Early Years Education at Smallwood School.
Why you teach it - your purpose of study.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and learning is based around the seven areas of focus.
· Personal, social and emotional development
· Communication and language
· Physical development
· Understanding the world
· Expressive arts and design
What you teach - your programme(s) of study
At Smallwood, we aim to provide a safe, nurturing environment which promotes the highest standard of education for our youngest learners. Our Early Years team is committed to providing an environment that is rich with possibilities, develops children’s independence and puts children right at the centre of their own learning.
The aims of our EYFS curriculum are to develop young pupils who are:
· Confident and competent learners (through play)
· Curious and inquisitive
· Accepting and empathetic
How you teach it - your delivery of the above
At Smallwood we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, taking elements from the Development Matters non-statutory document to supplement teaching and learning activities. Our practice is play-based since we believe that play, with all its language, physicality and social interaction, is what gives children the right and appropriate grounding for their educational journey. Alongside play, we also incorporate direct teaching times across each day to introduce and consolidate skills in Phonics, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, RE and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
On a day-to-day basis, the children in Reception will be encouraged to learn through the characteristics of effective learning, as set out in the Statutory Framework for the early Years Foundation Stage.
Our children will:
· Play and explore to investigate new things and develop a ‘can do’ attitude.
· Partake in active learning to build their curiosity, resilience and enjoy achievements.
· Be encouraged to create and think critically to develop their own ideas further, make links between ideas and develop their own individual strategies for doing things.
Through our half termly topics, we plan exciting, enriched activities based on a theme. However, the themes do not stop us from going with the children’s interests and creating activities based on their real-life experiences. We value the importance of learning outdoors and enjoy using our special early year’s outdoor area within our everyday planning.
We understand that parents play a big part in the early education of our youngest learners, and we look to forge positive relationships with parents to enable us to support learning both at home and school. We share the children’s learning through a range of ways including parent-teacher meetings and ClassDojo.
Children are continually assessed through planned and spontaneous observations, photographs, videos and information drawn from discussions with the children and their parents. These are recorded using individual books (Maths, Literacy, Phonics and Learning Journey), floor books (RE, PSHE and Forest School) or ClassDojo portfolios. Parents can contribute at any time to their child’s ClassDojo portfolio by the addition of photographs and/or comments. We encourage this communication to ensure that achievements are celebrated both at home and in school and to understand any new interests that the children may present. This information is used by the class teacher to assess children’s attainment against the Early Learning Goals and to inform future planning to ensure that interests are embedded in their learning experiences.
So what - your evaluations of the above
The positive relationships between staff and children ensure that the children are self-confident, with a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. The Early Years team will be fully involved in all aspects of children’s learning and the interactions between staff and children will be purposeful and effective. In addition to this, the children’s level of involvement ensures they are intensely engaged in activities which encourage a deep level of learning and development. The encouragement of active learning will develop their love for learning and inspire children to be inquisitive and independent individuals.
All children’s progress is tracked, and attainment is closely monitored. By the end of the EYFS phase (end of Reception), all children will have had a completed Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) outlining their attainment across the phase, in line with statutory guidelines. From this it is judged whether children are achieving age related expectations and have achieved a ‘good level of development’ (GLD).