The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Framework forms the basis of teaching and learning in our EYFS classes.
This consists of seven areas of learning and development: three prime areas of learning (personal social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development) – these act as the building blocks to learning, ensuring that children gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed throughout their school life and beyond; and four specific areas of learning (literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design).
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Together these seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. All the staff working with your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs.
This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary schools, but it is suitable for very young children, and designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child’s unique, individual needs and interests on a daily basis. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. These are called the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’.
A Range Of Activities And Experiences
Each of our classes has a skilled and creative teacher who, alongside her staff, will plan educational, fun and inspiring activities that build on your child’s unique needs. Planning ensures that daily observations of your child’s development can be fed into the next week’s planning.
We pride ourselves on the early education of our children. The children learn phonics through the Jolly Phonics/Letters & Sounds scheme in a fun and interactive way. Children develop their writing skills in a variety of creative ways such as forming letters in shaving foam and flour and taking part in regular ’Squiggle While You Wiggle’ sessions, as well as in exercise books. Children also develop their number recognition, counting skills and wider mathematical understanding through inspiring activities and this again is reinforced in a more formal way in their exercise books.
Much of the curriculum is delivered through a themed approach to inspire children and develop independent learners, but literacy, numeracy and physical education are taught as discrete subjects. There is an emphasis on learning through play with an appropriate balance between child-led and adult-led activities. The teacher-led activities ensure the children are building their skills in key learning areas, and the self-directed activities help the children to grow their independence and confidence in our safe, nurturing environment.
All areas of the curriculum are enriched with opportunities to learn outdoors, through planned play activities and hands-on investigation. Unique, specialist activities take place in the afternoons, such as Forest Schools and Music, adding a touch of magic to our outstanding curriculum.
We are an academic school with high aspirations for children and we believe in developing the whole child through a broad, balanced curriculum, including outdoor learning, physical education and the arts.
Children who do more, achieve more, and we aim to stretch and challenge all of the children in our care.
We believe that our pupils should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development. This is achieved through planned activities outdoors and through enhancing the curriculum with external visits, workshops, visitors and themed days. All pupils are provided with opportunities to participate in activities outside the classroom through our outdoor curriculum. Our learning environment embraces traditional family values. It is one in which all the children are fully supported and guided in order that they may develop self-confidence, a love of learning, good manners, respect for self and others, empathy and kindness.
Enhancing the Curriculum
To enhance our curriculum further, the children follow topics. In Nursery and Reception there is a half termly topic, based on the interests of the children e.g. Nursery Rhymes/Fairy Tales, Transport, Growth, Dinosaurs. We also perform in regular sing-a-long concerts, and a Christmas Nativity production; this enables parents to see our fantastic communication and language skills!
In addition to the exciting and far reaching curriculum, children have the chance to partake in a wide range of additional activities. Each week we have yoga and mindfulness sessions. We offer a plethora of extra-curricular activities including Art Club, Cookery Club and Ball Skills. There is no time to be bored!
Pastoral care is a priority, ensuring that the transition from home to Nursery/Reception runs smoothly, whilst at the same time, developing positive relationships with others, and skills for life. From the beginning of their time in Nursery the children are immersed in the BCPS ethos, making the move to Reception a natural and easy progression.
When it is time for children to move on from the EYFS to the main school, the transition is planned seamlessly to ensure that children’s needs are known and that they continue to be met in the best way possible.