lots of fun

I need to play to understand

And then my work is done.

 

Intent

At Carnagill Primary School, we want children to:

  • Show Independence by allowing children to guide their own learning and take responsibility for it. Select their own tools and equipment to confidently follow their own interests; developing a lifelong love and motivation to learn.
  • Be Curious by allowing children to explore their fascinations, we use what is important to them to excite them and encourage curiosity about the world. We allow children time to explore and discover, inspire them to ask questions and want to find out more.
  • Be Proud by involving children in their learning, allowing them to make choices and make mistakes. Children don’t give up and we work through problems together. We encourage children to show pride in their achievements, valuing the process and strategies used just as much as the end product.
  • Show Aspirations by developing the whole child, we support children in finding what they love and guide them in developing their interests and in turn, their learning. We encourage children to challenge themselves and always try their best.  We show children how much fun learning can be, developing learning habits that last a lifetime.
  • Show Commitment by encouraging children not to give up, we use the ‘Characteristics of effective teaching and learning,’ running through everything we do to encourage children to think for themselves and develop resilience and a growth mindset. We look at learning as a process and use, ‘We can’t do it yet’ to inspire children to build on their skills and ideas.
  • Show Kindness by thinking about others, supporting children to develop empathy and work together. Personal, social and emotional development is a particular priority after the turbulent times of the pandemic and support for this area of learning runs through everything, we do at Carnagill.

 

Our values and the characteristics of effective teaching and learning run through everything we do in the Early Years.

  • Our curriculum is adaptable and is designed to ‘give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.’ (Ofsted 2019)
  • We construct our EYFS curriculum around high-quality texts and key knowledge across all areas of the curriculum.
  • We recognise the importance of learning through explorative experiences alongside staff who understand early childhood development and the importance of talk and language to develop knowledge and the love of learning.
  • We provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and sharing environment, which is sensitive to the needs of all children, including those with special educational needs.
  • We plan opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence.
  • We provide a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that will set in place firm foundations, knowledge and skills for future learning and development. This solid foundation prepares our children for the next stage of their education.
  • We are ambitious in our planning and challenge all children in their learning, vocabulary and thinking, providing clear breadth and depth, ensuring strong progress for all.
  • We monitor all children’s progress and use this to develop the children further in their learning.
  • We work in partnership with Parents/Carers and value their contributions.

Implementation

  • Staff support children to develop their own interests and take the learning from adult led inputs in different directions. This happens in a safe, focused and stimulating environment. Children are encouraged to be independent and challenge themselves in their learning.
  • Staff respond and adapt their teaching as necessary, this includes modelling, communicating, showing, supporting, explaining, demonstrating, exploring, encouraging, questioning, recalling, facilitating and challenging.
  • Children’s ideas are developed, and staff integrate new knowledge through play and effective communication and questioning.
  • We use question stems to develop children’s thinking and deepen learning.
  • Staff and leaders use Seesaw to record observations and share learning with parents and carers.
  • Children develop a love for writing by writing for a purpose, staff ensure that experiences in literacy are meaningful and engaging.
  • Children develop a passion for reading by being exposed to high quality texts, activities and songs. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum; our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have our ‘Favourite 5’ each term. The aim is to expose children to a range of texts that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. Tales Toolkit is used alongside our 5 texts to develop a story telling voice and an internalisation of new vocabulary and language patterns.
  • Development of vocabulary is a key priority and prioritising talk builds the transferrable skills needed to effectively communicate.
  • Children learn to problem solve and reason through hands on, real world experiences. Children explore number and shape through using loose parts, open ended resources, being inquisitive and being guided by adult modelling and support.
  • Basic skills and knowledge underpin learning ensuring firm foundations are built. We follow Read Write Inc and White Rose Maths in Reception to ensure learning is sequenced effectively. We also follow NCTEM Mastery in Maths.
  • Regular visits and visitors ensure that children have equal opportunities in school to develop their cultural capital.
  • We carefully consider the specific educational needs of all the children in our school community, what content is crucial for them to learn and the best contexts in which they can learn this.

Impact

  • We nurture engaged, well rounded, inquisitive and happy children that have a love of learning. Children who have strong characteristics of effective learning, they are willing to have a go and don’t give up easily, working through problems with friends and adults.
  • Children become independent in their learning and strive to challenge themselves. They will be confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults, drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are learning.
  • Effective use of assessment allows staff to plan, adapt and support individuals and groups of children.
  • Children will demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities of their own choosing and those which adults guide them towards and facilitate.
  • Children have a flourishing vocabulary where they are interested in new words and using them.
  • Children are ready for the next stage of their education. We work towards end of year goals for Nursery and Reception that ensure firm foundations.
  • Children will develop a wider sense of the world around them and can draw on experiences during interactions with others, linking this to new learning, developing tolerance, compassion and understanding of their rights and the rights and beliefs of others.
  • Impact is evident through our successful transition to Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how the ELGs link to and prepare the children for the National Curriculum and through robust delivery across the spectrum of subjects, children leave EYFS with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as Scientists, Historians, Artists and Geographers.

Assessment

All children are involved in the assessment process with Assessment for Learning fully embedded.

Observations are carried out on a daily basis by all staff. These are, where appropriate accompanied by a photograph and are completed digitally using the ‘Seesaw’ platform. Learning ‘wow’ moments are shared with parents to enable them to be fully part of the learning process, this supports them in providing the appropriate support at home.

On-going assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. They then use this information to shape learning experiences for each child by planning for next steps in learning, in the moment.

The Online Learning Journey consists of observations made of child-initiated and adult led play. Other evidence and supporting notes are kept in individual ‘squiggle pads’.

Summative termly assessments are recorded on ‘Insight’.

Within the first 6 weeks that a child starts Reception, staff will administer the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA), as well as carrying out our own baseline assessment.

Assessment at end of EYFS

In the final term of the Reception year the EYFS profile must be completed for each child.  The profile provides parents, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities and their progress against expected levels. Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the early learning goals. Practitioners must indicate whether the children are meeting the ‘expected’ levels of development, or not yet reaching these levels ‘emerging’.

The profile reflects ongoing observations, and discussions with parents and/or carers. The results of the profile are shared with parents and/or carers for their child.

The profile is moderated internally (referring to the Development Matters and Birth to five guidance) and in partnership with other local schools, to ensure consistent assessment judgements. EYFS profile data is submitted to the local authority.

SEND and Inclusion

All children are valued as unique individuals at Carnagill Primary School, regardless of their ethnicity, culture, religion, background, ability or gender. The curriculum is planned to meet the needs of the individual child and supports them at their own pace to achieve towards the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception. We strongly believe that early identification of children with additional needs is crucial to enabling us to give the child the support that they need whilst working alongside external agencies and parents. Support is given within the classroom setting as appropriate and is planned according to need and next steps.

Paediatric First Aid

In the EYFS team, specific staff are trained to administer first aid, in line with school policy. However, some staff have attended the two day Paediatric First aid training, which is updated every two years. At all times there is at least one member of staff in the setting who is paediatric trained.

Safeguarding and welfare arrangements

We promote good oral health, as well as good health in general, in the early years by talking to children about:

  • The effects of eating too many sweet things
  • The importance of brushing your teeth
  • How to keep themselves healthy, sharing good practices for healthy living

We share information with parents about oral health and have regular visits from local oral health teams.

The rest of our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our safeguarding policy.

Key Person

Every child has a key person who ensures that learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs. The key person provides support and engages with parents in guiding children’s development at home, building strong parent partnerships.

Parent Partnership

We recognise the importance of working closely with parents and carers.  A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise. We intend to develop this by:

  • Inviting parents to information meetings about EYFS, phonics, reading and writing (including virtual meetings and tours where required)
  • Encouraging parents to help in school.
  • Having open-morning and stay and play sessions e.g., maths and phonics, to allow children and parents to work together.
  • Sharing Learning ‘wow’ moments and asking parents to contribute.
  • Having an open-door policy and an informal start to the day.
  • Encouraging Parents/carers to listen to their child read each night, practice letter sounds and to comment on reading progress in a reading diary. We also encourage reading for pleasure, we support parents in doing this by modelling storytelling and providing examples on a story and rhyme ‘Seesaw’ page.
  • Discussing individual targets at Parent/Teacher Consultations in the Autumn and Spring Terms.
  • Sending out regular updates and newsletters.
  • Providing a detailed written report for parents during the summer term.
  • Asking parents to contribute to on-entry assessments, focus child sheets, journey of me sheets and provide ‘all about me,’ information. This gives us an understanding of the child’s interests and family life.
  • Children who are beginning their Reception year are encouraged to complete a scrapbook over the summer term to be shared when they start school.
  • Encouraging parents/carers to engage with our schools ‘Seesaw’ app, sending in photos and their own ‘wow’ moment observations to contribute to their child’s learning journey. We provide examples to support parents in doing this.

Other Information

For the following, please refer to the individual policies

  • Child Protection Safeguarding
  • Accessibility and Equality Plan
  • Health and Safety
  • Guidance: Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions

EYFS CURRICULUM-including PRE 3’s 23-24

EYFS MTP AUT 1 23-24