Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage March 2021
The EYFS is based upon four principles:
Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Children learn well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and helps them to build their learning over time.
The importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates,
At Christ Church CE Primary School, all teaching staff deliver the EYFS through high quality teaching alongside an enriched learning environment. Our philosophy is to nurture every child’s enthusiasm for learning, developing both skills and confidence as they take their first steps on their own unique journey of lifelong learning.
The intent for our children is to enter the next stage of their education ready to tackle new challenges with confidence and a positive mind-set. We provide a broad and balanced Early Years Curriculum that is based on first hand experiences and purposeful interactions, and pays regard to the skills and attitudes that the Key Stage One curriculum will demand.
We aim to provide a Curriculum that is responsive to individual starting points and needs. Through our curriculum we aim to:
make the child’s first experience of school happy, positive and fun
provide a rich, interesting, and stimulating learning and teaching environment that allows children to fully develop their skills and attributes during their independent play
foster a love of learning and develop enquiring minds
promote emotional well-being
build positive relationships and work in partnership with families
support children’s development in all areas of the EYFS
support every child as an individual.
At Christ Church our approach is influenced by the work of educationalists and researchers who have guided our knowledge of how young children learn and how adults can best support learning. Our provision is underpinned by a complimentary relationship between teacher-initiated, teacher- directed and child initiated learning (please see definitions in the Glossary). Learning takes place in both our indoor and outside learning environments. Each area of learning and development in the EYFS is implemented through planned, purposeful play, with practitioners responding to each child’s emerging needs and interests, and guiding their development through warm, positive interactions.
Throughout their time in the EYFS our children partake in an ambitious curriculum which is designed in a sequential way to ensure progress towards Developmental checkpoints and end of Reception goals as detailed in ‘Development Matters 2020’.
In planning for, and guiding learning and development, practitioners plan activities and experiences for children that enable the children to develop and learn effectively. They take into account the individual needs, interests and stages of development of each child in their care. They use this information to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences.
As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance in activities gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help them to prepare for more formal learning in year one.
Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum and our environment at Christ Church are the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. These are:
playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
Indoor and Outdoor resources are organised to develop children’s skills in personal interaction and exploration and are linked to current assessment information. Resources are carefully selected to meet the development needs of the children in order to enhance potential for new learning and consolidate prior learning. Resources are dressed/displayed to reflect children’s interests and to allow them to discover, experiment and explore our key themes.
Role of the adult:
Research shows that children’s progress will be significantly enhanced by the effective support from and role modelling by adults within a high-quality learning environment. When supporting children in the continuous provision at Christ Church interactions between adults and children will involve:
adults tuning into what is happening or a child’s thinking
showing genuine interest
respecting children’s own decisions and choices
inviting children to elaborate
Recapping on what has happened so far
Offering personal experience
Using specific praise
Speculating – using ‘I wonder if…’
Offering an alternative viewpoint
When working with children in the early years adult practitioners will have regard to and ensure their actions and interactions reflect what ‘teaching’ should look like in the early years as defined by Ofsted.
Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top-down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child initiated activities:
Communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating and setting challenges.
It takes account of the equipment they provide and the attention to the physical environment as well as the structure and routines of the day that establish expectations.
Extract from definition of teaching in the Early Years OFSTED 2015.
We aim to ensure that we give all pupils the best start we can to their primary education so that they are well prepared for the next stage but also having developed an enthusiastic and curious approach to learning.
Our new Early Years Outside area (April 2023).
We aim to provide a Curriculum that is ambitious and responsive to individual children’s starting points, developmental needs and interests, through our curriculum we aim to:
Make the child’s first experience of school happy, positive, and fun
Provide a rich, interesting, and stimulating learning and teaching environment that allows children to fully develop their skills and attributes during their independent play.
Foster a love of learning and develop enquiring minds.
Promote emotional well-being.
Build positive relationships and work in partnership with families.
Support children’s development in all areas of the EYFS –
Support every child as an individual.
COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
In the Early Years at Christ Church CE Primary School we foster and make the most of children’s instinctive need and desire to communicate by:
Role modelling the qualities and characteristics of an excellent communicator
Immersing children in a rich environment of words, sounds, rhythm, verbal and non-verbal expression
Engaing children in conversation through-out the day
Providing genuine reasons, provocations and a real purpose to listen and talk
Valuing the different ways and means children use to communicate.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL
In the Early Years classes at Christ Church CE Primary School we create a supportive and nurturing atmosphere and ethos which provides our children with a sense of safety, security, belonging and self worth. We do this by:
Establishing and developing mutually respectful relationships with and between adults and children.
Understanding children’s idiosyncrasies, qualities, and attributes so they feel values and develop positive attitudes towards themselves and others.
Knowing and understanding our children’s family contexts and dynamics.
Setting rules, establishing boundaries, following routines and explaining consequences.
Modelling and explaining behaviours and emotions and how to manage and resolve conflict.
Empowering children to be independent enabling them to make informed choices and decisions.
Using praise to build confidence.
At Christ Church we nurture children’s strong need and desire to be physically active which builds the foundations for other areas of their development by:
Strength, stamina, balance, co-ordination and dexterity
Developing a range of large and small movements which they can control
Improving and refining children’s control and manipulation of a variety of tools
Instilling a sense of confidence in children’s own physical abilities enabling them to negotiate spaces
Promoting independence by teaching them to make decisions and choices that will keep them healthy and safe
In Early Years at Christ Church we develop enthusiastic, emerging readers who take delight in listening to stories, enjoy reading for pleasure and know how to use text to find out information by:
Modelling the pleasure and joy that books provide
Fostering a love of books by sharing, talking about and taking part in activities linked to texts
Immersing children in sounds, words, rhythm, rhyme and song
Teaching early knowledge and skills of reading
Demonstrating that text has meaning
Showing the characteristics of a fluent reader.
We develop enthusiastic emerging writers who have an enduring and positive attitude to writing who by the end of Reception can form letters and words and who can draw from a rich store of language and imaginative ideas by:
Ensuring writing tools and materials are readily available and valuing the differing ways that children make marks
Teaching the physical skills and which will enable them to control and manipulate writing tools
Providing the children with genuine reasons to mark-make/write and modelling the pleasure and purpose of writing
Immersing the children in an environment of print e.g. vocabulary, sentences, books and labels
Developing children’s vocabulary by rehearsing orally what they are going to write.
At Christ Church we foster a ‘have a go’ attitude towards Mathematics to support our children in developing a positive attitude towards Mathematics. We develop fluent mathematicians who have a deep understanding of number. We ensure that they are able to provide explanations, give reasons for their answers and tackle future challenges by:
Providing opportunities for children to practise, rehearse and apply mathematical knowledge and skills
Encouraging children to investigate numbers by exploring their characteristics and patterns, understanding how they can be manipulated using different operations
Encourage them to think logically so that they can make connections and solve problems
Fostering children’s acquisition and use of mathematical vocabulary to justify and explain their ideas.
UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
In Early Years at Christ Church we help children to understand where they and other significant people and events sit in time. We capitalise on the children’s fascination and interest in their surroundings and the world in which they live, supporting their instinctive desire to know, understand and find out more.
We do this by:
-Capitalising on children’s natural desire to make sense of their own place in history
-Exploring the lives of people who are familiar to them comparing similarities and differences
-Encouraging children’s curiosity about people and events both within and beyond living memory
-Exploring historical information and artefacts to ask questions and draw conclusions
-Encouraging an appreciation of the natural world and recognising the similarities and differences
-Fostering a sense of awe and wonder about the world in which they live
-Developing an appreciation of other people, their communities and their traditions
-Encouraging the children’s sense of responsibility for the care of their own environment and the natural world
-Providing freedom for the children to explore, investigate and experiment using the five senses
-Encouraging children’s curiosity about how and why things work and how things change
-Encouraging questioning, testing out of ideas and drawing conclusions
-Fostering children’s excitement and pleasure in the awe and wonder of natural phenomena.
EXPRESSIVE ART AND DESIGN
In the Early Years at Christ Church we capitalise on children’s natural excitement for and freedom to express their thoughts, ideas and inner feelings by:
Providing children with the opportunity to explore and experiment with different media and materials
Encouraging children to be inventive and imaginative allowing them to express their creativity in ways that are personal to them
Providing children with a purpose to design, make and evaluate functional products
Encourage children to investigate and explore a wide range of materials and tools
Supporting children to find original solutions using resources in unique ways
Nurturing children’s confidence to try new things
Providing freedom for children to be curious, experimenting with and creating their own music
Reinforcing children’s responses to sounds and encouraging composition and performance
Providing freedom for children to be expressive, experimenting with and creating their own series of movements