“I know you’ll be kind… and clever… and bold. And the bigger your heart, the more it will hold.”
Emily Winfield Martin
At Stansfield Hall, we acknowledge that every child who joins us is an individual with their own unique strengths and needs. As a school, we pride ourselves on getting to know each child individually as soon as they join our community. Our EYFS class is an important first step into our caring, nurturing, exciting environment. We are always considering ways in which we can engage our youngest learners as we know that high levels of engagement result in higher outcomes
Our children join us from various local settings and come with a variety of experiences. From the moment our children join us in EYFS, they are immersed in a world of books, reading and vocabulary. Our EYFS curriculum is designed with the intent of build strong foundations and a real love of learning. It meets the ambition of the statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage, including the programmes of study. We implement these areas of learning by providing a safe, stimulating environment that allows children to discover, be challenged, consolidate and achieve their very best whilst developing their resilience and independence. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught whole class, group and individual support. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. We strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. We get to know our families and children well and use their interests and knowledge to support and inspire our children’s knowledge and understanding of themselves, our local community and beyond. Our learning environments, both inside and outside are adapted to meet the different and developing needs of our children. Our Reception children have the added bonus of class sharing with our Year 1 children. Staff have carefully planned our curriculum and timetable to ensure that our EYFS children are accessing appropriate learning in line with the Early Years Framework, whilst their Year 1 classmates are receiving a high quality KS1 National Curriculum. Some of our Year 1 children benefit from occasionally accessing some of their learning opportunities through our highly engaging classroom environment and our Reception children have fantastic examples to follow in their older classmates.
Our EYFS curriculum is built around the Prime and Specific areas of learning. We focus heavily on the prime areas; Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language, including oracy. We support children to become independent learners engaged in sustained play and developing their own lines of enquiry, helping them acquire courage and independence, belief in themselves, focus and concentration, physical and mental stamina, and the judgement to take play-based risks. The specific areas of Literacy, Maths, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design are taught through continuous provision as well as adult directed activities linked to themes and topics. In addition to this our EYFS children access daily phonics lessons through our Read Write Inc scheme. Within our EYFS Curriculum, children are assessed through accurate observations informing future planning and children’s individual next steps in their learning. This enables us to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make the best possible progress within our EYFS setting.
Staff are passionate about building oracy skills and this is something which the team focuses on from the very beginning of the year. This is done through a variety of ways. Staff encourage oracy from an early age through talking stories, retelling stories and scaffolding conversations during continuous provision and class discussions. We also recognise that oracy doesn’t just improve academic outcomes: it’s an essential skill that ensures success in wider life and future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy, together which support the child’s overall well-being. Right from day one, our enabling environments, secure routines and warm, skillful adult interactions guide the children’s development.
In Maths we follow the White Rose scheme of work. This develops children’s mathematical understanding through practical activities and concrete apparatus as well as through learning opportunities in continuous provision
By the end of Reception, the impact of our curriculum will be that every child has made at least ‘good’ progress from their starting point. We are confident that our EYFS setting and our progressive curriculum provides children with a strong foundation and the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare them for their next stage of education and the challenges that the curriculum brings.