Our EYFS Curriculum
Our Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) Curriculum
At Cliddesden, we are aware that children develop at different rates and so continually reflect on their characteristics of effective learning. We aim to provide the best for every child.
We observe each child and provide opportunities for them to learn through - Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.
These characteristics help develop the children’s self-regulation and executive function, positively preparing them for their learning journey in education.
The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into areas of learning –
3 Prime areas – Communication & Language, Personal Social & Emotional Development and Physical Development.
4 Specific areas – Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design.
These areas are developed through play, by adults modelling, by children observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching. We use flexible planning following the children’s interests and encompassing learning themes.
Communication and Language
Communication is key to our children’s learning and embodies our whole curriculum: Speaking and listening activities are continuous, and help to develop a rich vocabulary.
- The children are encouraged to listen carefully and respond with relevant comments and questions.
- We encourage the children to value and respect others opinions.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At Cliddesden, we take pride in helping our pupils to:
- Develop their feelings.
- Learn to work together.
- Develop a positive disposition to learning.
- Develop friendships with adults and peers.
- Understand differences between ourselves and others.
Physical development embodies the whole being of the child which we aim to develop through:
- PE activities and dance – using imagination and showing an awareness of space.
- Learning to understand how to stay fit and healthy through exercise and diet.
- Using small equipment and materials to develop fine motor control and coordination.
- Using equipment to develop gross motor skills. Large and small movements support the development of writing through control, suppleness and coordination.
Literacy skills transfer across the whole curriculum – we learn to read and we read to learn! We write for lots of different real reasons and with a purpose so that we are interested and inspired.
- Reading – we start with picture books for sequencing, handling, directionality, meaning, talking and sharing… followed by books with text to develop word recognition and decoding skills. High Frequency Word cards are taken home to develop whole word recognition.
- Phonics – learning letter sounds and names, upper and lower case to help us read and write. We have daily phonics sessions, using the scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’ phase 1 and then the 'Monster Phonics' scheme. Various games are also used to fulfil individual learning needs.
- Writing – independent mark-making on a large and small scale is encouraged and further developed with phonic and reading skills.
Maths is all around us and we use our whole environment to help us learn. We use the 'White Rose' scheme to shape our curriculum around children's interests. Maths is explored through stories and play. We develop the following:
- Numbers as labels and for counting – we focus on matching, sorting and comparing groups. Then children look at representing, comparing and composition of numbers up to 5, then 10.
- Calculating – lots of practical problems, 1 more, 1 less, adding objects together, etc.
- Shape, space and measure – e.g. pattern making, sorting & recognising shapes, using sand to measure capacity.
Understanding the World
The world around us is a fascinating place in which we all have different and similar experiences. We use our senses to explore and our enhanced IT provision to research and support our learning, encouraging children to:
- Use first hand experiences to explore the environments and people/ communities around them – immediate, local and further afield.
- Develop their understanding of predicting, decision making, problem solving, investigating and observation.
Expressive Arts & Design
In Foundation Stage we put great emphasis on;
- Developing skills in music, art, drama, dance, story-telling, role play through learning themes and the children‘s own interests.
- Giving children opportunities to express themselves in a stimulating environment.
Assessment in EYFS
We assess our children all the time, formally and informally through observation of child initiated activities as well as planned adult led activities. Observations and assessments are made on Tapestry (online assessment system) and reviewed regularly with staff. Parents have access to tapestry and their observations and feedback are encouraged and valued, enabling staff to have a holistic view of the child.
During the EYFS year, each child is assessed as 'Entering', 'Developing' or 'Secure' against the different stages of development within the age bands from Development Matters.
At the end of the EYFS year each child is assessed against Early Learning Goals 2021 for each area of learning, Prime and Specific, and deemed to be:
- Working towards ELG (Early Learning Goal)
- Secure in the ELG
- Exceeding the ELG.
We report every child's progress via the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. We also share this information through a final report to parents in the summer term.
At Cliddesden, we see your child’s development as a shared commitment. We work with parents to ensure all the children receive consistently high-quality care. Communication between home and school is vital and we are proud of our open-door policy for parents. We have a minimum of two Parents Evenings a year and each child has an online Learning Journal where we record our observations and collect evidence of the child’s progress.
What can I do to help my child before they start school?
- Sharing books, recognising name, letter formations, recognising numbers, independent dressing and hygiene routines.
- Fun activities – playing games such as I Spy and Snakes & Ladders develops skills such as hearing sounds, reading numbers and sharing/ taking turns.
What can I do to help my child once they start school?
- Reading books sent home with your child.
- Helping them to learn the High frequency Word flashcards that come home.
- Helping them to recognise letters; sounds and names, lower and upper case.
- Recognising, ordering and writing numbers to 10.
- Supporting accurate counting with one to one voice to pointing correspondence.