The Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that our children continue to build upon throughout their schooling. Our curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive, resilient and happy learners. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. Through our planning and delivery we take into account children’s prior learning and various starting points to develop a holistic engaging curriculum that interlinks across all areas of the EYFS as well as being specific and reactive to the experiences and needs of children in our setting. Through our Early Years curriculum we strive to provide our children with an early education that is both enjoyable and inspirational, is tailored to the children’s interests and will provide them with a skill set to make them a life-long learners. Our curriculum is intended to support children in becoming independent learners and to develop their characteristics of effective learning through exciting and creative continuous provision both indoors and outdoors that enables opportunity for child led play and adult directed activity. At Guiseley Primary School, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning in the Early Years; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Guiseley Primary School, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential.
Our aim is to provide the knowledge and experiences to develop a sense of awe and wonder, creating moments to wow and captivate each child. We want children to see themselves as individuals and valued members of their own families, school and the local Guiseley community. We recognise the background and home life experience of our children and so through our curriculum we help children to learn that places and people are not all the same, each having similarities and differences which should be celebrated. We aim to develop children’s play skills, perseverance and ability to interact with one another showing resilience, tolerance and respect for others whilst having confidence in their own abilities. By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Guiseley Primary our EYFS classes consist of Nursery (2-4 years) and Reception classes (Orange and Red) for children aged 4 to 5 years. Our curriculum is based around children learning through play and engaging in exploration.
Our EYFS curriculum follows the statutory guidance EYFS Framework 2021 and is supported by the Development Matters guidance 2021. In line with the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, there is a strong emphasis is on learning through play and direct practical experience which is led by the interests of our children. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities encouraging children to develop their learning independently through discovery, exploration, curiosity and challenge. Adults scaffold learning through skilful interactions and effective questioning. Our learning environments are high quality, vibrant, stimulating and exciting but most importantly relevant and reactive to the needs and age/stage of our children. The indoor and outdoor environments are designed to allow children to access resources and the curriculum independently, making their own choices. All environments are adapted regularly to meet the developing needs and interests of the children, providing support and challenge to all.
At Guiseley Primary School, we use Tapestry to connect with parents/carers at home in order to share their child’s experiences in our setting but also to learn more about their home life experiences in order to tailor their learning at school. Our partnership with children’s families is central to our success in creating a well-rounded curriculum specific to each child’s needs.
Learning is concentrated upon three Prime areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development,
Communication and Language.
Pupils will also access learning focused on four specific areas of learning:
Understanding the World,
Expressive Arts and Design
As mentioned above, the EYFS also includes the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and staff working in the Early Years plan activities within Nursery and Reception classrooms with these in mind. They highlight the importance of a child’s attitude to learning and their ability to play, explore and think critically about the world around them.
Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas; make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
In planning our EYFS curriculum we have considered what we want our children to learn, know and do. We want them to know about themselves and their place at home, then contrast our locality to other places (farm/sea), countries/continents (Antarctica/Africa), learn about the seasons and the science that comes with them (lifecycles in terms of growing plants, and animals e.g chicks) as well as celebrations and key events throughout the year (Diwali/Chinese New Year/Easter).
Each half term, we use a thematic approach to inspire and bring the seven key curriculum areas to life:-
Prime Areas of learning
Communication and Language – developing a love of language through conversation, story telling and role play and providing extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – managing emotions, developing a positive sense of self, positive interactions and conflict resolution.
Physical development – developing core strength, gross and fine motor skills developing proficiency, control and confidence.
These are complimented by the four Specific Areas of learning
Literacy -developing language comprehension and auditory processing skills are the focus in the Nursery year with some daily initial sounds, blending and segmenting work.. This prepares the children for formal daily phonics teaching using ‘Rocket Phonics’ in the Reception year.
Maths – using the principles of White Rose Maths to develop a mastery of numbers to 20 and developing spatial reasoning skills across all areas of maths including shape, space and measures.
Understanding the World – developing understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world as well as an understanding of the children’s own life story/families and their role within the community.
Expressive arts and Design – developing artistic and cultural awareness to support imagination and creativity.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, all children will have reached their personal best and have achieved at least good progress across all areas of learning, aiming for a good level of development (GLD).
Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1.
EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation – children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.
Playing and Exploring-Engagement
By the end of EYFS, children will have developed an inquisitive nature; a love of exploring and finding things out. They will be able to engage with activities/games/adults/peers that are familiar to them and that they enjoy as well as being confident in exploring new surroundings and finding out new things. This will support them as they transition in to KS1.
Children will be able to engage with activities and learning for longer periods of time and will be able to concentrate on developing a new skill and learning new things. They will have an understanding of what they need to achieve in an activity and will show enjoyment in succeeding and achieving. They will keep on trying if they are not successful at first. Children will be able to demonstrate their understanding that they are part of a shared learning activity and that a particular outcome is expected.
Creating and Thinking Critically-Thinking
Children will have their own ideas and be able to share these independently. They will be able to make links between previous experiences and things they know and apply these to new experiences and learning opportunities. They will show independence in their learning and daily routines and will make decisions about how to do things.