EYFS – Ribblesdale, Swaledale
Here at EYFS@RMS, we use the Early years foundation stage profile: 2021 handbook, the Development Matters Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the early years foundation stage and the Birth to Five Matters document https://www.birthto5matters.org.uk/ to structure our sequential planning teaching sequences and to assess our outcomes.
However, our curriculum is much richer and personal to our children at our school. In a daily and weekly context, it is driven using the children’s own lines of enquiry, context, culture, engagement level and needs. Our curriculum planning incorporates seasonal changes and also celebrations from across our wonderfully diverse global communities. We want to maximise our children’s Understanding of the World and provide them with a rich vocabulary in which to describe what they know. Our curriculum is aligned with the whole school termly themes and the curriculum subject vertical progression knowledge strands have been mapped from our Nursery stage to Year 6. All of our rich EYFS curriculum content is underpinned by our practitioners continually reflecting on the different rates at which children develop and adjusting our practice appropriately.
Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- playing and exploring – where children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- active learning – where children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- creating and thinking critically – where children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
Therefore, our EYFS@RMS curriculum is planned very much ‘in the moment’, to maximise learning opportunities ‘for all’.
What is ‘In the Moment Planning’?
In the moment planning is an approach where we as an early years setting plan a topic spontaneously based on what a child is interested in ‘in that moment’. The system is all about completing the planning cycle in the actual moment instead of planning in advance. We provide a mix of child and adult initiated learning through play opportunities. Our advance planning works as a projection, based on what the current week has presented. It is a working document; responsive and therefore subject to sudden changes in direction of inquiry based learning as appropriate!
Our environment stimulates curiosity and enables each child to engage in activities without being directed by an adult. Each activity area is equipped with all necessary provision that allows our children to learn or practice a new skill, depending on the age range and requirements of the children in each indoor or outdoor classroom. It enables curiosity, investigation and small or large scale, alone or together, quiet or busy play.
Children choose what they would like to play with. Rather than stepping in to direct them towards an activity, we observe the child closely and follow their lead. When we do join the children’s play, we make sure we display curiosity and enthusiasm in what they are doing and engage them with open-ended questions, steering them towards conversations, rich in new vocabulary.
We aim to identify when there is a teaching opportunity so we can gently join the play and increase learning, tailored to that child’s next step of development. We seek to do this through open questioning, narration of processes, modelling of thinking and enabling positive outcomes for the child. We also know when to stand back and observe, allowing the child to discover their own chosen learning path and come to conclusions themselves. Nurturing a child’s lifelong love of learning is core to everything we do and we encourage resilience at every opportunity.
To find out more, please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RMSEYFS