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The Curriculum

Curriculum

The curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning. These seven areas are then divided into ‘prime areas’ – Personal and Social Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development and ‘specific areas’ – Reading and Writing, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.  Each one has objectives which establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage in line with the expectations shared in Development Matters (2021).

In each class, some areas of the curriculum will be delivered through adult-planned and delivered sequences of learning based on the adoption of recognised schemes.  These are:

Nursery

Reception

Phonics

Letters and Sounds Phase 1

Read Write Inc.

 

Maths

White Rose Planning based on Herts Essentials

 

PSHE

Jigsaw Scheme (Agreed units)

 

RE

Discovery and Understanding Christianity

Phonics

Read Write Inc.

 

Maths

Herts Essentials Planning

 

English and Guided Reading

Herts Essentials Planning

 

PSHE

Jigsaw Scheme (Agreed units)

 

RE

Discovery and Understanding Christianity

 

 

The remaining curriculum is planned through a series of themes and topics, each of which offer experiences in all areas of learning through Child-initiated learning supported by adult interaction and enabling environments.  In Nursery, we have a two-year rolling programme of themes.  In reception, we have an annual plan.  All of these topics are planned to be broad, allowing for different directions to be planned and taken during teaching to meet the needs and interests of pupils.  These themes are below.  Within each topic, we plan for three broad themes which allow staff to provide a deeper range of learning experiences.  For example where we learn about Superheroes, the topic is split into themes which look at describing Superheroes (allowing for a spotlight on literacy and creative thinking in addition to the other areas of learning), then solving problems as Superheroes (spotlight on maths and physical development), followed by a focus on real-life Superheroes, for example people working for the NHS (allowing for a spotlight on PSED).

 

Nursery Themes

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 1

Main Theme:

All about me

Main Theme:

People who help us

Main Theme:

Winter

Celebration

Main Theme:

Amazing Animals

Main Theme:

Growing (sunflowers & butterflies)

 

Main Theme:

Wheels, wings and other things

Year 2

Main Theme:

Ourselves

Main Theme:

Long, long ago

Main Theme:

Where in the world?

 

Main Theme:

Fantastic Beasts

Main Theme:

New life (beans & frogs)

Main Theme:

Fantasy and adventure

 

 

 

Reception Themes

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

 

All About Me

Space

Fairy Tales

Superheroes

The Zoo

Holidays

 

Implementation

Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.

The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small, focused group work. This means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.  During these times, staff will be promoting the development of specific skills and ensuring high level interactions between children to help develop spoken vocabulary and core skills. 

Literacy

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have a core set of class books each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These books will be embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions and on display for children to access independently.

Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories.

There is cohesion and consistency with our approach to align with the whole school approach to reading. 

Phonics

Initially, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme before moving onto Read Write Inc. to ensure consistency across the school.

In Nursery children focus on Phase 1 which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

In Reception, all children will start on the Read Write Inc. scheme, with their progress carefully tracked to support next steps. 

Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly in school. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of becoming successful, confident and fluent readers.

Mathematics

In Nursery, children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives. There is a focus on the following counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle. Children’s fine manipulative skills are a focus to develop 1-1 correspondence so children count each object only once.  This is based on the White Rose maths scheme, with outcomes matched to the Herts Essentials scheme to prepare pupils for learning in Reception.

In Reception, we follow the Herts Essentials maths scheme which provides progression across the rest of the school. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. Children in Reception have a daily input to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions.

Wider Curriculum

Our wider curriculum is taught through the remaining learning areas.  EYFS staff have a good understanding of the outcomes for this and how ELG’s feed into the National Curriculum.  In reverse, colleagues throughout the school are also aware of key aims from Development Matters that link to each foundation subject and the progression of the subject.

Building further on our oracy focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled, both verbally and orally, by supporting practitioners.

Specific Support and SEND

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge.

This includes, for example, assessment and support through the WELLCOMM speech and language resource and use of the NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention). 

Regular monitoring of teaching and learning by SLT and the EYFS leader ensure staff develop good subject knowledge. The EYFS leader ensures staff receive CPD specific to Early Years to develop their practice. For example, we offer CPD on effective observations, to understand where pupils are, and their ‘next steps,’ for learning.

Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at.  During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies everyone’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments are also carried out.

Impact

Ongoing Observation

All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing.  Major achievements, the ‘Golden Moments’ are uploaded using Evidence Me.  Whole class activities are shared on the school’s Twitter feed.

Assessment

Phonic assessments are carried out using phonics Tracker every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ wherever possible.

Assessments are completed three times per year and shared with parents, whereby the Class Teacher updates the progress children have made.

Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey.  Impact is assessed based on the statements from Development Matters (2020) for Nursery (3 – 4years) and Reception.  In Reception, children are also assessed using the Reception Baseline Assessment in September and the Early Learning Goals within the Foundation Stage Profile in June.

Our curriculum is reviewed annually to ensure relevance and to ensure the voices of our pupils, parents, staff and governors are heard.     

 

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