Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Intent, Implementation and Impact of EYFS

Intent

The whole school ethos is underpinned by our four values: Caring, collaboration, perseverance and excellence. John 10 v10 “I have come to bring them life, life in all fullness“.

At St Michael’s Primary School our curriculum recognises children’s prior knowledge and learning and we aim to work with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who reach their full potential from their various starting points. The EYFS curriculum and experiences we plan embrace the community and locality of the school and we celebrate and welcome the differences within our school community.

We want the children to develop social skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers through the experiences and enhancements we provide. We place strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our school community has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we offer support for all children to achieve.

The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We want our children to develop a love for reading and an awe and wonder at the world around them.

The SJS EYFS curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:

  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
  • Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.

We use a Growth Mindset approach to promote positive attitudes to learning throughout school and use the characteristics of effective learning when planning our curriculum and enhancements which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.

Implementation

We strive to make the transition process into our EYFS as smooth and effective as possible. We do this through visits, information meetings and discussions with previous key workers and parents. Parents are kept informed and we regularly communicate with parents regarding their children achievements, needs and support.

We have a curriculum that is child initiated and which is centred on topics which ‘wow’ the children and engage them with their learning. Through interactions with the children the adults get to know the topics they are interested in and motivate them. We enable the children to develop skills and knowledge across the EYFS curriculum, particularly focusing on the Characteristics of effective learning to promote positive, enthusiastic learners. We ensure that there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts

At St. Michael’s we value the importance of the children learning through their play. We provide the children with an effective learning environment of continuous provision and enable them to have sustained periods of ‘freeflow’ both indoors and outdoors to enable them to flourish in their independent learning. During this time, adults will observe and interact with the children through communicating, questioning, modelling, demonstrating and facilitating. Through this process adults gain a deeper knowledge of each child’s interests, capabilities, next steps and age appropriate challenge.

We recognise the importance of reading and that it is key to all other learning. We ensure quality phonics sessions are being taught daily using the whole school approach of Letters and sounds, supported by the multisensory resources of Jolly Phonics. Children’s reading books match their phonic ability and we share stories, poems and rhymes with the children every day. We send home our weekly phonics sounds and books and encourage parents to read with their child as much as possible.

In Reception we support every child with ‘readiness’ for year 1 and prepare the children at the end of the year for their transition. The children spend time in the Year 1 classroom, meet the teacher and adults ensure routines and classrooms at the end of Reception and beginning of year 1 are similar.

Impact

At. St. Michael’s we strive to ensure that all children make good progress from their various starting points. By baselining children at the beginning of the year we are able to gain a clear picture of each child’s starting point and next steps in learning. Formal and informal observations of every child are made throughout the year using Development matters and these are used to move the children on in their learning. At the end of Reception staff use the Early Learning Goals to assess the children’s progress before moving into Year 1.

We value conversations and input from parents and carers regarding their child’s progress and evidence in Learning Journeys from both in and outside of school show progress across all areas.

Staff take part in internal and external moderation of judgements made regarding children’s progress. We regularly review own practise and learning environments to ensure that we are meeting the needs of every child and are providing them an environment in which they can develop into successful learners.

The curriculum covers seven areas of learning: