Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Early Years Provision is for children aged 2-5 years old and
was judged to be Outstanding by Ofsted in February 2017 and March 2015.
"Early years staff build exceptionally well on skills and knowledge that are significantly below age-related expectations when children begin at school". "Learning stories show rapid development of early reading and writing skills". "The provision is very carefully thought out and activities are exceptionally well together to generate not only strong and secure learning, but also excitement". "Activities are rich and enable children to explore the world around them". "All adults interact very well with children and extend their learning at every opportunity". "The outdoor area is a real strength and is used highly effectively for all groups". "The strong links established with parents enable them to participate and support their children's learning well".
Child-initiated learning through play is at the heart of our practice and is embedded in every aspect of our learning environment. We believe that children learn best through active engagement with the world around them; and through meaningful and relevant experiences, supported by responsive adults. We aim to give children the broadest opportunities to play and make sense of the world. We observe their play and plan around their interests. Self-initiated learning and exploration are key ingredients to having independent children who are motivated to learn. Our outcomes show that all children make significant progress across all areas of learning, especially their Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy and Mathematics.
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Intent
Children in our Early Years phase follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning. We teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning. We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. We support individual learning through our skilful interactions and observations which lead to detailed next step planning. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our curriculum and pupils learning, through an enabling and well-planned environment we ensure we provide meaningful opportunities for playing and learning, active learning and creating and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement.
You can see examples of our planning below.
We use the Early Excellence Assessment Tracker to record our children’s knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. It is a consistent and reliable way of demonstrating progress through the EYFS. The statements within EExAT consist of six monthly bands of development that reflect an ‘age related expectation’. EExAT recognises the importance of relating attainment to chronological age and also values the 'how' of learning and so the characteristics of effective learning are scored in the system and levels of well being and involvement are recorded too (see below).
Through daily observation (see examples below) and interaction we are able to build a rich and accurate understanding of each child across all aspects of learning and development. Our assessments are meaningful and impact on our children’s learning and development as we use them to inform our children’s next steps which are personalised and challenging. Our observations then inform the assessments we make on EExAT as children approach the end of a six month milestone. We bring our knowledge of a child together to make a summative assessment about where they are in relation to key developmental milestones.
We use the online Learning Story provided by EExAT to record our observations. These observations are then shared with families, allowing them
to comment and also add any out of school experiences or
learning at home which they wish to share with us.
UTW - The World - 54 months
CL - Understanding - 54 months
Nellie looks closely at the sunflowers in the garden. She notices holes in the leaves, "look at all of them!" I ask how she thinks the holes have got there and she explains "a slug has eaten them...or could be caterpillar". I asked what has happened to the sunflower and Nellie tells me "its dieded now". When I ask why it has died she replies "it not had enough water". Nellie could tell me that it grows from a "seed". She said "my sunflower at nanny hasn't dieded, Grandad gives it lots of water to grow big".
NS - To look at similarities and differences.
Maths – Number – 60 months
Evie's friend has made her a cake with 'candles', her friend said there were four candles but there was only three. I asked Evie how many would she need to make four? Evie replied “we need to add one more” so she placed another 'candle' on the cake. She then said "one more will be five, one more is six, one more seven". Evie was then able to find one more than given numbers up to 10.
NS- To find one less than a given number.
Leuven Scales of Well Being and Involvement
The Leuven Scales acknowledge the critical importance of a child’s emotional well-being on the quality and depth of learning. We use the Leuven Scales to indicate a child's level of Well-Being and Involvement at the time of assessment (low, medium or high level).
Well-being is defined as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’.
Involvement is defined as ‘the fact of being involved with or participating in something’.
The Leuven Scales support accurate and authentic summative assessment of a child’s knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning underpin our pupils learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The ways in which they engage with others and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the children to remain effective and motivated learners. We make judgements about a child's demonstration of the Characteristics of Effective Learning at their particular age and whether or not the learning behaviours defined within these characteristics describes the child.
This is how we plan our learning environment. The purpose of continuous provision is:
"To continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult".
Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned
to meet and challenge the development needs of our children.
"Children have regular access to a well-organised and highly stimulating learning environment, both inside and in the outdoor areas. The imaginative experiences that are provided help them to learn exceptionally well and develop high levels of curiosity".
"Children in the early years make excellent progress and achieve a good level of development. This is because the provision is tailored exceptionally well to their needs". "The provision is very carefully thought out and activities are exceptionally well put together to generate not only strong and secure learning, but also excitement".
Continuous Provision Planning