EYFS Curriculum Statement of intent
We believe children need to feel happy, secure and confident to allow them to develop personally, socially, emotionally and academically. We strive to provide an environment that promotes curiosity, creativity and independence and sees each child as a unique individual at a unique stage of their learning journey. Our intention is that our curriculum provides engaging, challenging and inclusive learning opportunities with an appropriate balance between child-initiated and adult-directed teaching and learning. This balance changes across the year to reflect the needs of our children and their stage of development. What is most important to us is that our children enjoy learning, are willing to have a go and build perseverance. These positive learning behaviours will ensure that the Foundation Stage at Chudleigh is a ‘Place for all to grow and flourish’ and that children secure the basic building blocks of their learning. The Foundation Stage curriculum recognises 3 key characteristics that help children become effective learners, embedded in our provision.
Our book-based curriculum is planned around a weekly text and introduces the fundamental language, knowledge and skills enabling children to access our school’s enquiry led curriculum as they transition through the school. Learning opportunities are planned to encompass all 7 areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which are:
With an enquiry based curriculum from Year one upwards, our Foundation stage curriculum prepares children for this by introducing the ‘states of being’. The children are immersed in ‘being’ a mathematician, author, scientist, athlete, and geographer etc. and become familiar with the skills and knowledge needed.
Partnership with parents is vital in ensuring children are supported with their learning right from the beginning of their school life and that parents understand their role in this during their time with us. We nurture this in a number of ways. We provide clear communication about each week’s learning through our weekly newsletter including suggestions of ways in which parents can support their children’s learning at home. We use Tapestry as an online journal to document the children’s learning at school and encourage parents to share achievements from home. We also offer a curriculum information evening and termly parent consultation meetings.
Our book based curriculum is planned around quality children’s texts. Each day is a balance of short whole class teaching sessions, and a mix of ‘Clever Cat time’ and ‘Busy Learning time’. The more formal teaching of phonics, Literacy and Mathematics skills is implemented through short whole class sessions, followed by our ‘Clever Cat time’. This is when children are taught in small groups specific to their learning needs while others work independently on activities set to build core literacy and mathematics skills. ‘Busy Learning Time’ then allows children to access a range of learning activities and opportunities to build on their prior learning, apply their knowledge and skills and follow their own ideas and interests. The role of the adult is to provide an enabling environment for high quality play, observe the learning, support and extend learning where appropriate and provide high quality interactions and discussions. Resources for busy learning are open-ended and change daily, reflecting all seven areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum along with our knowledge of the children’s interests.
We have amazing outdoor provision including a large mud kitchen and walk in sand pit. Children have timetabled time inside and outside during busy learning time. Outside we provide opportunities for children to access all curriculum areas and resources are changed weekly to allow children to revisit, enhance and develop their ideas, knowledge and skills. We aim to equip children with a wide range of resources to build their language, social, physical and creative skills whilst exploring their own ideas. The resourcing of our outdoor area is about providing possibilities, the children then provide the outcome!
Our week ends with an outdoor learning day on a Friday taught by class teachers. Children come into school in their own clothes and bring along waterproofs and wellies so they can get fully stuck in! We explore our wonderful school grounds using our environmental area which includes raised beds, a pond, trees and sheltered and seating areas. Our day is based around both planned learning and free exploration. Planned learning consolidates what we have learnt in class that week in phonics and maths and, over the year, also includes environmental learning such as making observations of plants and the changing seasons, planting activities, pond dipping, den building, bug hunts - to name but a few experiences on offer! Time for free exploration allows children to develop language and communication, teamwork and physical skills.
Relevant topic focuses whether it be science, geography, history or art are based around our key texts and music is part of our everyday provision through singing and access to musical instruments as well as been taught weekly by Music Specialist Mrs Price. Physical development is covered in our indoor and outdoor provision and outdoor learning along with weekly PE lessons. Our timetable is full and we have lots of fun!
Children get the opportunity to be author readers and writers, mathematicians, scientists, geographers, historians, athletes, musicians through our book focuses and busy learning activities.
Across the year we have visitors and trips where appropriate to enhance children’s learning. When possible, we invite parents who work in different subject specialisms (artists, scientists, mathematicians etc.) to talk about their jobs. We enjoy a visit from a local farmer who brings lambs in Spring and in the Summer Term we have a ‘Pirate Plastics’ workshop.
Chudleigh Early Year’s Hub includes staff from school, our feeder Pre-schools (Chudleigh Pre School and Daisy Chain) and community childminders. We work together to ensure a smooth transition for children when they start school with us. Visits to us with familiar staff and meetings allow us to build a picture of each child before they start school.
On entry to school
Each individual child starts school at a different point in their development, on entry assessments and observations allow us to build on their learning at an appropriate level. Children needing additional support are supported at the appropriate level whether this be through differentiation, the use of adults or additional resources. All children will do the Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment introduced in 2021, click here to find out more about this. We use a programme called Language Link to screen all children during the first half term at school, this allows us to identify any child who need support with language skills so we can then provide appropriate intervention. Many children start school needing support with speech. We screen identified children using a programme called Speech Link and then deliver appropriate intervention.
We use ongoing observation and assessment to inform our planning and next steps in the children’s learning. We keep more formal records of progress in phonics and mathematics allowing us to help the children secure the foundations of literacy and mathematics. At the end of the Foundation Stage Year we make a judgement as to whether the children have achieved the 17 Early Learning goals, indicating whether they are ‘expected’, having met the early learning goal or ‘emerging’, working towards the early learning goal. This information is shared with parents at the end of the year, with progress discussed in October and March parent consultation meetings. We then share information about each child’s learning with Year 1 teachers to ensure a smooth transition to the National Curriculum.
Our children leave Foundation having had a range of experiences allowing them to build important personal, social, emotional and academic skills to access our Year 1 curriculum.