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EYFS

Welcome to our Foundation Stage

Intent

At Thurcroft Infant School, our vision is for our children to be the very best version of themselves. Our children are at the heart of everything we do and our curriculum reflects this. Each child is valued as an individual and teaching and learning is based on the understanding that children develop at different rates.

 

We aim to:

  • Provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and sharing environment which is sensitive to the needs of the child, including those with additional needs.

  • Provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum that will set in place firm foundations for future learning and development, building coherent sequences of components which are based on a progression of key concepts and knowledge set out within ranges.

  • Provide opportunities for children to learn through planned, purposeful play in all areas of learning and development.

  • Use and value what each child can do, assessing their individual needs and helping each child to progress.

  • Enable choice and decision-making, fostering independence and self-confidence.

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers and value their contributions, ensuring that all children, irrespective of ethnicity, culture, religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities, gender or ability have the opportunity to experience a challenging and enjoyable program of learning and development.

  • Provide opportunities whereby children experience a challenging and memorable learning experience.

  • Provide experiences for all children, whatever their strengths and needs, which are inclusive.

 

We create opportunities for children to embed and gain new knowledge, understanding and skills, through the provision of quality interactions and teaching and learning that is both adult-directed and child-led. Our calm, happy and supportive environment, enables children to explore, take risks and form positive relationships with their peers in a setting that celebrates the uniqueness of every child. We support the children to develop social skills and an understanding of how to interact positively and confidently in different contexts. We provide an enabling environment, promoting communication and language skills which focuses on developing vocabulary. Our curriculum provides learning opportunities which meet the individual needs of all our children and challenges them to become independent, motivated and responsible learners who are full of curiosity about the world around them. We use the cycle of observation, assessment, planning and teaching to enhance and extend learning at the appropriate level for all individuals. We plan adult-directed activities that meet the needs of all children to help them develop and to make progress.

 

Implementation

The children are at the heart of what we do and we strive to give our children the best start to their education.  Our practitioners are dedicated and passionate about Early Years and providing the best possible start for our youngest children. The curriculum has been designed to be relevant to our children’s context but it is also ambitious. We have high expectations of all children, always encouraging our children to try their best. The children are provided with many varied opportunities to develop and we nurture confidence so that they can all make positive steps towards reaching their potential. Our curriculum is taught through a blended approach of adult-directed and child-initiated learning. The continuous and enhanced provision provides resources for the pupils to develop and consolidate knowledge and skills in all areas of the curriculum.

Teaching within our EYFS classrooms is founded upon the many different ways in which adults help young children to learn. A fundamental aspect of this are the interactions that take place during planned and child-initiated play and activities.  We believe our staff have the biggest impact upon children’s development when they communicate and model language, demonstrate key skills, give detailed explanations, explore ideas, recall previous knowledge or experience, provide a narrative for what they are doing and facilitate and set appropriate challenges.  Our effective teaching is adaptive to each child’s emerging needs and interests which guides their development through warm, positive interaction.  We recognise the importance of allowing children to lead their own learning through self-initiated play and seek to enhance this by providing a suitable balance of activities led or guided by adults.  Our adult-directed learning focuses on key knowledge and skills that children require in order to progress.  As children progress through the EYFS, and as their development allows, we carefully plan and adapt our daily timetable to prepare children for transition into the next phase.

 

Early Language, Reading and Mathematics

We provide a language-rich environment in which high quality talk is valued. All staff model good communication skills in their interactions with pupils and each other. For early phonics teaching, the school follows the ‘My Letters and Sounds’ phonics scheme to ensure that we are effective in teaching children to be successful early readers. Home reading materials ensure that the children are given reading books that reflect their phonic knowledge. The school places an importance on the development of early comprehension skills which ensures that children are able to understand what they read and listen to.

Adults strive to promote a love of reading though daily story time and carefully chosen books used for vehicles for learning and within the learning environment. Teachers closely monitor children’s progress in reading through guided reading and regular phonics assessments in order that interventions are implemented to address gaps in learning promptly.

Maths is taught through a range of experiences including daily maths meetings, discreet teaching with follow up group activities and play based opportunities and experiences through the learning environment. We recognise that Maths can take place in any environment and we promote the use of learning maths skills through play-based opportunities. Teachers target specific questions at individuals in whole class teaching, extending the children’s understanding, allowing key mathematical concepts to be revisited and developed across the year. We use the White Rose Maths/Master the Curriculum approach to support our teaching, which ensures progression and coverage throughout the year.

Environment

Our EYFS classrooms and outdoor area are stimulating and purposeful environments that are organised into areas to reflect the curriculum. The areas are tidy and well-resourced to enhance children’s learning and foster a sense of independence. The children’s work and ideas are added to the environment throughout the term which continuously reflects their learning and achievements.

Our space harnesses the special nature of the outdoors, to offer children what the indoors cannot in a dynamic, flexible and versatile place where children have the opportunity to choose, create, change and be in charge of their play. It allows for children to explore their curiosity developing their own ideas and interests through real experiences. In addition, our outdoor area offers our children appropriate challenge and risk, helping them learn how to be safe and aware of others. 

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