Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Early Years curriculum is designed to be relevant & meaningful to each child and to ensure that children’s individual skills, knowledge and understanding develops progressively right from their entry to Hollycroft Primary School. Our curriculum opens children’s eyes to the world around them, and provides first hand experiences; creating memorable moments and knowledge that become life-long building blocks for all pupils regardless of educational needs and background. We believe in a language rich curriculum and a ‘talk valued’ environment so that our pupils learn a breadth of vocabulary to communicate for a range of reasons within a range of contexts. Stories, rhymes and music are key tools for our curriculum delivery as well as discrete phonic sessions that allow pupils to begin accessing print around them.
Our Early Years environment is thoughtfully planned to provide rich access to all areas of learning. The characteristics of effective learning are at the heart of our day and pupils, from an early age, are encouraged to ‘have a go’, ask questions, make links, solve problems and be individual in their thoughts and ideas. Early Years Practitioners plan a balance between adult directed and child-initiated learning using children’s individual needs and interests as starting points.
Through positive staff relationships and care, we help our young children to learn about themselves personally and encourage each child to be resilient and reach their potential. We teach our children how to be healthy and safe and how to be a good friend.
EYFS Areas of Learning
The Early Years curriculum is centred on 3 prime areas of learning:
1. Communication and Language..
2. Physical Development
3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
And through 4 specific areas of learning which strengthen the prime areas.
3. Understanding of the World
4. Expressive Arts and Design
How we learn in the Early Years
We ensure that our environment and delivery of the curriculum incorporates what we know about how young children learn. There are three characteristics of effective teaching and learning:
• Playing and exploring - children will have opportunities to investigate and experience things and 'have a go.' Their senses will be active.
• Active learning - children will have time and space to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements. They will actively engage with the environment both indoors and out.
• Creating and thinking critically - we encourage and support children to use and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for achieving what they wish.
Our EYFS Curriculum
At Hollycroft we aim to provide motivating, first-hand experiences across all the areas of learning, encouraging children to build resilience, independence, respect for one another and a love of learning. We aim to build on the wealth of knowledge and skills children already have when they start school and provide plenty of new and exciting opportunities to expand each child’s knowledge and understanding. In our EYFS, we recognise that all children are unique, and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. Our EYFS curriculum is broad and varied, aiming to follow the fascinations of our children while using the Chris Quigley EYFS curriculum companion as a foundation for learning. We are passionate about children enjoying each day by engaging with and leading their own learning. We aim to:
- Provide a curriculum that offers children a wide range of opportunities, broadening their experiences and giving them chance to try new things.
- Have high expectations of every child, supporting all children to achieve their very best in all areas of learning.
- Provide a learning environment that helps children to achieve their potential and supports those who need additional help in order to maximise their chances of achieving the Early Learning Goals.
- Provide opportunities for children to focus on their own sense of wellbeing and give them the tools they need to be able to regulate their feelings effectively.
Our curriculum follows the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and is implemented using Chris Quigley’s curriculum companion for Early Years. These documents specify the requirements for learning and development in the EYFS and provide the prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.
The framework provides each area of learning with clear Big ideas and Threshold concepts which then forms clear curriculum sequencing which is divided into: Learning conversations, Purposeful pedagogy, Outdoor environment, Continuous provision, Learning experiences.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and thinking critically and creatively and this takes place both indoors and outdoors. Our outdoor area is open all year round and in all but the most challenging weather conditions. Children make their own decisions about where they learn best and teachers ensure that there are opportunities for all areas of learning both inside and outside.
Evidence of children’s learning is collected through work completed in their observations, photos and videos which are shared with parents at parents meetings. We enjoy providing our children with opportunities that they have not experienced before and that enhance their learning in school. We plan a range of visits to support children’s learning and invite visitors into school to provide the spark for further immersion in a theme or project.
The impact of our EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well-rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child and their learning journeys. Each year, we aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving a Good Level of Development.
In Foundation we develop the children's maths skills to help them achieve their Early Learning Goals. We lay the foundations for the children to develop their calculation skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This then means they have the skills they need to access their maths learning when they move into year one and start on the National Curriculum.
The following stories are all linked to starting school and will provide opportunities for you and your child to discuss what school may be like.