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EYFS at Samuel Cody School
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statement
At Samuel Cody, our main aim is to provide our children with a safe and stimulating environment which provides opportunities for our children to flourish and grow regardless of their needs, background or circumstances. In Reception we intend to develop children’s communication skills, independence and early learning skills to create an enthusiasm for learning that will support them as they move through their learning journey.
To ensure we can best support the needs of our children through the EYFS curriculum, it is our intent to take into consideration their starting points and individual needs as they begin their learning journey. Every child has access to a broad and differentiated curriculum to best meet each child’s individual needs to ensure they can flourish as an individual. This helps to develop key life skills and knowledge which, will support them for current and future learning opportunities and experiences through their learning journey and into adulthood. Planning and play-based learning opportunities are intwined with children’s personal interests and needs to ensure learning meets the EYFS curriculum. This is used to ensure each child can meet their next steps and flourish to their full potential.
Our EYFS curriculum aims enable our children to have:
- Effective communication; to express themselves and develop their social skills.
- Independent skills; to promote self-esteem and self-confidence when using life skills to support them in the future.
- Early learning skills; to support our children as they transition into Key Stage 1.
At Samuel Cody in our reception class we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). In September 2020 we opted to pilot the new early adopter EYFS which becomes statutory in September 2021. This is made up of four overarching principles which shape the teaching practice in our reception class. These are;
Unique Child– every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments- children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs to help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
Learning and Development- The importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
The curriculum provides a play based and free-flow approach alongside a balance of adult led and child initiated activities to promote progress in all areas of learning. The reception team work closely together to provide opportunities for children to learn through carefully planned, purposeful play in both the indoor and outdoor environment. The learning opportunities provided are carefully linked with the seven areas of learning. These are split into three prime areas and four specific areas.
The three prime areas of learning:
Communication and Language- Through conversation, story-telling, role play and teacher questioning, children become comfortable sharing their ideas and using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development- Through adult modelling and guidance, children will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Physical Development- Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practise of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
The four specific areas of learning:
- Literacy- Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension develops when adults talk to children about the world around them and through reading books. Skilled word reading involved using taught letters and sounds to speedily read unfamiliar and familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
- Mathematics- Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. Children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space, measures and patterns.
- Understanding the World- Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains.
- Expressive Arts and Design- The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
Children benefit from purposeful learning opportunities which, have the Characteristics of Effective Learning skills embedded into a differentiated curriculum to best meet the needs of the individual child. The characteristics of Effective Learning skills provide our children with the opportunity to have a go at new experiences, concentrate and keep trying when they face new challenges and develop their own ideas based from previous learning. The learning opportunities provided are built from prior knowledge and experiences. New first hand experiences including opportunities from inside the classroom, outside, visitors and school trips help widen our children’s knowledge, understanding, skills and vocabulary.
The Children of Samuel Cody will be equipped with foundation of knowledge and skills to be ready for the transition into Year 1, where these will be built upon. They can communicate their wants and needs, using communication aids if necessary. They will be able to use age appropriate independence skills to support their learning and life skills. They will have the understanding that there are times where it is important to be ready to learn and work, following adult-directed tasks as well as being able to make choices for themselves during ‘choosing’ opportunities throughout their timetabled day.
The impact of the teaching opportunities provided by the reception team will be documented through each child’s individual learning journey. Each learning journey is made up from children’s work and observations by staff. Each piece of work and observation is assessed against the seven areas of learning within the EYFS. This helps to ensure an accurate regular assessment of each child and to ensure they are making progress within each area of learning.
Staff use internal moderation and training opportunities to ensure children’s assessments are accurate and in line with the EYFS judgements. Staff use these assessments to follow the graduated approach; “assess” the child’s current knowledge or skill, “plan” using the assessment, “do” the planned opportunity, “review” progress. This cycle is used to ensure our children have a secure understanding of key concepts and skills before moving on to new learning.