The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Tirlebrook Primary School
"Tell me and I forgot, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn" -Benjamin Franklin
EYFS Documentation & Information
The Delivery of the Early Years Curriculum at Tirlebrook
EYFS Curriculum Intent
It is our intent at Tirlebrook Primary School and Little Oaks Nursery Class to provide a child-centred curriculum that is stimulating, motivating and exciting. It is our intent that our teaching in the Early Years is underpinned by the principle that if a child’s levels of well-being and involvement within the setting are high, inspirational learning experiences can take place. We understand that play is an integral part of learning and have tailored our Early Years curriculum to ensure that play is at the heart of everything we do. These values reflect and compliment the ethos of our school. It is our intent to allow children choice in their learning, which enables them to be fully engaged and motivated by it, a fundamental aspect of effective learning and early brain development. Early Years at Tirlebrook fully encompasses the whole school vision to enable all children to explore, enjoy and excel in their learning together.
Through our bespoke curriculum, children’s curiosity is supported and nurtured by our expert play practitioners, enabling meaningful and deep learning experiences and outcomes to develop. It is the intent of our staff to offer the highest levels of challenge and differentiations for each and every child in our settings. We believe all children are unique and are committed to adapting our teaching styles to suit each individual learner. We have high expectations for ourselves and all children, meaning that our learners are challenged to aim high, make progress, achieve well and become the very best they can be.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively, socially and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others. The acquisition of new vocabulary is of the upmost importance to us at Tirlebrook. We aim to provide a substantial number of ‘back and forth’ interactions with our children, meaning that practitioners can model and teach new vocabulary continuously, allowing us to build a solid grounding in children’s communication and language skills. Through this approach, we also endeavour to model warm and positive relationships, which allow children to understanding how to identify different feelings and regulate their behaviour accordingly. We believe that building these fundamental cognitive skills will help support children to build happy and fulfilling lives.
Through our ‘Together’ vision, warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are built. We recognise the crucial role that the Early Years curriculum has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based. Children leave Tirlebrook Primary School as articulate and resilient young people and this journey begins with us in Little Oaks Nursery Class and Reception. Our work underpins all future learning and it is our intent that we give our youngest pupils the very brightest start possible. Through our child-centred approach, they will know more, remember more and understand more, fully preparing them for the next stage in their academic career and lives.
EYFS Curriculum Implementation
At Tirlebrook Primary School and Little Oaks Nursery Class, we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.
We prioritise creating a child-centred approach to learning at Tirlebrook, utilising the principles and pedagogy of ‘Planning in the Moment’ and the role of the adult as the expert play practitioner. Children in Reception class and Little Oaks Nursery class are therefore able to spend extended periods of the day directing their own learning on a daily basis, focusing on their interests and developing independence and creativity through play. Our skilled team carefully observe children and know when to stand back and allowing creativity and independence to flourish, and when to interact with children in order to move their learning forwards through a ‘teachable moment.’ Staff will record their interactions (including the full teaching sequence that has occurred) either through our online learning journey, Tapestry, through annotated pieces of work or through a ‘Focus Child’ sheet. All children who attend Little Oaks Nursery Class or Reception will be chosen as a ‘Focus Child’ at three points across the academic year. Staff will communicate with parents and/or carers and ask them to complete an activity at home with their child in the weekend before the focus week commences. Families will provide photos of what they have done at the weekend and fill in a short information sheet about their child. Staff will then use this information to plan for the week ahead and will then fill the ‘Focus Child’ sheet with their own photos and interactions they have experienced with the child in that week. At the end of the week, families will receive a detailed and personalised report all about their child.
We have built our indoor and outdoor learning environment to enable our children to develop fundamental life and academic skills that will contribute hugely towards their future educational and life successes. We ensure there are ample opportunities for children to strengthen their core muscles and fine and gross motor skills through physical play. Our children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers and are able to develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, water area and Woodland Workshop. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children's interests and progression and is enhanced upon on a daily basis. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play. We also see great value in planning some of our learning opportunities before the children come into the setting through our Continuous Provision ‘Have a Go’ jobs and ‘Have a Go’ enhancement boxes at Little Oaks Nursery. Staff plan a weekly list of activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively across each of the 7 areas of learning, taking account of the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child. We plan challenging and enjoyable experiences that the children can choose to ‘Have a Go’ at if they wish to. Through the ‘Have a Go’ boxes used at the nursery, practitioners are able to enhance focus areas of the learning environment, enabling them to impart new knowledge, skills and vocabulary to the children. We believe that this approach compliments our ‘Planning in the Moment’ principles and further enhances our learning environment.
At Tirlebrook, we aim to build a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes and stories. We explicitly model the excitement we want children to feel when discovering new vocabulary through stories or through play, identifying new words and recording them on our ‘Word detectives’ wall displayed in our classrooms. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through the use of the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ teaching scheme in Reception and through the ‘Early Years Staffroom’ resources at Little Oaks. We foster a love of writing through story scribing, in which we model key skills such as segmenting, blending and letter formation. Through this approach, our children see that writing has a purpose and we motivate them to want to have a go by acting out their creations in our daily ‘Story Circle’. Early Maths skills and mathematical thinking and reasoning are taught in Reception partly through direct teaching, utilising the White Rose Maths scheme of work, and also through our enabling environment and ‘Planning in the Moment’ approach. We provide plenty of opportunities for exploration of Maths through our ‘Have a Go’ jobs and also through linked Maths provision activities that children may choose to access following a taught session. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
At Tirlebrook, we understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents receive topic webs to inform them of what their child is learning each half term and to explain how they can support this at home. Parents enjoy using Tapestry to engage in their child's learning and our stay and play sessions and ‘Focus Child’ approach are all highly successful and well-received.
At Tirlebrook Primary school and Little Oaks Nursery Class, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Practitioners also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers through Tapestry. Staff will complete a variety of formative and summative assessment procedures throughout the school and nursery year. These include daily observations of learning that help to build up a picture over time and 1:1 assessment activities that help to assess a child’s attainment at the end of an assessment period. We utilise our online Learning Journey, Tapestry, to build up an in-depth picture of each and every child. Each member of the team contributes towards this commentary, meaning that each practitioner has a deep understanding of each individual child.
EYFS Curriculum Impact
Our EYFS curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own varied starting points make excellent progress. During their time at both little Oaks Nursery Class and in Reception, our children make rapid progress towards their end of nursery and end of foundation stage goals. Our children achieve favourably in comparison to national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the Reception year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One. Children leave Reception ‘ready to learn’, with the key communication and language, personal, social and emotional and physical development skills secure in their being. Our children have excellent communication and language skills, possess a love of discovering new vocabulary and are able to identify their varying feelings and know how to respond appropriately to them.
Children develop the characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults. They are able to draw on their experiences to move forward and are developing into resilient learners, ready to function in an ever changing world.
At Tirlebrook, our high standards in relation to our staff and vision help us to ensure that our daily teaching and learning experiences are outstanding and deeply meaningful for our children. Our carefully planned learning environments, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and rigour of assessment combined, enable us to offer a first-class standard of education each day, for each individual pupil.