Early Years and Foundation Stage
Mrs Wilkinson - EYFS Leader
EYFS Curriculum Intent
Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed with the children of Laughton at the heart of it. It aims to teach the children about themselves, the community and how their environment compares to other places, cultures and nature in other parts of the world. It is therefore unique to Laughton J & I. Each topic planned is included in the curriculum for very specific reasons and we want to ensure that all children leaving the Reception Year are Y1 ready and are confident, independent and engaged learners!
Children’s interests are key to engagement and are threaded into our curriculum with our flexible approach. Our themes have been chosen based on the interests of Laughton children but also to expose them to new experiences and to develop new interests and fascinations. Topics are explored though good quality focus key stories or texts to inspire, engage and develop language and imagination. This also includes non-fiction texts to develop knowledge and understanding of the world around them. The Characteristics of Effective Learning thread all the way through and we use the Mr Men stories and characters to help children understand how they learn. Mr Happy – I am proud, Mr Bump – perseverance and keep trying, Mr Nosey – investigate and explore, Mr Brave – I will have a go at challenges, Mr Busy I can concentrate and join in, Mr Clever- I have my own ideas and can reflect on what I am doing
Our Early Year’s curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge using development matters in order that they reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage. Interactions between our skilled staff and the children are key to developing the skills and knowledge that the children at Laughton need to achieve their full potential. Our continuous provision is carefully planned, structured and modelled so that learning is captured through a careful balance of independent child initiated activities, modelled activities and adult-led structured learning. We are so proud of our children and what they can achieve though our exciting EYFS curriculum.
Personal Social and Emotional Development
We strive to enable children to be independent, healthy, confident individuals who know how to stay safe. Our kindness tree is at the heart of the rules of our class and we encourage our children to always be kind towards others and develop empathy and understanding of feelings. We encourage self-regulation as much as possible and give them strategies to self-regulate through reflection, modelling and nurture. Laughton JI have a bronze award for Philosophy 4 Children and weekly sessions of P4C give the children further opportunities to explore ideas and to practise articulating their own feelings and beliefs.
We are very lucky to have our very own Foundation Stage tortoise named ‘Shelley’ and caring for her encourages the sensitive, caring attributes that children need to be responsible citizens.
Our beautiful outdoor environment enables us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to play outside as much as possible. Our children love nature and the world around them so we encourage them to care for their environment. We follow the REAL PE curriculum from Reception and have additional focused sessions using apparatus and outdoor climbing equipment to develop gross motor skills. Children are taught about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating. Our children love daily Dough Disco sessions and enhanced finger gym sessions in the provision ensures fine motor skills are well developed.
Communication and Language
Children are taught to listen and communicate appropriately. Each topic encompasses enhancements to the learning environment that include role-play areas, small-world play and story-making opportunities to encourage the children to act out scenarios and discuss concepts being learnt. This helps children learn and use a wider range of new vocabulary introduced through the topics. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussion whenever possible. Children also help build their vocabulary by selecting new vocabulary to go on the word wall. Children who struggle to communicate are targeted in the provision and learning interventions such as Talk Boost are used when children lack confidence or do not have the age-appropriate skills.
We aim to teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at our school, and books are key in our EYFS to teach topics and to enhance our whole curriculum.
Teachers read stories to children from high quality age-appropriate texts at every available opportunity and story time is every day before the children go home using books that match the topic or their interests. These books are then used to enhance the learning environment and reading area. Nursery rhymes and sound awareness is taught in Nursery and we follow a systematic approach to phonics teaching based on Read, Write Inc. from Reception. This involves learning phonemes including digraphs, tricky words, new vocabulary and reading a phonic matched book in a small group with an adult. Children take home books to share which are matched to the phonetic skills of the children. Children who need extra help with phonics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff in ’Keep up’ sessions.
We expose children to writing and mark-making when they start in Nursery and build on these skills during their journey in Foundation Stage. Writing is modelled by adults and children are encouraged to mark make/write in the continuous provision such as the role-play area, writing area, maths area, and outdoors. The children are provided with a range of clipboards, pencils, pens, and other media to encourage them to write as much as possible. In Reception writing sentences through modelling and practise in the Read, Write, Inc. sessions alongside handwriting and guided writing based on the topic ensures children have the skills needed to be competent writers.
Maths learning is through guided group work and whole-class sessions with a mastery approach. Focus activities are also threaded within the continuous provision to use, apply and develop their mathematical skills. They can also access a maths area to access a range of maths resources to use independently and to set up their own maths ideas. Children are also taught shapes, measures and patterns and these are linked to the world around them. Children in Reception are taught maths using the White Rose materials alongside the opportunities in continuous provision.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
We strive to give children knowledge about the world around them in Laughton and the rest of the world. Science is taught through most of our topics but is also developed through a child’s particular interest such as bringing a snail that they have found to school. The changes in the outdoor world is also a focus and we use real hands-on experiences to allow children to investigate and observe. Observing the tadpoles in our outdoor area is always an exciting time of the year!
Geography is taught, including simple maps and countries of the world, through our Celebrations and Wider World topics. Similarly, we introduce the children to history learning through our stories of historical events and through past events in their own lives.
We teach RE throughout the year based on stories and celebrations including, The Diwali story, Eid/Ramadan, The Nativity and the Easter Story so that children are introduced to different belief systems. Children are also taught about the different special places of worship which includes a visit to our local Church at Christmas.
Expressive Arts and Design
We want children to confidently express themselves through singing songs, making music, dancing and performing. We have regular music lessons taught by a specialist music teacher. Children are given time to play imaginative games and make up stories, songs and dances in the continuous provision.
In art, the children are taught how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. We study the artists Van Gogh and Monet. Child-initiated art activities are encouraged during continuous provision as well as art and design skills taught by the staff. We endeavour that children leave Reception with good art skills, as well as encouraging them to use their own ideas and techniques in their art and design work.
I can hang my coat up
I can put on my coat
I can ask for help and remember to say please and thank you
I can follow a routine
I can tidy up
I can sit on the carpet
I can zip up my coat
I always have good manners
I can fasten buttons
I can put on my shoes
I can use a knife and fork
I can prepare my own snack e.g. peel and orange/banana
I know how to cross the road safely
10 experiences you will have before you leave Foundation Stage
Plant a seed and watch it grow
Try foods from different countries
Travel on a coach
Look after a pet
Hunt for bugs
Make a mud pie
Build a den
Roll down a hill
Do some baking/cooking
Act on a stage in front of an audience