Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
EYFS Curriculum Intent
The staff and governors of Wigton Infant School have a clear vision for the children of our school and are committed to implementing a curriculum that reflects this vision and the ethos that underlies it. Our ethos is summarised in the simple phrase: Learning, Laughter and Love, reflecting our focus on the wellbeing and development of the children in our care.
Our intention is to provide a high quality of education through the delivery of a unique, broad and balanced curriculum.
Our EYFS curriculum intends to:
- Have primary focus on wellbeing – we will provide a physical and social safe space for learning and development, teach our children the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy, and take every opportunity to maximise the children’s health, physical development and overall wellbeing.
- We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to ensure that our children have the very best possible start to their learning journey at Wigton Infant School. We recognise and value the importance of building strong relationships from the onset.
- We aim to develop skills and enthusiasms that will provide the foundations for lifelong learning, using the EYFS characteristics of effective learning to support development in this area.
- Our EYFS curriculum reflects the importance of learning through play, we ensure that there is an equal balance of child initiated and adult led activities.
- Reading is at the heart of our EYFS curriculum, children are taught to read as soon as they enter our doors, they enjoy stories, rhymes and poems as part of our daily provision.
- Our curriculum includes authentic experiential learning, based in children’s interests and experiences.
- We provide learning opportunities that recognise the importance of place, working from the local outwards.
- We provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and founded upon clear progression. We aim to develop key skills, attitudes and knowledge based Early Years Foundation Stage, with additional elements that are specific to our school, to individual classes or even to individual children.
- We provide learning opportunities that nurtures, and is rooted in, curiosity and critical thinking.
- Above all our curriculum is inclusive; adapted and even transformed where necessary to meet the needs of our diverse and unique children.
EYFS Curriculum Implementation
Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small focused group work. This means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback, which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we plan key texts linked to each theme. The aim is to expose children to a range of texts that not only develop a love of reading, but to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These key texts are embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories.
In Reception, we follow the Power Maths Scheme of work. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. Children in Reception have daily, ‘together time’ to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions. In Nursery, children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives. There is a focus on the following counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle. Children’s fine manipulative skills are a focus to develop 1-1 correspondence so children count each object only once.
Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s feed into the National Curriculum through our robust planning and CPD opportunities. In reverse, colleagues throughout the school are also aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject and the progression of the subject. Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. For example, building a boat for their favourite toy enables them to think like a ‘Scientist’ and ‘Engineer’ as they explore a range of materials and test out their own ideas. Building further on our oracy focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled, both verbally and orally, by supporting practitioners.
The children in both Nursery and Reception have daily access to our well resources outdoor environments. We value the importance of outdoor learning and the positive impact it can have on our children's wellbeing.
EYFS Parents Information
What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage-a guide for parents.
Our environments are organised into areas of learning. Below are some examples of the different learning spaces you will find in our EYFS unit.
The EYFS Curriculum
We believe that the environment our EYFS children spend time in each day plays a key role in supporting and extending their development and learning. A great deal of time and effort is spent ensuring that the nursery and reception environments are a stimulating place to be.
We offer experiences that allow children to learn through and develop the characteristics of learning. There are 3 characteristics of effective learning:
Playing and Exploring- Children are encouraged to be curious and to investigate and experience things. A stimulating environment is vital to ensure that this area of learning is maximised to its full potential.
Active Learning- It is important that children develop their ability to concentrate and are keen to keep on trying if they encounter difficulties.
Creating and thinking critically- We want children to have their own ideas, be able to make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Our Curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage is centred on the three prime, and four specific areas of learning and development from the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum guidance. Below is a brief overview of the key skills that each area of learning will address.
Communication and language development: The development of children's spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. We will support children's language development through conversations, storytelling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from adults. The children will become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Physical development: Physical activity is vital to children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. We ensure that children have opportunities to play indoor and out to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility.
Personal, social and emotional development: Children's personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to understand their own feelings and those of others.
- Literacy development: Phonic knowledge and application are embedded throughout learning of reading and writing. Children participate in daily phonic sessions following the Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Children have access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest and we enjoy regular story, rhyme and singing sessions together each day.
- Mathematics: Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children will be supported to count confidently and gain a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationship between them and the patterns within those numbers.
- Understanding the world: Your child will be encouraged to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design: The development of children's artist and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. We provide our children with regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials.