Early Years

Curriculum Intent: EYFS 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we believe that every child is unique and strive to provide an enabling environment that is nurturing and inclusive. We believe that all children should celebrate their diversity and embrace differences including, culture, ethnicity, religion, language, special educational need, disability, gender or ability. We foster positive relationships in which all children learn to be resilient, independent, confident and self-assured, secure and valued 

In order to be successful, pupils will have the opportunity to learn and develop the characteristics of effective learning as described in Early Years Foundation Stage 2012: 

  • 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; and 

  • Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 

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 At The Meadows Primary, we have implemented Chris Quigley’s approach to learning. One element of this is the ‘Secrets of Success’. Chris Quigley believes that there are many elements needed for children to become successful and independent learners, not simply academics. These early characteristics of effective learning are embedded in our eight Secrets of Success here at The Meadows. Below is the ethos behind ‘Secrets of Success’: 

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Along with our new Dojo...

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Staying Safe

The EYFS curriculum at The Meadows is holistic, broad and balanced. It is accessible for every child and encompasses the three prime areas of learning and four specific areas through varied, fun and exciting learning contexts and opportunities. This looks different in the Autumn term when children need time to settle in and transition from Nursery. The children actively learn through purposeful play in which they are given opportunities to play and explore.  

They then begin to be given challenge activities in all areas of learning. Very quickly we begin to teach fun daily discreet phonics sessions through “Phonics Bug” and lots of interactive games in which children can practise their blending and segmenting skills. Phonics is our prime approach to reading and writing.  

We have a super exciting maths scheme called “Power Maths” in which we teach mathematical concepts and key skills through a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach. We embed characteristics of a mathematician using fun characters such as Determined Dexter, Flexible Flo, Curious Ash, Brave Astrid and Helpful Sparks.  

The areas of Learning and Development are: 

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Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers. Parents and carers are invited in weekly to share work together with their child. The children look forward to showing off their work and parents and carers love to see their child grow and develop as they move through the early years of their education. Parents are actively encouraged to share achievements from home with Early Years staff through family learning books, learning diary and informally during our drop-in sessions. This gives a holistic picture of each and every child. 

The children learn the following key skills through their time in the Early Years, which develops from two to five years of age. 

 

Aspirations for the Future  

We provide the foundations so that our young learners are ready to thrive socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively in the next phase of their education in Key Stage 1 and for life- long learning.  

As the Reception year goes on, we gradually provide increasing opportunities for more formal learning to ensure the children are ready for their next stage of education in Key Stage 1. We also have many theme days in which we join Class 2 to encourage a smooth and effective transition. The areas of learning from the EYFS curriculum dovetail into National Curriculum subjects and links are made to enable children to begin to develop an awareness of the learning and characteristics for each subject. This enable children to make connections in their learning and provides the foundation for vertical accumulation of knowledge, understanding and skills.  

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Impact 

Assessment 

Through providing a rich variety of opportunities in each of the key skills, both the teachers and the pupils assess their learning continuously throughout the year. Their knowledge, skills and understanding are continually observed, celebrated and assessed to identify next steps. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of their learning and the progress they have made over time. This is reported to parents via the EYFS Profile. 

Pupil Voice 

“I can have fun learning” 

“We love the mud pie kitchen!” 

“I can write my name now!” 

Snapshots 

Here is what Early Years looks like at The Meadows: 

Many aspects of our learning are taught through exploration and purposeful play: 

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Some of our learning is one to one with a teacher or teaching assistant or other times as small groups: 

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Outdoor learning is a big part of our curriculum her at school and in the local natural environment: 

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Examples of work: 

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Disclaimer: This has been developed with reflection upon the Early Years Foundation Stage 2012 and Chris Quigley’s Essential Curriculum.