Early Years Foundation Stage Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Croxby Primary School we understand that the Early Years development is a critical part of children's education. The Early Years classroom is a truly magical place to be. Every day is different, with a wealth of learning opportunities in our purposefully set up environment. Our children are busy from the moment they enter the door until the moment we say goodbye. Every day has at least one singing and shared story time session to encourage speech and language development. We offer an ambitious, inclusive curriculum which provides opportunities for children to investigate, think critically, make links and have memorable experiences, encouraging children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning.
We aim to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, which promotes challenge and resilience, confidence and independence, exploration and a real love of learning. It is our intent that all children reach their full potential emotionally, socially, physically, verbally and cognitively in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We believe in developing children’s understanding of the wider world and providing them with real-life, unforgettable experiences and broadening their vocabulary within a meaningful context.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning, indoors and outdoors, and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We believe that the correct balance of adult-directed and child-led play is crucial in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
The Early Years curriculum at Croxby is bespoke to the children that we meet. Our day to day routine adapts throughout the year too. This way, we ensure we meet all of the children’s needs. We include a variety of open-ended learning activities such as small world role play, creative play, construction and outdoor play. Alongside this, we deliver discrete lessons including phonics, reading, writing, maths and theme. We meet the welfare requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We constantly monitor the children’s wellbeing and involvement through our own observations, as our priority is the children’s happiness, to ensure healthy mental wellbeing and successful learning.
We promote healthy living at Croxby, providing healthy snacks available throughout the day and a glass of milk daily. Our ‘Set for Success’ personal development curriculum educates the children how to be successful in the wider world. We teach about the benefits of eating healthily and the importance of exercise and we incorporate physical activities and lessons to address these key areas. We value the importance of teaching children about how to be successful in developing positive relationships and understanding feelings and emotions, helping them to appropriately develop their emotional literacy. We teach the children about choices and consequences, linked to behaviours and those consequences can be positive or negative depending upon the behaviour. This helps them to understand that rules are in place to keep everyone safe.
We celebrate all the hard work the children do in our EYFS and use Tapestry and Twitter to involve parents in moments to proud of. It also highlights to the children that learning continues outside the classroom and making the connection between home and school helps to build that strong home-school link. Parents enjoy using Tapestry to engage in their child's learning and can comment and upload observations from home, understanding the principle that we are all a team working together to enable our children to flourish. We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their child's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school.
We ensure that our environment is a ‘language-rich’ environment using stories, nursery rhymes and songs, vocabulary exposure around the setting. We also ensure there are plenty of opportunities for children to speak in front of their peers and adults, to build up their confidence and improve their oracy. We encourage our children to use any new vocabulary to communicate effectively and with confidence. Our staff understand the importance of communication and language forming the foundations of becoming fluent readers. Children are encouraged to become early readers through the systematic teaching of phonics and using our online scheme Bug Club to develop skills. We also encourage an enjoyment of books through storytime and visits to the library.
Our curriculum and environment is designed to help children remember long-term what they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. We have ensured that our environment allows the children to make links in their learning by creating zones for areas of the curriculum and we have adapted our outdoor environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play. The children have access to a selection of permanent fixtures such as: the climbing wall and climbing play area. and develop through exploratory, exciting, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit, water-wall, music, maths, writing, reading and creative areas. The children are skilfully supported to learn to work collaboratively, manage their feelings and ask questions through adult-facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through topics which are supported by a range of diverse high quality texts to develop vocabulary acquisition and speaking and listening skills. The topics are chosen carefully to provide a rich set of meaningful, memorable experiences to develop children’s communication and language skills and an understanding of people and communities and the world. Religious/Cultural celebrations from around the world to ensure that our children have the knowledge and understanding they need to become educated, respectful citizens.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment/ teacher judgement and are communicated to you at the end of each term.
We understand that all children learn and develop at their own pace, but we believe our Mix of play-based curriculum and focused lessons, supported by targeted interventions, ensure that all children including SEND, disadvantaged, EAL and Summer born children are supported to achieve their full potential, socially, emotionally and academically. Our children are valued as individuals and the unique child has every opportunity to achieve and excel, based upon their own personal strengths, interests and core values whilst learning in EYFS, and in the future.
By the end of EYFS our children will:
- Be ready to transition into Year 1 and continue to progress emotionally, socially, physically and cognitively.
- Be articulate and have strong communication skills. They will be able to articulate their thoughts and feelings as well as listen respectively and with tolerance to the views of others.
- Have high expectations of themselves in all that they do and will always strive for the very best with a thirst for learning.
- Demonstrate self-regulation, independence, resilience and be confident to try a new challenge.
- Recognise and build on their own unique talents and abilities.
- Be kind, respectful and work collaboratively, demonstrating inclusive attitudes and show sensitivity towards their own needs and to those of others.
Phonics is a staple of the EYFS day. Phonics teaches children how to read and write, a necessary skill for life. It demonstrates the link between letters or groups of letters and the sounds they make. We complete a daily Bug Club Phonics session in which we explore new phonemes, apply them to reading and apply them to writing. After this, children have phonics activities to explore in their learning environment.
At Croxby, we know that Maths is a vital part of day-to-day life. We understand that making Maths practical and engaging gives our children a deep understanding of key mathematical concepts. This solid foundation will allow them to progress through KS1 and KS2. In EYFS, we use a variety of concrete and visual resources to make Maths learning accessible for all.