At Whitchurch Primary School, we offer an EYFS curriculum rich in stimulating experiences, designed to secure solid foundations for our children’s future learning. It is our intent that children in EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning.
We aim to develop the whole child and have high aspirations for their learning in line with the ELG’s. We follow the statutory EYFS framework and use development matters when planning for the class. We use curricular goals which enables us to meet the needs of the children mostly through a continuous provision approach. The curricular goals cover a broad curriculum but we also add other goals depending on the children’s needs and gaps.
We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential. With this in mind, we begin each school year by looking at the individual needs of our children and taking into account their different starting points, we then carefully develop our flexible EYFS Curriculum. Our provision aims to follow the children’s interests and also enables them to follow a learning journey that is suitable for their unique needs and stage of development.
Play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. Adults will play with the children, extending their learning. We design our provision in the Early Years to ensure a good balance between adult-directed and child-initiated play to ensure all children are appropriately supported and challenged. Warm and positive relationships between adults and children, consistent routines in an enabling learning environment, and strong relationships between home and school, ensure that our pupils have the best support to achieve their full potential.
By the end of the Reception year we intend for all of our pupils to have achieved at least good progress from their starting points and ensure they have the right skills, knowledge and attributes for a smooth transition to Year 1 and beyond.
Teachers introduce themes throughout the year to deliver the 7 educational areas of learning outlined in the framework (Communication and Language, PSED, Physical Development, Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World & Expressive Arts and Design), whilst also providing flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas to promote high levels of engagement.
Within each of these areas there are 'stepping stones', which build the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes children need to learn during the Foundation Stage in order to achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of their reception year.
All areas of learning are taught in a practical way, allowing children time to ‘explore’ through a range of carefully planned experiences that are supported and challenged by the adults working alongside them. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a range of stimulating continuous provision opportunities. There are opportunities to learn in small group sessions and working as individuals.
Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”; “Playing and Exploring”, “Active Learning” and “Creating and Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development and future school journey.
We promote a language-rich environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and quality interactions with adults and peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to develop a rich and varied vocabulary to become confident communicators.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and how support from home is crucial in their children’s education. We provide parent guidance, workshops and newsletters to explain how they can support their children at home.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we encourage a love of reading. Books shared with children are chosen with the aim of exposing them to a range of engaging quality texts to develop vocabulary and comprehension, as well as exploration of genres and themes in books.
We teach phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. Scheme of Work, providing a structured and systematic approach to teaching reading and spelling. We use it to match our children with the phase of phonics that is most suitable to their individual needs. The children’s understanding of writing is developed through small group, adult led writing activities and opportunities to practice writing are woven throughout our provision.
Children are expected to read often at home and are listened to in school regularly. Their books match their phonics knowledge so that they can apply their learning successfully. Our children also have a choice of book to enjoy sharing at home at home from the school library.
In EYFS we follow a plan that progressively builds on children’s understanding of number. There are daily adult led sessions that focus on aspects of maths that develop fluency and key concepts using Number Sense and Numberblocks.
The learning environment supports children in developing mathematical thinking and promotes discussion. Children are taught key mathematical vocabulary and learn ways to explain their thinking and reasoning. Songs, rhymes, games and play-based activities using manipulatives are used to develop an interest in maths.
Teachers plan exciting, purposeful and contextual activities to build on children’s natural curiosity and interests across the curriculum areas.
Our curriculum offers learning opportunities in the outdoor environment, and our children have the opportunity to use the outdoor learning spaces including the forest area and playgrounds to develop their skills. Physical Education sessions support our children in building core strength and co-ordination, as well as team building skills.
To guide our adult led teaching in music we use ‘Charanga’ and in computing technology, the ‘Knowsley Computing Scheme’. PSHE lessons are taught weekly, following the ‘Jigsaw’ scheme which covers the age-appropriate aspects of the whole school PSHE curriculum, including the teaching of RSHE.
Children’s outcomes can be seen in online learning journeys, photographic and video records, displays and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
Ongoing assessment and observations inform our planning and children’s next steps in learning, enabling us to complete the profile and to deliver a curriculum which is both stimulating and specific to the individual children’s needs.
At Whitchurch, our EYFS curriculum develops unique individuals who form positive relationships with adults and peers, independent, curious learners who explore and ask meaningful questions and confident learners who are ready for the next stage in their learning journey.