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Early Years Curriculum

At SET Felix Primary our EYFS is a nurturing, friendly and welcoming place to be. We aim to offer a holistic approach to learning within the Early Years, understanding that individual children have different abilities, interests and needs. We plan and facilitate opportunities for development in each of the seven areas of learning, understanding that these areas need not work in isolation from one another. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

We ensure that the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ are reflected upon so that teaching and provision reflects and meets the needs of individual learning styles.

Our curriculum is based on the revised Early Years Foundation Stage guidance. The aim being that most children achieve the Early Learning Goals by the end of Reception.

There are seven areas of learning and development in the Early Years Curriculum.The Prime areas of learning are:

Communication and Language

Children are given opportunities to experience a language rich environment, to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations. Our topic based planning is centred around high quality texts in order to promote the use of language and new vocabulary. We have received the ‘Every Child a Talker’ award. We also run successful language intervention programmes such as NELI for children who are in need of additional support with communication and language skills.

Physical Development

Children are provided with opportunities to be active and develop co-ordination, control and movement. We help them to understand the importance of physical activity and making healthy food choices. In addition to this, children receive weekly

PE lessons take place twice a week with a qualified sports coach.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, social, emotional development underpins everything that we do in EYFS. We help the children to feel positive about themselves and others. They are encouraged to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. The children develop social skills and learn how to express their feelings. We also help them to develop an understanding of appropriate behaviour and develop confidence in their own abilities.

The Specific areas of learning are:

Literacy

The children are encouraged to link sounds and letters in their discrete Read, Write Inc phonics sessions. We help the children to use these skills to blend to read whole words and to segment words to spell them in their writing. The children are encouraged to form letters correctly in their writing. We help the children to develop a love of books and stories by sharing stories daily, using props and story sacks and using small world play to make up our own stories and characters.

Maths

We want all of the children to understand mathematical concepts and be able to problem-solve in practical situations as well as recognise numbers and shapes. Young children learn best by doing and talking, so we ensure mathematical development is developed in an active and dynamic way, through practical and problem solving activities. These are planned in a progressive way using our maths mastery teaching programme.

Understanding the World

The children are encouraged to think about their own lives and experiences, their families and the places where they live. The children will have opportunities to explore and investigate the world. They will observe and ask questions about the world around them. The outdoor environment allows us plenty of opportunity to explore nature and develop an early understanding of features of our local environment.

Expressive Arts and Design

We encourage creativity in all of the children. This may be through painting a picture building a tower or making a story world using the logs and dinosaurs outside. When this happens self-esteem is high, fine and gross motor skills develop and communication skills are enhanced. We provide varied and regular activities for the children to be creative.

Our curriculum also provides specialist teaching in Philosophy, with a focus on developing language, vocabulary and questioning skills. We also provide enrichment opportunities such as weekly forest school sessions and specialist art teacher and PE teachers.

Learning Environment

Our learning environment is set up to allow children the opportunity to follow their own ideas and interests and to develop independence whenever possible The Reception classrooms are set up to provide opportunities for children to extend their learning across the seven areas of the Early Years curriculum. The outdoor classroom allows us to experience all these opportunities in the great outdoors! The children have access to both the indoor and outdoor learning environments so appropriate clothing is important (hats for hot weather and coats, gloves in cold weather) to allow your child to take advantage of the opportunity to learn outside.

Messy Play

We take part in lots of ‘hands on’ and messy play activities within the classroom and outside. Aprons are provided for these activities. Wellington boots are provided for our digging area outside. If you wish to send your child in with a named apron or named wellington boots, these can be in a bag on your child’s peg.

PE

Once a week, the children will take part in a PE lesson in the School Hall or on the playground. This might take the form of dance, games or gymnastics.

Children are encouraged to get dressed and undressed for PE independently.

If your child has pierced ears then please make sure that earrings are removed on PE days. It really is important to name all items of your child’s PE kit, including plimsolls. Please ensure that your child has a full PE kit in a bag kept on their peg. Our PE kit looks like this (all items are available at the School Office)

Assessment in Early Years

The EYFS seeks to provide:

  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly. 

Assessment plays an important part in helping us to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves us observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.

Our Approach to Assessment

Assessment should have a purpose at every level:

  • Pupils should get relevant feedback on their learning;
  • Parents should get an accurate sense of their child’s development as well as areas where they can support;
  • Teachers should be able to use assessment to support planning and meet the needs of pupils, including planning for intervention work where necessary. 
  • Leaders and teachers should be able to use assessment as a tool for monitoring progress and attainment;
  • Governors and leaders should be able to use data to monitor and evaluate the work of the school.

If you would like to learn more about how we assess pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage at SET Felix Primary, please talk to any member of the Early Years Team.

At SET Felix Primary we use a ‘point in time’ skills tracking document to identify the developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that children need if they are to achieve the Early Learning Goals. These statements are used throughout the year to highlight your child’s development and identify areas where they may need further support.

Regular parents evenings are held in order to discuss achievements and areas for development. 

We provide an end of year Summer Term Report to parents, detailing your child’s attainment in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

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