What does EYFS look like at
Easington Cof E Primary School?
EYFS Teacher – Ms Lilley
At Easington C of E Primary School our EYFS curriculum is designed with our whole school vision at its forefront:”
“May we give them the roots to grow and the wings to fly.”
Through this vision, EYFS children are given a strong foundation (roots) to their education. This then enables our youngest children to develop their knowledge and skills to become independent learners ready for the next step into Year 1 in their educational journey (wings to fly).
Our EYFS curriculum meets all the Statutory Framework requirements for the early years foundation stage (DFE 2021) as well as reflecting our particular needs as a small village community with a proud mining heritage.
Our EYFS curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It teaches them about their local community and gives them a sense of pride in where they live. We provide them with precious, memorable experiences that enhance their learning using local places to visit. It enables our children to be confident, independent and resilient young people with strong Christian Values. Our EYFS curriculum supports our youngest children to progress from their individual starting points preparing them for the next stage of their education.
Our ethos in the Early Years is to support the Personal, Social and Emotional Development of our youngest children to enable them to feel safe, secure and ready to learn. As such there is a strong emphasis on the Prime areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. The children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave as a result of our strong Christian vision, associated values and nurturing ethos.
Through the Prime and Specific areas of learning we provide themes that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. We recognise that all children come into our school with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and set ambitious expectations for all children. Those children with additional needs are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful.
Ultimately, we want our EYFS children to be happy, enjoy learning and feel fully ready for the next step in their life journey.
Each half term, the reception teacher introduces a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. At Easington C of E children learn through a balance of child initiated and adult directed activities.
Play matters at Easington C of E Primary School, the timetable is carefully structured so that children have child initiated and adult directed teaching time throughout the day. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in their own ‘Investigations’ exploring a variety areas within the provision. The EYFS curriculum is planned for the inside and garden classroom with equal importance given to learning in both areas
Reading is at the heart of our EYFS and wider school curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have core texts as a basis for theme planning that we read frequently to our children each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a life-long love of reading, but have been chosen to develop their language comprehension and word reading skills. Giving our children extensive opportunities through conversation, storytelling and role play to use and embed new words from stories, rhymes, poems and songs will give our children the opportunity to thrive.
From September 2021, Easington C of E Primary School will be following the Linguistics based phonics programme called Sounds-Write. It is a quality first phonics programme. Its purpose is to provide classroom professionals with a comprehensive system with which to teach reading, spelling and writing. At Easington C of E it will be introduced in Reception, taught in KS1 and fine-tuned throughout the rest of Key Stage 2.
Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly at school. The children are given books that match their phonics knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of becoming successful, confident and fluent readers.
In Reception we follow the Whit Rose Maths Scheme of work which is divided into 3 weekly units. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support our youngest children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and activities using concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations which are then rehearsed, applied and observed within daily adult led teaching and child initiated play.
Wider EYFS Curriculum
Our wider curriculum is taught though the learning areas:
Understanding of the world
At Easington C of E we have a strong focus on the foundation subject of science. Once a week we have a subject specialist teacher that delivers an engaging and exciting programme of work to the EYFS children and wider school. The subject specialist teacher in delivers learning objectives throughout the year working towards the ‘The Natural World’ aspect of learning. Colleagues through the school are also aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject and the progression of the subject.
Expressive Arts and Design
At Easington C of E we deliver a variety of knowledge and skills based on expressive arts and design. Children are given regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to play with a wide range of media and materials. Through EYFS themes and provision we ensure the children have time to explore, use and refine skills. Return to and build on previous learning. Create collaboratively. Listen attentively to music. Watch and talk about dance and performing arts. Sing and develop story lines in their play.
As a wider school we deliver music skills and knowledge through Durham Music Services – Charanga Online Music School.
Further opportunities for the EYFS children include:
- Visitors into school to enhance children’s learning – Peterlee Fire fighters and engine, School Nursing Team, P.C.S.O’s, Yoga Coach, Gymnastics Coach, Fundamental Movement Coach, Tri Golf Specialists and Hoop Starz sessions,
- Visits into the local community – Autumn walks to the local park on the village green, library visits, Summer walk to East Durham Garden Centre. Dance Festival, Peterlee Partnership Schools.
- Educational Visits into the wider local area – Summerhill Nature Park, Hartlepool, Durham Oriental Museum, Durham City, Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester.
An inclusive approach
Our Inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their full potential. Through our S.E.N.D. Graduated Approach, Early Identification is crucial to identify gaps in learning. This may include sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics and mathematics. Robust planning, formative assessment and half termly reviews of interventions ensures intervention planning is smart and meets the needs of the children. Next steps for learning are planned for with the child’s needs at the centre of everything we do.
Prior to children starting, the reception teacher spends time speaking to the child’s parents and staff at previous settings. During the first half term the EYFS staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This helps to identify children’s starting points in all areas so we can effectively plan to ensure progress. Observations are stored on Evidence Me.
From Sept 2021 we will be participating in the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) this assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy and Mathematics. The purpose of this will be to show the progress the children make from Reception to the end of KS2.
All on going observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. EYFS staff draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with each other, photographs, and some physical examples or work such as mark making or drawing. Some observations are uploaded using Evidence me and can be shared with parents and carers and kept in learner’s digital folders.
Pupil Progress meetings are carried out 3 times a year with the Head teacher and EYFS teacher to discuss individual children’s progress throughout the year.
Parental consultation meetings are organised twice a year to invite parents to meet with the EYFS teacher and discuss their child’s progress.
Reports are shared with parents twice a year to update parents and carers on their child’s progress at the start and at the end of the academic year.
In summer term 2 the statutory summative assessment ‘EYFSP’ is completed where the teacher judges whether a child has met each of the 17 Early Learning Goal’s. Each child will be assessed as being either ‘On track’ or ‘Not on track’. This is then shared with parents through the end of year school report.
The children’s characteristics of effective learning are also shared with families.
Impact is also evident through successful transitions into Year 1. Children leave the EYFS stage with essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and life-long learning. Children at Easington Church of England School will be happy, healthy, fulfilled and successful learners.