Early Years Curriculum
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum: Let your light shine
The Early Years Foundation Stage spans the period of learning and development from birth to 5 years old. Children who start our school during the academic year they turn 5 years of age, are known as Reception. At Waltham-on-the-Wolds Church of England Primary School we have one Reception Class and our Pre-school. We also work very closely with other feeder pre-schools, child minders and Nurseries in the surrounding area to support transition for our Reception children.
Our EYFS curriculum aims to provide a variety of opportunities and memorable experiences to enable all children to develop as independent, resourceful, and confident learners. We encourage children to have a desire to learn and an eagerness to challenge themselves and to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs. We aim to work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive. It is our intent that every child has access to a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which prepares them for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which reflects our Christian ethos and values all cultures, communities and people.
At our school we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Our Early Year’s curriculum is based on the four overriding principles outlined in the framework.
- Unique Child – Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
- Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Planned, purposeful play and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity is central to our Early year’s curriculum and children’s learning. Our curriculum offers learning, driven by the children and their interests while also offering guided learning where adults support the learning of skills or concepts.
The learning experiences within our Early Years are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS framework. These areas are split into three prime areas and four specific areas.
The three prime areas are those which the children should develop first and are considered very important for the development and future learning of our children.
Communication and language development
We provide an environment for young children to express themselves and speak and listen in a range of situations allowing them to develop their language and communication skills.
We provide opportunities for children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children also learn about the importance of physical activity, and making healthy choices.
Personal, social, and emotional development
We develop children’s social skills and an understanding of their different feelings.
As children develop and make progress in the prime areas, they will naturally develop skills within the four specific areas. These are:
The children are supported in learning phonemic awareness, the ability to hear and identify different words and sounds, and also how to read and write.
Children are guided in developing skills with number, subitsing, calculation, as well as shape, space, and measure.
Understanding the world
This involves children making sense of things by observing and exploring everything in the world around them and the use of technology.
Expressive arts and design
Children have the opportunity to be creative in art and design, music and drama and to express themselves and learn new things.
Our Early year’s staff plan for opportunities for communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenge taking into account the Characteristics of Effective Learning. The curriculum allows for thinking creatively and problem solving across all areas of learning. It also support children’s emotional development enabling children to take risks in a safe and supported environment.
Our specific whole school sequential subject planning for R.E., science, history, geography. P.E. and computing begins with Reception and builds on prior knowledge as our children journey through the school.
At our school, the curriculum and its delivery ensure that children make good progress from their own starting points. Children make good progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the reception year and toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially. This enables them to confidently transition to Year 1.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge and skills, to recognise links and to explain their ideas and understanding. Children are confident in evaluating and reflecting on their learning and in considering how to make improvements. Our children are positive learners. The success and happiness of our children is due to our high expectations, a carefully planned learning environment, an ambitious curriculum, quality first teaching and a highly valued partnership with parents and carers.
Ultimately, we inspire a love of learning so that all our children flourish and succeed.
For further details about our provision for Reception children, please visit our class page.