Statement of Intent
What is taught in EYFS?
At Poppleton Road Primary we provide a curriculum that is designed to be flexible, engaging, and exciting so that children’s unique needs and passions are embraced. We inspire our children to become accomplished, happy individuals, ready to reach their full potential in an ever-changing world.
At Poppleton Road Primary our aim is to create a learning environment and build relationships which support, enhance and invite a child’s curiosity, confidence and individual competency to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs.
We aim to work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive and reach their full potential. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also developing and embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.
The Early Years Curriculum
At Poppleton Road Primary we follow the revised EYFS framework and Early Years Development Matters. Using this teachers plan collaboratively to create Long and Medium Term plans which show progression over each of the seven areas of learning in order to meet the expected level by the end of the Reception year (ELG). This is delivered through adult led activities as well as child initiated activities across the areas of provision within the setting.
The Early Years Framework:
There are seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
1. Communication and language;
2. Physical development; and
3. Personal, social and emotional development.
These areas are a focus in Reception and have a particular emphasis for the basis for successful learning in the specific areas.
The Prime areas are reported on by the end of Reception.
The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:
3. Understanding the world;
4. Expressive arts and design.
The balance shifts towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the prime areas.
Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write by blending and segmenting individual sounds. At Poppleton Road Primary School we follow Twinkl Phonics.
Twinkl Phonics is a fully comprehensive, synthetic phonics teaching programme designed to be used with children from nursery to year 2. Delivered through the stories and adventures of Kit, Sam and the Twinkl Phonics family, the scheme builds and develops the skills and understanding children need to become effective, independent readers and writers.
Children throughout Reception take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write ‘tricky words’. These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.
In Reception we will continually do activities from level 1 and then teach level 2,3 and 4. Below is some information from Twinkl Phonics about each of these levels.
When are specific skills and knowledge taught?
In planning and guiding children’s activities, practitioners in the setting reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in the setting and practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
1. playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
2. active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
3. creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult led and child initiated activity.
How do we teach in EYFS?
There is a mix of adult-led and child-initiated learning, with children given extended opportunities for play based learning each day, including the use of the outdoor space. Whole class and small group sessions, led by a teacher or TA are interspersed throughout the day.
At Poppleton Road Primary School we recognise that young children learn best through when they are active. We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Therefore, we believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible and our EYFS setting has an ethos of learning through play.
Planning is based on direct observations of children’s interests and play.
Staff support, interact and observe children in play situations using their experience to help children make connections and move their learning on.
Children will also access more formal guided group sessions where being an active learner is still a priority. Experienced staff within the setting make informed assessments during their interactions with children and using the information gathered provide appropriate next steps. The children's key moments in their learning journey are recorded on an online learning journal called Tapestry. Parents can access their child's Tapestry account to see their journey as well as add to it.
Outdoor space and resources can promote playing and exploring, active learning and creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Movement is a child’s most natural form of expression and should be an essential part of their everyday experience.
The opportunity to play outside throughout the year, in all weather, is as important as playing inside. For many children, the learning that happens outdoors is the most significant.
There is an expectation that children will have access to outdoor play every day – all year round. It is therefore an expectation that children attend school in clothing appropriate for the weather conditions.
Why do we teach?
Early Years education is the foundation upon which young children build the rest of their schooling. It is a holistic education that encompasses all learning and development.
Planning and provision are informed by the best available evidence on how children learn and reflect the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress. Practitioners consider the development of children’s capabilities with a view to ensuring that they complete the EYFS, ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them. However, we also believe that early childhood is valid in itself as part of life. It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply as preparation for the next stage in education.