Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
Our curriculum is unique to Allerton Bywater Primary School and meets the needs of our pupils and meets all the requirements of the statutory EYFS Framework 2021. We strive to provide an equal offering for all children in our school community. We do this by creating first hand experiences which enable children to make connections with real life and the wider world. We aim to nurture children to enable them to become confident, aspirational and respectful, this links to our whole school values.
Our carefully sequenced, knowledge rich curriculum identifies the core knowledge and skills that we want our children to know. This is underpinned by choosing high quality texts which support a language rich curriculum. In our setting enhancements are responsive to the observed needs, strengths and interests of children. This means that adults have the professional freedom to shape learning based on their in-depth knowledge of the community and the children. Our curriculum supports our children to develop self regulation, build relationships with their peers and adults. It also promotes independence and self-care.
Our curriculum will give our children the opportunity to develop their interests and love of learning so that they will continue to flourish on their learning journey into Year One and beyond.
The EYFS Framework 2021:
- Sets the standards that all early year’s providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
- Ensures children are kept healthy and safe
- Ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
The three characteristics of effective learning describe the behaviours children use in order to learn.
Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and build the resilience to ‘have a go’
Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achieving
Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
The Areas of Learning and Development
The three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships, and thriving, underpinning the specific areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
There are four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The Specific Areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Over a week in EYFS children will access discrete Phonics, Literacy, Maths and Topic lessons. These lessons are appropriate to the age and stage of the children. Alongside discrete lessons children have the opportunity to extend and consolidate their learning in the continuous and enhanced provision.
Learning to Read and Write at ABPS
Phonics is taught in EYFS and KS1 through the Read Write Inc programme which is a systematic and highly effective approach used for the teaching of early reading and writing. Nursery phonics concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills through their ability to respond to sounds, play with sounds, songs and rhymes. These are all important skills for listening to others, understanding questions and developing concepts of things and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts when children are ready. This early stage of phonics, supports children in getting attuned to sounds, preparing them for hearing sounds in words (segmenting). It also prepares children with putting these sounds together (oral blending).
Please visit the (add link to phonics page) of our website for more information.
In Literacy lessons, we use the Talk 4 Writing approach which was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.
There are 3 main phases :
- Imitation - Teachers choose a high quality text to inspire children’s writing. Children learn this model text ‘by heart’ using a text map. This develops their vocabulary and understanding of text structures.
- Innovation - Children work alongside an adult to change the text and make it their own.
- Independent Application - Children independently write their own text using the structure of the model.
In Maths lessons, we follow the NCETM maths mastery approach. Our objective is to ensure that all children develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. We follow the Mastering Number Program focusing on deep conceptual understanding of number and automatic recall of key number facts. We also explore shape, space and measure.
Our EYFS learning environments have well defined and thoughtfully positioned areas of provision which enable children to make links in their learning and offer a range of learning opportunities. We aim to create awe and wonder in the early years through the environment and its provocations. We want to create spaces that evoke a sense of calm. The walls are used to celebrate the unique child and support and scaffold learning. Our outdoor area enables our children to explore, be curious and develop important gross motor skills. We access our Forest Schools area weekly. Adults plan activities to broaden the children’s knowledge of nature and the world around us. Children are also given the opportunity to lead the exploration of the forest to develop life skills such as managing risk and collaboration with others.
The Role of the Adult
In our setting we have strong, experienced adults who play alongside, move learning on, identify next steps and model accurate, subject specific and relevant vocabulary. To do this, adults will be:
- sometimes leading play and sometimes following children’s interests.
- be interacting with the children to move learning forward.
- modelling grammatically correct language and explaining words.
- playing with the children in the provision in order to develop children’s understanding of the potential learning the provision offers.
- knowledgeable of child development
- understanding of how young children learn about the world they have only just entered.
- using the concrete resources to help children work in an abstract way.
- modelling how we use resources and promoting high expectations.
We communicate with our parents in a variety of ways, first and foremost in person. Our Early Years staff are on the door to greet children each morning and to say goodbye each afternoon. Our staff are committed to developing and sustaining positive relationships with our families. We use an online tool called Class Dojo. We use it to inform parents of weekly learning, general school information and to celebrate children’s achievements. We also have a whole school instagram (@ab_primary_school) which shares photographs of learning and key events throughout the school year. A weekly whole school newsletter is shared with parents via email. We hold a variety of meetings and workshops for our parents about starting school, teaching and learning of phonics and mathematics and stay and play sessions. We also ensure a smooth transition for children starting our EYFS by holding settling in sessions and visiting previous pre-school settings.
The impact of our knowledge rich curriculum, language-rich environment combined with skilful, dedicated practitioners will be the successful development of our children as individuals. Our children will be inquisitive, curious and have a thirst for learning. Our children will become articulate and confident learners who feel valued and in turn will respect others. Our children will be able to identify their own strengths and next steps and share their aspirations with others. Strong personal, social and emotional skills will enable children to engage fully in collaborative learning valuing all contributions, confident to talk to a range of people due to the strength of their language and vocabulary skills. Our children leave Early Years fully prepared for their transition to Key Stage One, able to remember and apply vital knowledge and skills.
Our aim is for all children to make good or better progress from their starting points. We do this by setting high expectations for all learners, adapting the curriculum and provision to meet the needs of the unique child. Accurate assessment allows adults to set personalised and meaningful next steps to ensure children are appropriately challenged and consistently working towards achieving a good level of development.