EYFS – Ribblesdale, Swaledale
Here at EYFS@RMS, we use the statutory and non-statutory guidance available to plan our exciting, age-appropriate curriculum, check regularly our children are on track for achieving their age-related learning and to assess our outcomes. These documents are available to view at the bottom of the page.
However, our curriculum is much richer and more 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. Our continuous provision reflects our planned, sequential learning and facilitates the children’s next steps. It also excites and enables independent learning, language and communication. 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, what they are learning and what they can do. 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. We display our weekly ‘sticky knowledge’ so we can remember more, to know more and do more.
EYFS@RMS Curriculum Intent
Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum
We have the highest expectations of ourselves as the practitioners within our setting and seek to cultivate the best possible education for the children in our care. We aim ‘for all’ children to be given an ambitious, rich and sequential curriculum which ignites their imagination and curiosity, enhances all children’s life experiences and provides a firm foundation for assured future success, where children continue to ‘do all the good they can’.
Our aims, as detailed in the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, are as follows:
- quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress, or better and no child gets left behind .
- a secure foundation through sequential planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
- partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
- equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
- All children healthy, happy and safe.
Four guiding principles will shape our practice in early years.
- every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
- children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- children learn and develop well in safe enabling environments with teaching and support from highly qualified adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
- the importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.
Our Foundation Stage provision, both inside and outside reflects the seven areas of learning taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage profile. Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for all learning so children can ‘do all the good they can’ at all times.
Our Relationships and Health Curriculum underpins all aspects of learning.
These are the prime areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
We reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust our practice appropriately. Our assessment is integral to learning. Each child is unique and therefor has their own starting point and next steps. We know where we expect each child to be in their learning each half term. We work hard to ensure no child is left behind.
We encourage and model the skills children need to be effective, life-long learners.
The characteristics of effective teaching and learning we encourage and model are:
- playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
We use the Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage document and the non-statutory guidance within Development Matters and Birth to Five Matters documents. However, our curriculum is much richer and more personal to our children at our school. In a daily and weekly context, it is driven by 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 remember, learn and can do going forward. 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.
Throughout school, we encourage children to be ‘Ready, Mutually Respectful and Safe’ to maximise their learning opportunities and develop self-regulation, an understanding of how to keep themselves and others healthy and safe and the ability to develop positive relationships, both now and for the future. In EYFS, our philosophy means we complement our pre planned curriculum with ‘planning in the moment’ working with and inspiring children to seek new challenge opportunities through exploration of their environment, using open ended resources. This enables us to provide a bespoke learning experience. We subscribe to the ‘loose parts’ philosophy of open ended outcome provision resourcing. If a child expresses an interest in an aspect of provision we do not have available, it is immediately made available as soon as possible. We believe we are facilitators, interacting and scaffolding. We increase children’s experiences of diversity, language, communication, reading and writing, culminating in optimum outcomes ‘for all’. We ensure children’s experiences over time are consistently and coherently arranged to build cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for their future learning.
The impact of the curriculum on what children know, can remember and do is highly effective. Children demonstrate this through being deeply engaged in their work and play and sustaining high levels of concentration. All of our children, regardless of starting points, do well. Children with SEND achieve the best possible outcomes.
Our children are always ready to have a go and to persist, embracing challenge as part of active learning. The children have and understand the need for manners, honesty and respect. They are kind, caring and considerate towards others. They are ‘Ready, Mutually Respectful and Safe’. They listen and enjoy stories, rhymes and singing. They understand mathematical concepts and are secure in the mathematical foundation knowledge that they need to build future learning on. Children’s experiences over time are developed sequentially to build sufficient and secure knowledge and skills for children’s future learning. As they enter Year 1, they are ready and have encountered a broad and balanced set of experiences. All children leave our setting ready and equipped for the next stage of their learning journey. Children become confident communicators and fluent readers, consistently using new vocabulary. They can hold thoughtful conversations with adults and their friends. They can build meaningful relationships. They speak with increasing confidence and prosody. The children become fluent readers and develop a lifelong love of reading.
As they finish their Foundation Year in RMS, ‘all’ children are inspired to continue to ‘do all the good they can’.
EYFS@RMS Curriculum Planning
Our learning journey helps us remember more sticky knowledge!
Our curriculum planning encompasses and is formed by, the children’s interests, appropriate language rich texts and the EYFS curriculum. Our yearly planning follows Seasons and Celebrations, as we investigate the world around us and particularly develop our own cultural capital here in Richmond, Yorkshire. We use White Rose Maths for the structure of our Mathematical teaching sequences with the aim of achieving mastery understanding and our R.E. Curriculum is taught in line with the rest of our whole school R.E. planning. As the rest of the school, we work towards the promotion of our whole school half termly focus value. In our P.S.H.E, we work within over-arching themes for each half term but also flexibly meet children’s immediate needs and development in this area. We term this our ‘responsive curriculum’. The over-arching, planned P.S.H.E. themes that we consider our ‘preventative’ curriculum are detailed in our long term planning.
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
Our EYFS@RMS curriculum is planned both ahead, in a timely and sequential manner but also ‘in the moment’, to maximise equal learning opportunities ‘for all’.
What is ‘In the Moment Planning’?
In the moment planning is an approach where we as an early years setting develop a mini topic or extension of an existing theme spontaneously based on what a child is interested in ‘in that moment’. Planning in the moment runs alongside and complements our sequentially pre-planned curriculum as it enhances engagement and therefore learning opportunities. It utilises our positive relationships and skills as EYFS practitioners to identify each child’s next step and effectively interact with our children to promote the best outcomes. It ensures we provide a bespoke curriculum for each and every individual child.
We plan the children’s continuous provision to match the children’s next steps as identified by our whole team. Our environment stimulates curiosity and enables each child to engage in activities without being directed by an adult. Our provision is characterised by natural and open-ended resources to ignite imagination. 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.
Observation, Positive Relationships and Interaction
In addition to our carefully planned teaching inputs, children are enabled to choose their own lines of enquiry through play in our engaging and curriculum linked continuous provision. Rather than stepping in to direct them towards an activity, we observe the child(ren) closely and follow their lead. We judge what level of scaffold each child needs in their area of learning. We might narrate what we see to facilitate language skills. If or when we do join the children’s play, we make sure we display curiosity, awe, wonder and enthusiasm in what they are doing and engage them with open-ended questions, promoting thinking and discussion, rich in new vocabulary and reasoning. We model behaviour, both in appropriate listening and responses but we also continually reference in every interaction our ‘Ready, Mutually Respectful and Safe’ ethos.
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.
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