Statement of intent
In Early Years we aim to provide our children with an engaging and exciting curriculum that develops natural curiosity, awe and wonder. Our curriculum is child led, driven by their interests, needs and current attainment to ensure that all children make progress in the seven areas of learning.
Assessment is precise, sharply focused around indentifying and tracking vulnerable learners to ensure provision and support can be scaffolded up to their needs. Assessment including daily observations are monitored and used to secure timely interventions and support, based on a comprehensive knowledge of the child. This assessment informs, enhances and develops our long term plan each half term through the use of data analysis, gaps and strengths are highlighted to provide a focus for adult led planning, continuous provision planning and objective led planning for the half term ahead.
Our framework is guided by the Development Matters to ensure we achieve a progressive model. It is led by our children and enables opportunities for first hand experiences. Our curriculum aims to engage and enthuse all learners through play in a secure environment with effective adult support allowing the children to explore, investigate and enjoy the learning experience. We help them to practice and develop ideas, concepts and skills in a unique and non-threatening way, without fear of failure.
Early Years Foundation Stage
“Pupils get off to a rapid start in early years and make good progress by the end of the Reception Year as a result of good teaching and provision.” Ofsted – 2017
The Early Years Foundation Stage (E.Y.F.S.) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. Children enter the foundation stage at Charnwood in Nursery with the Reception class being their final year of foundation stage.
There are seven areas of learning.
The three Prime areas are…
1. Personal, social and emotional development
2. Communication and language
3. Physical development
The four Specific areas are…
3. Understanding the world
4. Expressive arts and design
Our Charnwood Goals
When the children leave Reception we assess them by the Early Learning Goals. Your Reception child will recieve a report upon leaving Early Years related to these goals. We have also developed our own Charnwood Goals that we encourage our children to work towards during their time in Nursery and Reception. These goals stem from our Charnwood values to ensure that we encourage the children within our care to understand and grow within our values in the hope that they are inspired and achieve.
“Good ranges of stimulating activities, both indoors and out, are provided by staff in the early years foundation stage classroom. These help to make children confident and inquisitive about the world around them.” Ofsted – 2017
Children access our woodland area regularly for a timetabled Woodland Day visit. Both Nursery and Reception children are stimulated through planned, purposeful and exciting challenges and activities during their time in the woodland and typically experience, over time, an increase in their self-belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem-solving skills and emotional well-being. Learning is captured, monitored, discussed and built upon each session by all members of staff allowing for the impact of Woodland Days to continue on into the classroom.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
We have a sticker system in Nursery and Reception to promote the Characteristics of Effective Learning to support children in understanding the many ways they learn. We enjoy identifying those moments when we learn to our Thinkers Moves.
Observation, planning and assessment
“Children are eager to explore and learn. They enjoy the opportunities provided to investigate and they learn happily together. Leaders are highly skilled in developing areas of provision to maximise learning opportunities for all children, based on accurate and ongoing assessments.” Ofsted – 2017
Assessment focuses on supporting children in overcoming their areas of needs highlighting within their starting points and tracked half termly.
The systems and processes in place at Charnwood focus on what is useful for us and supporting our learners. Assessment at all ages is precise, sharply focused and includes all those involved in the child’s learning. It is monitored and used to secure timely interventions and support, based on a comprehensive knowledge of the child and their family. As each child enters Nursery and Reception practitioners use their professional judgement to assess the age band children are working ‘within’ across the EYFS 17 areas of learning.
As the year progresses children are effectively monitored on their development and progress in all areas of development. Provision is made for observations and assessments through experience and play with a balance of adult led and child initiated opportunities as well as challenges woven into the continuous provision linked closely to assessment.
Tapestry is used to capture each child’s learning journey. Tapestry videos also provide a tool to enable children to take part in their learning and assessment. Tapestry can be downloaded as an app by parents/carers to access at home. Learning from school can be viewed as well as learning, experiences and adventures shared with family and friends at home uploaded for us to share within school.
Continuing the Learning Journey into Key Stage 1 and Beyond
Our curriculum progress model ensures progression throughout the Early Years. This model informs the composite planning for all subjects moving into Year 1 (see example below). Subject leaders have a sound understanding of where their subjects sits within our Early Years curriculum and monitor the teaching and learning regulary. Leaders ensure that the learning that is taking place within their subject in our provision is built upon moving into Key Stage 1 through headline data documents that inform all stakeholders each half term.
Early Reading and Phonics
Please use the link below for further information about Early Reading at Charnwood.