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Barnett Wood Infant School

Early Years Foundation Stage

At Barnett Wood Infant School, we believe that the experiences gained in the Early Years provide the essential foundation for all future learning and supports our children in becoming kind, confident, successful learners.

 

 

We recognise that early childhood education is important in itself and it is essential that we provide rich learning experiences as part of a broad and balanced curriculum in order to support the development of the whole child. We value the importance of the fundamental principles of early childhood education: 

  • Care and education for children are complimentary and inseparable 

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and whom can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.  

  • The adults and children in a child’s life are of central importance 

  • The quality of all relationships if a major influence on a child’s learning and development, supporting children in being strong and independent individuals 

  • Play is one of the most powerful medium for learning and discovering the joy of learning in the Early Years 

  • The starting point in children’s education is what they know and can do already, developing and learning at different rates   

 

It is our intent to: 

  • Provide all children with happy, safe, stimulating and exciting learning environments, both inside and outside 

  • Enable children to develop their independence, confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding through multisensory experiences 

  • Provide an education that continues to develop their social, physical, intellectual, emotional and linguistic abilities  

  • Integrate our children into school happily through a variety of effective measures such as visits to previous settings, ‘Tea and Toys’ and ‘Stay and Play’ sessions in the summer term before starting Barnett Wood. 

Core Purpose

Intent                                                                                              

At Barnett Wood Infant School, we believe that the experiences gained in the Early Years provide the essential foundation for all future learning and supports our children in becoming kind, confident, successful learners. We recognise that early childhood education if important in itself and it is essential that we provide rich learning experiences as part of a broad and balanced curriculum in order to support the development of the while child. We value the importance of the fundamental principles of early childhood education:

  • Care and education for children are complimentary and inseparable
  • The starting point in children’s education is what they know and can do already
  • The adults and children in a child’s life are of central importance
  • The quality of all relationships if a major influence on a child’s learning and development
  • Play is one of the most powerful medium for learning and discovering the joy of learning in the Early Years

It is our intent to:

  • Provide all children with happy, safe, stimulating and exciting learning environments, both inside and outside
  • Enable children to develop their independence, confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding through multisensory experiences
  • Provide an education that continues to develop their social, physical, intellectual, emotional and linguistic abilities
  • Integrate our children into school happily through a variety of effective measures such as visits to previous settings, ‘Tea and Toys’ and ‘Stay and Play’ sessions in the summer before starting Barnett Wood.

 

The Birth to 5 Matters document along with the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals set out the end of Reception year expectations and the building blocks that come before in order for children to reach their full potential by the end of the Foundation Stage. At Barnett Wood Infant School we recognise the crucial role that Early Years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based, equipping them with the skills in continuing their journey into KS1.

Implementation                                                                            

At Barnett Wood, we understand the importance of following a child-led learning approach. At the beginning of each academic year, the parents are asked to spend time with their children thinking about what they would like to learn about during their time in Reception. They bring in an item linked to this. The teaching staff then use this to map out the topics for the year, ensuring that every child’s interests are covered. Our Medium Term Plans, used by the teacher as a guide for weekly planning, however planning is flexible in response to the needs, achievements and interests of the children.

 

The EYFS curriculum is planned for using the DfE Statutory Framework for the Early Years 2021 alongside the  Birth to 5 Matters document. We understand the importance of providing a high quality education through a balance of child-initiated and adult-led activities and challenges. The weekly timetable is carefully structured so that children are provided with the skills and knowledge to equip them to fulfil their full potential during play and exploration. Adult led teaching of Phonics and Mathematics are delivered daily, as well as Circle Times and Topic sessions to develop our children’s skills and understanding in C&L, PSED, UtW and EAD. Adult-led sessions are followed by child-initiated learning time, where adults join in with children’s play to scaffold their learning through the effective use of vocabulary and enquiry led questioning. Each day there is an adult led focus activity where children work in small groups to develop their individual targets and understanding in the focussed learning. This focussed group time enables adults (teachers and LSA’s) to systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions and provide meaningful verbal feedback.  

 

In Reception we follow the follow schemes to ensure that there is progression of skills and knowledge in Phonics, Maths and Physical Development (PE), these schemes are used across the whole school:

  • Little Wandle Letters and Sounds- this builds up the sounds and keywords the children recognise and provide them with the skills to read and write words and phrases.
  • Maths- In Maths as a school we have a Maths Mastery approach, we use both White Rose  to plan in our adult led learning and environment enhancements. White Rose provides us with the themes and ideas for provision enhancements and  is valuable in providing children with the skills to explain their knowledge and understanding linked to mathematical concepts.
  • GetSet4PE- The skills taught to support children’s gross motor development are carefully built upon in each lesson. We cover:
  • Autumn 1- An introduction to PE
  • Autumn 2- Fundamentals in PE
  • Spring 1- Gymnastics unit 1
  • Spring 2- Gymnastics unit 2
  • Summer 1- Ball skills
  • Summer 2- Games

All of these schemes build upon the foundations of our children’s learning in these subjects, preparing them for KS1.

 

The learning landscape both indoors and outdoors are vital in supporting our children to become kind, confident, successful learners. Continuous provision plays a vital role in our children building upon their experiences. Inside we have areas including: the message centre, the creative area, construction, maths, phonics, role play, book corner. Outside areas include: sand, water, physical (bikes), large construction, maths, message centre, role play, creative area, loose parts. Together as staff, we carefully plan the enhanced provision in these areas, taking into account: topic, our children’s needs, specific interests the children have expressed in the previous days and where we need to progress their learning to next.

 

We adopt an inclusive approach to ensure that all of our pupils reach their full potential. Each half term we plan for and review a range of additional intervention to support those who are working towards the Age Related Expectation (ARE) and those who are working beyond, at greater depth. Our interventions often focus on areas of learning including: Maths, Physical Development (both gross and fine motor), Phonics. When teaching whole class, all children are challenged through questioning and the level of activity. For example, in Phonics, those who are working at greater depth may work with an LSA on more complex skills such as writing simple sentences. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations and assessments of children.

Pedagogy                                                                                      

At Barnett Wood we believe that children have a right to play. We ensure that time for this is carefully planned so that our children are engaged and challenged. Our morning session optimises the period given for our children’s ideas to evolve, uninterrupted by adult led teaching. During this time, adults also ‘play’, the children see us as co-explorers inviting us to join in. This gives our children the confidence to share their existing knowledge and understanding in all areas of the Early Years Curriculum and allows us to carefully scaffold this to progress their understanding further or address misconceptions.

 

Due to the Early Years Reforms 2021, the importance of professional development in understanding this is vital. Therefore, at weekly EYFS Team meetings, areas of the new curriculum and statutory guidance from the DfE are shared e.g. understanding self-regulation, the new ELG’s, making meaningful observations and gaining an understanding of the current stage of development of each child.

Evaluation                                                                                     

Formative assessment is an integral part of teaching young children. We make regular assessments of children’s learning through our daily interactions with them. This informs adults of each child’s embedded knowledge, skills and understanding. This information is then used to ensure that future planning reflects our children’ unique needs.

 

Observations alongside joining in with our children’s play, is vital in building a picture of the whole child and their stage in development. We use Tapestry to record both individual and group observations during child-initiated play. Parents have access to these so are able to view their child’s learning at school as well as sharing their own at home.

 

An on entry assessment is made in the first 4 weeks of our children joining Reception using observations made in this time and the transition reports provided by each child’s previous setting. Teachers also conduct the statutory RBA (Reception Baseline Assessment) within the first 6 weeks, required by all schools from September 2021 in Mathematics and Literacy, Communication and Language. Children’s progress is tracked in line with the ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ document at the end of Spring 1 and end of year assessments in the Summer Term (June). The end of year assessments are recorded against the 17 areas of learning which set out the expected level of development for a child at the end of Reception. Children are assessed to be ‘expected’ or ‘emerging’ (not yet reaching the level of development set out)

 

To ensure consistency of assessments across both Reception classes, teachers moderate pupil’s progress regularly with one another. We are looking to moderate with local schools this year following no longer having Surrey lead moderation meetings with other schools.

 

At the time of on entry and Spring 1 assessments, predictions based on evidence gathered are made identifying who will: require additional support to reach the expected level, should will reach expected level but be aware of gaps in learning and plan interventions as a result of this and who will reach the expected level.

 

Within the final term of the Reception year, we provide a written summary to parents/carer reporting their child’s progress and whether they are meeting the expected level of development. It also includes a short commentary on their skills and abilities in relation to the characteristics of effective learning.

Impact                                                                                            

We aim to ensure all children progress through a balanced and creative EYFS Curriculum. We strive to ensure each child makes a very good level of progress through the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s), from their individual starting points. All children get the best possible start to their school life and develop the knowledge and skills to reach and exceed their potential in KS1.

Next Steps                                                                                     

  1.  To implement the new EYFS reforms 2021, equipping all EYFS staff with the skills and knowledge to plan for and deliver activities and experiences to progress children’s learning.
  2. To improve the number of pupils who achieve the expected level in writing at the end of EYFS.
  3. To improve the continuous provision in the outside area, enabling us to take the learning to those who choose to learn outside.

 

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