Early Years Foundation Stage
Intent, implementation and impact in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at St Lawrence Catholic Primary School.
Our Early years curriculum is defined by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets out the seven areas of learning and what children should be able to do by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (The Early Learning Goals). The Early Years Curriculum shapes what we do, for example the Characteristics of Effective Learning, learning through play, being motivated and achieving what they set out to do. We help the child to learn and develop towards those Early Learning Goals.
The update to the EYFS framework included 'Quality Teaching' being replaced by 'Quality of Education' and judgements to be based on our practice of 'Intent', 'Implementation' and 'Impact'.
As part of the Early Years curriculum, we offer a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning using continuous play and small group activities. This is because It is important to strike a balance between adult led and child initiated activities to meet best the children's outcomes. Adults in the class are then able to build on child-initiated activities, to extend further learning opportunities and enable sustained shared thinking to take place. Children then progress and attain across the seven areas of learning. This play-based learning helps the child to achieve their full potential because Play based learning appeals to children's natural curiosity desire to engage in experiences based on their interests, strengths and developing skills as they make sense of their world around them.
We work in partnership with parents/carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points. We understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
- We aim to create an indoor, shared and outdoor environment which supports learning. Children learn through play. Their learning is made fun, engaging and suitably challenging.
- We value the importance of our classrooms, shared resource area (in Reception) and outdoor environment and believe that they offer children the opportunity to develop their thinking and problem solving skills.
- We prepare children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points.
- We support the transition of our children into KS1. We make transition books for the class (and individual transition books for the children with additional needs). We have shared playtimes, visits with their new teacher and teaching assistant and spend time in our new classroom environment. We also send home a sheet for parents to complete to tell their new teacher about their chid.
- We want our children to be happy, safe, independent, secure, confident and kind individuals so that they will be successful in the future. We want to provide the best possible start for the children to their school life, teaching them skills and giving them experiences which will ensure their well-being now and success in the future.
- We want to give the children the opportunity to work to the best of their ability and have a love for learning.
- We believe in providing all children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on each individual’s wants, needs and interests.
Adults in the Early Years provide high quality interactions. They are role models for learning. They have the training they need to thrive and help the children further. They have the opportunities throughout the school year to attend courses.
We follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. The framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum. Our teaching is through a range of topics. We have a curriculum that is child-centred and that is based upon experiences and topics which engage the children.
- Active learning is encouraged to ensure the children are motivated and interested. (We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning).
- All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- The 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique interests are supported.
- Each week, the children will work with an adult to complete at least one 1:1 reading session as well as adult led Literacy tasks, adult led Maths tasks, adult led RE tasks and a range of child initiated tasks through both the indoor and outdoor provision. A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis.
- During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with adults in the class.
- Daily guided activities are also planned to cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum. Through observation and discussion, next steps are identified for all children to ensure ‘typical’ or ‘better than typical’ progress is made in all areas of the Early Years curriculum.
- There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play. Adults in the EYFS make continuous observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are recorded in each child’s learning journal.
- We regularly assess where the children are, using ‘Development Matters’ and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment; including continuous provision, support children to reach their next steps. Interventions for groups or individuals are set up when necessary throughout the year.
- Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. The outdoor area is used throughout the year and in most weather conditions. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place.
- To support our wider curriculum, we provide opportunities for parents/carers to come into school and watch their children in assemblies and see their shared work and celebrate successes e.g. class assembly, parents meetings, art galleries in hall etc...
- We keep parents informed and we meet with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, Nursery or Reception home visits, parent workshops, Nursery and Reception Parents meeting, reports and parent consultations etc..
- We also support the transition into Key Stage 1 for both child and parents. We prepare children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of EYFS and the start of Year 1. We have shared playtimes with Year 1 children and self-make transition books to familiarise them with their future setting. Parents also complete a ‘moving on’ activity with their child during the Summer term which is then shared with their child’s new teacher. These aim to support the transition for all.
We ensure that our children’s progress is typical or better than typical across the EYFS curriculum from their varied starting points. We endeavour to ensure that all children reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and we aim to be at least in line with National Expectations. The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals. We have good transition procedures in place and we endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave Reception.
The Department for Education EYFS Framework
What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage EYFS
Please click below to view the Department for Education's Development Matters