Welcome to the Early Years (EYFS)
In the Early Years at Lydiard Millicent CE Primary School, we aim for all children to be happy, confident, feel valued and to develop a lifelong love of learning. Through strong and trusting relationships with adults, children are supported to develop resilience and independence, enabling them to be active participants in their learning. Our EYFS curriculum is specifically designed to provide children with important foundational skills and knowledge that prepares them well for learning in Key Stage 1.
We believe in providing children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on individual’s needs and interests and within which they hear, acquire and apply high quality vocabulary throughout their school day. Learning through play ensures the children have fun, are engaged and promotes their natural curiosity. We aim to encourage children to take turns, share and be thankful to one another and to God, committing to our Christian values. We value the importance of our outdoor environment and believe that it offers children the opportunity to develop their communication, thinking and problem-solving skills.
We are committed to providing the best possible start to school life, identifying additional needs early, teaching the children skills, and giving them experiences that will ensure their well-being now and success in the future.
All staff have high expectations and the children receive quality first teaching across all areas of the curriculum within a well-resourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. We provide a carefully planned balance of adult led and child initiated learning opportunities within well organised continuous provision which allows the children to learn through play, repeating and consolidating their learning. We promote a love of learning by following and building upon children’s interests as much as possible.
Our close links with our local pre-school, alongside a carefully planned induction support a smooth and settled transition into school for our pupils.
High quality books and reading are at the heart of our curriculum. Our ‘book led’ curriculum enthuses and generates a love for reading whilst effectively teaching new ideas, concepts and vocabulary. This can be seen through our teaching sessions in EYFS which are driven through exposure to quality texts, and are linked to all areas of our curriculum. A systematic approach to teaching reading ensures all children learn to read. High quality phonics teaching, using Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is started as soon as children begin school. Children read fully decodable phonics reading books, tailored and suited to their individual phonics level, first, in groups, three times a week, at school and then at home. They also take home a self-chosen sharing book to read with their families, further promoting their love of reading. At all stages throughout the delivery of the programme, children’s reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively, through Keep Up interventions.
Our mathematics curriculum is taught daily, using White Rose Maths, through exposure and exploration of number and numerical patterns. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. It encapsulates real life scenarios, for example, cookery (weights and measures), shopping (money role play) and general day to day activities and routines.
Staff are skilled at asking questions that encourage children to think more deeply about their learning, to extend their use of language across the curriculum and to make connections in order to embed new learning.
Assessments are relevant and purposeful, leading to improved outcomes for children. All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. Some observations are uploaded using ILD and shared with the supporting parents and carers.
We strive to involve parents to engage in supporting their child’s learning. We do this through parent workshops, information leaflets, home learning suggestions, the weekly school newsletter and the use of the Interactive Learning Diary (ILD) where key learning and progress is shared with families through observations, photos and videos. Families are also encouraged to share Wow moments from home through the ILD.
Children feel safe and happy coming to school and they enjoy their learning, showing high levels of engagement and motivation. They demonstrate the characteristic of effective learning and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning journey. They manage their own feelings and behaviour, and understand how these have an impact on others. By the end of the Foundation Stage, the majority of children read accurately with developing fluency in their reading. Their vocabulary and understanding of language is good and all children make good or better progress from their starting points.