Our Vision for the Early Years Foundation Stage
To create a secure, homely, social and inclusive environment for all the children that we serve, where their interests and needs are at the heart of everything that takes place. Our environment will be warm, fun and creative allowing the children to explore, discover and learn both inside and out.
Our curriculum will be ambitious, offering active, exciting and stimulating learning experiences to meet the academic and spiritual needs of all. Story will be at the heart of our learning with the aim of developing life long lovers of reading.
It will be a place where everyone is treated equally as individuals, valuing the qualities they bring to the setting. To allow all our children to flourish, regardless of background or ability, we will aim to nourish with a whole child focus and positive relationships within our inclusive environment.
All voices will have equal importance in our classrooms. There will be a rich language environment; talk will be encouraged throughout, children will display confidence and skills in expressing themselves. Independence will be encouraged and children will be empowered to take responsibility for their own actions and of those within their school community.
In essence, the EYFS will be the rock on which our future learning is built.
Our Aims for the Early Years Foundation Stage
- The children will be valued members of the school community, showing respect for each other and their surroundings.
- They will have developed a sense of belonging and established strong relationships with both their peers and staff.
- Every child will have experienced a rich, varied and exciting curriculum.They will all enjoy school and show a love of learning.
- They will leave as confident, independent, resilient and reflective learners who seek challenge and learn from their mistakes.
- The progress of each child will be clear and evident and every child will be in their best place possible, regardless of the barriers they face, to continue their learning career.
How do we deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage
We approach teaching and learning through a balance of adult-directed learning and child-initiated activities. Through adult directed learning we ensure the children are introduced to a wide range of learning experiences. We are able to develop key knowledge and skills across all aspects of the curriculum. Through carefully planned, purposeful continuous provision and an enabling environment, we are encouraging our children to apply key knowledge and skills independently. We are allowing them to become strong, independent learners. We believe this balance is key in achieving a mastery level.
Curriculum Design in the Early Years Foundation Stage
As the Early Years marks the beginning of the Peterhouse Journey, we see that through our curriculum it is imperative that we lay the fundamental foundations for the development of life-long learning. Our ‘Knowledge Rich’ curriculum offers the children experiences that broaden and enrich their knowledge and skills across all aspects of their learning. The prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and Physical Development) underpin the wider curriculum; it is fundamental for our young children to develop strong verbal, physical, personal, social and emotional knowledge and skills. We recognise that without these core aspects of learning, the remaining four specific areas cannot be fully developed. We offer them an engaging environment based on learning through play, which aims to foster excitement, challenge and a love of learning. Our activities take place both in and outdoors and cover all seven areas of learning within the Early Years Curriculum.
In the Early Years we submerge the children in a language rich environment. Our relentless approach towards developing the children’s communication and language skills is at the very heart of our Early Years curriculum. Staff spend a lot of time talking to the children, modelling language, assessing understanding and promoting strong speaking and listening skills. Also providing the children with ongoing opportunities to practice and develop these skills.
Our strong focus on communication and language development also drives a spotlight on early reading. A wide range of stories, rhymes, poems and non-fiction texts are at the heart of our learning, and are used to introduce the children to the wider world and celebrate diversity. We also endeavour to foster a love of reading in our young children that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Throughout the Early Years Learning Journey at Peterhouse we ensure our curriculum is progressive and on exit the children are key stage one ready.
Nursery’s Long Term Plan
Reception’s Long Term Plan
Reception’s Knowledge Growth Plans
Reception’s Curriculum Maps
Our Intended Coverage
All aspects of the Early Years curriculum are taught through topics with a thematic approach to teaching and learning: however, staff will make it explicit to children when they are learning the key skills that lead into curriculum subjects in Key stage 1 and beyond, such as being philosophers, geographers, historians, scientists and artists. The Early Years teachers work with all subject leads to ensure the foundations of each curriculum area are fully embedded, implemented and delivered with an inclusive approach. This approach enables us to link the golden threads from the beginning of our pupil’s learning journey in Nursery through to their exit in year 6.
Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage 2021
A guide for parents: what to expect in the early years foundation stage
Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Assessment is a crucial part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is used as part of a cycle to inform planning.
At Peterhouse we view each child as an independent early learner. Assessment for learning begins the day a child arrives in our setting. We recognise their individual knowledge and experiences in order to ‘scaffold’ their learning in response. We continue to use formative assessment on a daily basis to make decisions about what the child has learnt or can do already so as to help the child move on in their learning. Other strategies we use to assess are in the form of questioning, retrieval activities, practical activities and written work (Reception).
We record some of our assessments in the form of photographs, videos and written observations, these are recorded in the child’s online learning journal (Tapestry). In Reception examples of children’s writing, maths and topic work are kept in their own books.