How do we make our intent come alive?
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 teachers 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.
English / Literacy
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 have ‘Our Favourite 5’ each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These five books will be 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.
At Laycock we follow a systematic synthetic phonics scheme called Read Write Inc (RWI). RWI is a complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Laycock we begin the programme in Nursery in the Summer Term and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support with their reading.
In Reception, we follow the White Rose Maths Scheme of work which is divided into 3 weekly units. 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 also have daily, ‘Maths Meetings’ 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.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential, or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics. In addition, we have a higher than average number of children on EHCPs, where bespoke plans have identified that learning may need to take place away from the classroom due to sensory needs.
Regular monitoring of teaching and learning by SLT and the EYFS leader ensure staff develop good subject knowledge. The EYFS leader ensures staff receive CPD specific to Early Years to develop their practice. For example, all EYFS teaching staff we given CPD on the new Early Years Framework so they would be prepared for September 2021 when the new framework takes effect.