Within the Reception year, we embark on a play-based curriculum offering a mix of child-initiated and adult-led learning opportunities – but always taking into account the interests and needs of the children.
The curriculum across the EYFS is based on the principles of Development Matters: focusing on the aspects of a ‘unique child’, ‘positive relationships’, ‘enabling environments’, leading to ‘learning and development’.
Learning and Development
“Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.” Development Matters
- Some elements of Maths and English skills are taught discretely. The majority of learning is developed through a play-based, child-led curriculum. Play provides opportunities for children to experience learning in a meaningful and purposeful way, allowing them to develop the skills needed to become effective learners.
- The inclusion of the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics as integral to both direct and child initiated learning, gives children the opportunity to develop and use these skills on a daily basis in addition to the planned focussed English and Maths teaching. The integrity of these skills ensures they are viewed by the children as relevant to their lives, with meaning and purpose.
- Number Talk is used to develop children’s ability to articulate their thinking and reasoning skills – children are introduced to ‘Build, Challenge, Agree’ as they move through their Reception year.
- Phonics is taught through using the ‘Sounds-Write’ programme
- Our children enjoy learning and are active the whole time. They are totally involved in their learning as they have choice about the activity they want to focus on and have influence and discussion about activities and resources that could go into enhancing the different areas of continuous provision.
- Teachers use formative assessment to monitor progress within the Early Years Framework. Assessments are in the form of observations of learning as it happens and are evidenced in each child’s Tapestry Learning Journal with assessments tracked on Insight.
- Assessments inform the focus for provision and next steps in learning.
- Environments are planned and adapted to reflect children’s needs.
- Reviewing of learning with the children plays an important role in developing good thinking habits and independent learners.
- Ensuring opportunities for children to develop creative and critical thinking is a key element of provision and will enable children to foster good learning attitudes that will build the foundations for the rest of their journey through education.
A Unique Child
“Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.” Development Matters
All adults working with children within the setting will observe a child’s development and learning. This is evidenced in each child’s Tapestry Online Learning Journal.
The ways in which a child interacts and engages with their environment, peers and supporting adults – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically – underpin all teaching and learning opportunities with the ultimate aim of creating motivated and curious learners.
The transition into Primary education can be a big step and families are supported through this process in a number of ways throughout the summer term and into their first term at school.
Throughout a child’s time in EYFS, home/school relationships play a crucial part in a child’s learning. Insight and Tapestry are used as tools for sharing a child’s learning in school as well as allowing families to share achievements from home.
PSHE activities, such as the Jigsaw Scheme, are used to support the development of strong relationships between children and their peers as well as helping children to develop trusting relationships with the adults who care for them in school.
“Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.” Development Matters
- The classroom environment is organised to enable children to access a wide range of resources independently during their play; this is called ‘continuous provision’ – the continuous provision allows children’s learning to continue when they are working without an adult’s support.
- The adults within the setting continually observe children’s interests and learning behaviours. They use this knowledge to add enhancements and provocations to the continuous provision; creating ‘enhanced provision’.
- Each day, children have extended periods of time where they can follow their own agenda with free-flow – playing, exploring and learning through a carefully resourced and planned learning environment; inside and out.
“We need to think about the learning environment as a pedagogical space not simply somewhere that learning happens randomly” Elizabeth Jarman
Basic Provision – Resources linked to ‘expected’ ages and stages of development or historical knowledge of cohorts. Basic Provision is used during the first term of the Reception year before baseline assessment has been completed.
Enhanced Provision (object or prompt) – Areas of provision that have been enhanced with objects or prompts that support an interest or encourage investigation and questioning.
Enhanced Provision (skill) – Areas that have been enhanced with resources to support the teaching of a specific skill or concept.
Continuous Provision – Resources linked to current assessment that have been levelled to match the attainment and learning preferences of your current cohort.