Early Years Foundation Stage
Statement of Intent: EYFS
At The Sherwood School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is fundamental in securing a solid base from which children will build learning behaviours that will support their future development.
It is our intention that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst nurturing a positive attitude to school and learning. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as individuals and we are passionate in enabling all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
With all of this in mind, we begin each new term by looking at the individual needs of our children and – taking into account their different starting points - we then carefully develop our flexible EYFS Curriculum which enables each child to follow the path of their individual learning journey. Right from the outset, we work closely with parents and carers to ensure our children are happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential.
Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.
To implement this children in both our Nursery and Reception classes follow the EYFS curriculum, which has seven main areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and child led. Support and challenge comes from adults at free flow, carpet times, small group sessions and individual work. There is a combination of adult-led sessions and activities as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”.
At The Sherwood School, we strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. All of the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year and encompasses a range of self-chosen topics and ideas, which are developed with their interests in mind.
Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
Our learning environments, both inside and outside, are adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, more importantly, they are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. The environments are developed to promote independence and confidence in our learners and allow autonomous access to the curriculum with the necessary level of support and challenge.
To support our learning we provide extra curricular activities which include trips out to the farm, the common, local environment, museums. We also invite many visitors into school to supplement learning such as our community police team, firefighters, farmers, minibeast zoo and parents. We also invite parents and carers in for Friends and Family Fridays, teddy bears picnic, cultural food day, phonics and maths meetings and end of term celebrations.
We manage our transitions carefully as this is essential for children’s wellbeing. We carry out home visits and hold a parent and child sessions before children begin school. To ensure a smooth transition, in the summer term, Nursery children spend a session each week in their Reception class and Reception children spend time in their Year 1 class. Children also spend time in their new playgrounds at play and lunch time. Children, parents and cares have the opportunity to meet with new class teachers before the new year begins.
Within our EYFS Curriculum, children are assessed continuously through accurate observations. These provide us with information for future planning, not only for our classes but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning. They enable us, as EYFS practitioners, to ensure learning is embedded consistently and that all children continue to make progress within our setting.
We strive to ensure that children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is at least good from their varied starting points in Nursery. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception so that their attainment is in line with national expectations and they are well prepared for the next stage in their education.
Every child has the right to an education.
Evidence in children’s learning journeys, and online profiles show evidence of all seven areas of the EYFS curriculum. The impact of our curriculum is measured through moderation procedures within school, cluster groups and as a local authority. Pupil progress meetings take place half termly to monitor the effectiveness of intervention and plan for the needs of individual children. Leaders closely monitor the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year and put supportive interventions in place when needed.
Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Summative assessment compares children's attainment to age related expectations using month bands in Development Matters. This is tracked using SIMS to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or summer born children.