Curriculum Overview EYFS
Early Years Foundation Stage
Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
In our foundation stage, we offer a language rich environment and Language Development is central to everything we do; it is one of our main curriculum drivers. The teaching of oracy, vocabulary, dialogical teaching and reading are all embedded in our curriculum offer. All EYFS children are assessed using WellComm assessment tool (within 4 weeks of starting). Interventions are used for children who are not working at expected level for their age. (Interventions – Chatty Bats, Early Talkboost, Talk boost, NELI, WellComm). Word Aware is a regular part of the timetable.
Our environment promotes the development of vocabulary that is being encouraged with adults. Children are encouraged to use the vocabulary within the provision (supported by the pictorial and Makaton symbols). The teaching of vocabulary is planned for and is progressive throughout EYFS. Talk for writing and Talk for Reading lessons in Nursery and Reception supports the use of new vocabulary and language structure. Makaton is used in all EYFS class to support language and communication.
Reading is central to language development as vocabulary is developed in context and this is supported with a daily storytime in each class. Provision is central to teaching of collaboration and dialogical teaching. Our environment promotes curiosity and opportunity to ask questions and comments.
The curriculum is broken down into smaller steps to work through at each age group in the attached curriculum document.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
The child's education journey at Meadowside starts with well established relationships between school and home and more importantly with the child themselves. Home visits and nursery visits are planned to ensure a good transition to school. Communication with parents is central and we do this via the Classdojo APP as we celebrate successes together. We support parents with toilet training and referral to outside support of needed. Parent workshop (stay and play) sessions are every half term – building relationships with parents and allowing parents to fully understand their role as educators whilst being supported by school. Teaching of Personal, Social and Emotional Development is broken down to progressive steps as highlighted in our curriculum document. This is taught both through discrete teaching and also through provision in each of our units. Where a child is struggling with their Personal, Social and Emotional Development, our welfare team are always there to support. Children use Philosophy 4 Children sessions to explore and discuss big ideas.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Provision across EYFS supports the physical development of our pupils, giving them an age appropriate environment where they can take risks and develop their physical skills. Physical challenge are there for all of ourchildren. Further to this, there are weekly PE lessons for Sunflowers and Reception that follow the Real PE scheme of learning. Within Daisies (2 y.o. provision), there are daily music and movement for our children. All children are encouraged to be independent – coat pegs, trays, toilet, snack.
Fine motor skills are developed through Dough disco/fine motor activities/squiggle wiggle are featured daily. This is also central to our provision in EYFS. All EYFS (parental permission must be gained) participate in Supervised toothbrushing.
The pathway through physical development is highlighted in our EYFS curriculum Documents..
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
At Meadowside, we follow the Little Wandle Phonics scheme. See Reading and Phonics Policy. Phonics assessments throughout the year – data submitted 4 times per year (sept, Dec, April. June - end of year). Phonics is taught daily in Nursery and Reception. Talk 4 Reading is also part of the reception timetable. Home reading is crucial to our offer and the children developing the self efficacy to see themselves as readers. The children are provided with GPC matched books and the expectation is that this is completed at least 3 times per week. Our reading raffle to recognise home reading efforts. Nursery children are offered a library borrow service to ensure they have access to a range of books. Support and training for parents in how they can support in developing reading is planned throughout the year.
Within our provision, reading is also central. Each class has a welcoming designated reading area with well chosen literature. However reading and writing is encouraged across all of the provision.
Throughout their time at Meadowside, the children are encouraged to read and get to know the "Golden Thread" of books that we have chosen.
Talk 4 Reading teaches basic compreshension skills and Talk 4 reading enables our children to orally retell stories and learn the basic structures of some story types. These sessions are delivered in both Nursery and Reception. This is further supported by using Mighty Writers in Sunflowers and Reception classes to give the sentence scaffolding the children need in learning basic sentence structure and writing..
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
All children will have access to math problem solving and exploration. This is evident in our continuous provision but also in daily teaching. Maths is provided through cross curricular approach allowing children to build schema with other concepts. Maths is a part of the daily routine, (counting and recording number of pupils in class). Key knowledge is progressive and is highlighted in our curriculum documents. Manipulatives such as tens frames and Numicon are used throughout EYFS in lessons and within provision.
Understanding of the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and fire-fighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
Each week, all of our EYFS children have the chance to visit Froggy Forest. Outside learning spaces will provide opportunities to explore the natural world and observe changes. Family photographs are in each classroom and help our children start to make sense of the world. Exploration and promotion of different families are evident within the classroom and teaching. Strong links to home (Dojo, home learning). Weekly home learning is set via Class Dojo. Within our EYFS, we celebrate and learn about different cultural festivals such as; Chinese new year, easter, Christmas, Eid, Diwali. We provide real life experience of life cycles (caterpillar, visit to a farm). Maps are used within displays and provision. Non fiction books are evident in provision and teaching and are available in all of our reading areas. A breakdown of how this is taught throughout EYFS is available in our curriculum map.
Expressive Arts and Design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
All children will be exposed to various artist as highlighted in our art Road Map. All children will be encouraged to develop their own creative style. All children will be given the opportunity to perform and share their work. All children are given the opportunity to perform at our EYFS production at Christmas. Children’s work will be displayed with their environment and celebrated with parents and carers. Role play is a consistent feature of continuous provision. Children will gain experiences through visits and events these include; post box, pot office, café, library, police officer visit, dentist visits, health worker visits. Opportunities to explore a variety of art materials is available in all classes and provision. Rhyme, music and song is part of the daily routines. Music is heavily used within Phase 1 phonics within the nursery classes.