Early Years Curriculum
Quality of Education in Early Years
“We believe every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential – together we’ll succeed”
Our Early Years Curriculum:
- Understands the local context: what our children bring to our setting regarding their experiences with their family and the immediate environment.
- Has been designed to provide all our children with a magical, ambitious, challenging, carefully sequenced curriculum (top-level plan) for every child’s cultural capital to succeed in life, such as wows, provocations, gardening, forest school, educational visits, and outings. All of which are shaped by the EYFS Educational Programmes and the Seven Areas of Learning and Development Requirements (Revised Development Matters 2021).
- Provides an organised and enabling environment indoors and outdoors for high-quality play and interactions where children secure knowledge, skills and understanding to know more, remember more and can do more and develop foundational subject knowledge and understanding they will need for YR1 and beyond.
- Also offers high-quality role-play areas to develop children’s language development and explore real life experiences such as working as a scientist using a magnifying lens to explore insects.
- Nurtures the personal, social, and emotional development of each child’s health and wellbeing preparing them to make a valuable contribution to society.
- Teaches children to read through daily phonics and group reading three times a week. It puts reading at the heart of the curriculum through daily reading aloud, telling stories, starting with a maths story, rhymes, poems, poetry, and weekly visits to the class library.
- Enables children to use key vocabulary and explicitly teaches new vocabulary.
- Scaffolds children’s learning using the ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ approach by Lev Vygotsky and the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning.
- Develop ‘parental partnerships’ with our parents and or/carers. Provide ‘equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory’ practice ensuring every child is included and supported.
- Offers children with further support in developing early language following the NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention) led by an experienced, early years teaching assistant.
- We bring the outside world into the classroom and offer real-world learning experiences by bringing learning opportunities into school such as ‘hatching ducklings’ in Nursery and ‘reptiles’ in Reception.
- Learning and play is taught and delivered through six learning challenge questions over the year.
- Detailed long-term plans are used to support medium-term plans. They begin with the ‘Unique Child’, their immediate family and community, celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity.
- Nursery daily timetable offers daily phonics, carpet times child-led and adult-led learning indoors and outdoors.
- Reception daily timetable offers daily phonics, whole class literacy and maths inputs with follow on focus activities, reading enrichment, group reading, theme, child-led and adult-led learning indoors and outdoors.
- We teach and deliver phonics and early reading with fidelity and consistency following the Little Wandle Early Reading Programme. Reception staff teach children to read systematically by using synthetic phonics and provide reading books that match the children’s secure phonic knowledge.
- We take part in half-termly gardening sessions with ‘Steve’ our gardener where we have our own early years allotment where the children grow and care for vegetables and plants all year round and this year, we are planning to develop our very own ‘Bumble Bee Café’ where the children can learn the importance of looking after bees.
- Reception has ‘Forest School themed learning’ each half-term where children learn how to build traps and dens or build a fire to keep warm in winter.
- Being part of the wider school is also important to us. Therefore, we take part in whole-school events for example friendship week, anti-bullying week, art week, get-out day, science week, decades week, recognition and sharing assemblies etc.
- Many of our children enter school below entry and national age-related expectations with many having priority areas for development from baseline. Children at all levels are encouraged to meet their targets and achieve their full potential. Those who are ‘more able’ are challenged and supported through carefully planned differentiated activities.
- We observe, assess and plan what our children need to know and learn and plan next steps in learning.
- We are objective-led and follow the Seven Areas of Learning and Development Requirements (Revised Development Matters 2021).
- We track children’s progress half-termly and carry out a ‘Gap Analysis’ to identify priority areas which become a key focus in the planning. We also use assessments to identify the lowest 20% children or who need ‘keep-up’ support them through interventions.
- The knowledge, skills and understanding we want our children to learn is evidenced in our subject ‘Knowledge and Progression of Skills Documents’.
We see the impact in numerous ways:
- A carefully planned transition has enabled our children to settle quickly into school life and begin learning straight away.
- Children feel happy, safe, and secure and are well behaved due to consistent routines and a behaviour curriculum which defines what expected behaviour looks like.
- Children know how to self-regulate their own mental and physical health needs by practising mini-yoga, mindful colouring and talking about their feelings.
- A well-constructed, highly focused, well-taught curriculum leads all children to learn more, do more and can remember more and achieve stronger outcomes for example in Reception writing letters or numbers correctly. We can say these have been learned when they are remembered.
- Children with lower starting points achieve or exceed age related expectations by the end of the academic year.
- Children work towards the Early Learning Goals and a high proportion achieve a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of Reception.
- Standards are well above the national average