Early Years Curriculum
Curriculum Approach and Philosophy
Reaching for the Stars with Aspiration and Hope
Children start with us in the Early Years at age 3 and are very much a part of the whole school. It is important to us that they 'reach for the stars' in their learning along with the rest of the school, however although our vision is the same for our youngest children, we recognise that their learning journey will be predominantly play based.
We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals. All our planning is ‘child centred’ and daily/weekly planning sheets are reflective, working documents that are adjusted to fit the individual child’s needs; this is a continual process of reflection and amendment.
There are seven areas of learning in the EYFS, with Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development forming the backbone of the children’s development and learning.
We recognise that children develop at different stages and when planning activities for them, think carefully about ‘where they are at’ developmentally, using the Characteristics of Effective Learning to challenge and engage at the appropriate level.
Children have whole group and small group times which increase as they progress through the EYFS with times for a daily phonics session using ‘Letters and Sounds’, teaching aspects of Mathematics and Literacy, including shared reading and writing.We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own child-initiated activities and those that are planned by the adults. During children’s play, early years practitioners interact to stretch and challenge children further.
We create a stimulating and enabling environment with rich learning opportunities through play and quality adult interactions, offering support for children to take risks and explore.
Observation and Assessment
As part of our daily practice we observe and assess children’s development and learning to inform our next steps and future plans. We record our observations in an online learning system called Tapestry, which supports specific observations linked to assessment. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to this (including parents and external professionals) and discussions take place as needed. Tapestry Observations enable us to enter assessment data on our Insight whole school tracker, which provides a strong picture of a child’s development.
We ensure our end of EYFS assessments are reliable through:
- Our knowledge of the child gained through observation and interaction
- Our environment, which enables the child to flourish to their full capacity
- Strong internal and external moderation