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St Mary's C of E

School Bideford

EYFS

Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the period of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. The Foundation Stage Curriculum is based on the recognition that children learn through play and active learning. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Three areas of learning are:

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

These areas of learning, called the prime areas are particularly crucial in enabling children’s learning, as they reflect the key skills and capabilities all children need to develop and learn effectively.

We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These areas are:

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

 

 Characteristics of Effective Learning

We support children to develop their Characteristics of Effective Learning as we believe they play a central role in a child's learning and are essential in building an effective learner. We follow children's interests to ensure they are engaged and motivated to enable them to develop their creative and critical thinking. The Characteristics of Effective Learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development. They represent processes rather than outcomes. The characteristics of learning – Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically support children to become motivated and effective learners.

Learning through play is a very important part of your child’s development. We plan our environment to ensure that children have the opportunity to experience a wide range of learning. We ensure that we provide resources which allow children to initiate their own learning, whilst adults play and teach alongside them. All children are encouraged to use our outdoor and indoor learning environment.

Intent

Teaching and learning follows the structure of the statutory Framework for EYFS.  We follow the four overarching principles of the unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments and the importance of learning and development. We recognise that children develop and learn in different ways. In our Foundation Stage we plan for progression to ensure that children know more, remember more and can do more as they move through the school and within the school year.

Through our carefully planned and sequenced curriculum we intend for all children to achieve our long-term goals for each area of learning at the end of Foundation Stage as well as a good level of development.

Long term goals for Foundation Stage

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children become a community of learners who support and communicate well with each other, ready for the transition into KS1. Children have developed strategies to manage emotions and resolves conflicts and keep healthy.

Physical Development

Children enjoy physical activity and have active lives. Children embrace physical activity and move energetically. Children are well prepared physically to draw, write and take part in future physical exercise.

Communication and Language

All children are able to have conversations with their friends, adults in school and visitors. Children have a love of books and can retell key stories. Children use a broad and varied vocabulary.

Literacy

Children read for pleasure and can retell key stories. Children talk about what they have read and enjoy poetry, rhymes and songs. Children write for pleasure and purpose.

Mathematics

Children explain their reasoning and approach problem solving with confidence, drawing on appropriate tools for learning. Children have a positive attitude and interest in mathematics.

Understanding the World

Children remain curious, ask questions and can talk about what they know. Children are confident talking about their locality and its key features. Children can talk about the past and key events.

Expressive Arts and Design

Children can talk and about and confidently engage in creative experiences including using different media, exploring music. Children have awareness and appreciations of the arts.

Implementation

At St Mary’s we provide a curriculum which is designed to inspire enthusiasm for learning, ensure achievement and to support pupil well- being and development. We provide a well- planned, carefully- structured and resourced curriculum which puts personal development and Characteristics of Effective Learning at the heart of everything we do. We build upon what children know and celebrate achievement. We value children’s interests, providing a balance of direct teaching and child-initiated activities. We provide a welcoming environment for all children and parents, which establishes a clear sense of belonging for all children. We establish positive relationships with parents and keep parents well informed about the curriculum and their child’s progress. Adults make careful observations in order to support and extend children’s learning appropriately. We facilitate learning at every opportunity, using a range of teaching strategies. We carefully consider how we move children’s learning forward in each area of learning:

Our environment will support independence and foster relationships.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development Our environment will support independence and foster relationships.

Adults model and encourage independence and confidence. Adults will model good relationships and support these. Adults help children build friendships and learn to co-operate with each other. Adults will support children in naming and managing emotions through visuals and stories. Our environment will support independence and foster relationships. We encourage children to welcome diversity and encourage all children to respect others.

Physical Development

Adults will encourage children to have happy, healthy lives through providing opportunities for active play. Our environment fosters a love of active play, through a range of small tools and chances for physical play. Regular P.E sessions encourage engagement in movement and active participation in these develops gross and fine motor skills.

Communication and Language

Adults will engage in quality conversation and play every day. Adults will model a broad and rich vocabulary and encourage children to do the same.  Our environment will foster language development. Our dedicated ‘storyland’ means adults are always on hand to support language development through non-fiction and fiction books and puppets.

 

Literacy

Adults will read stories, recite poems, and sing nursery rhymes and songs daily. Adults will use puppets and engage daily in active story play. Adults will model writing and listen to and scribe stories for the children. Our environment will support mark making and purposeful writing. Our guided writing sessions promote enjoyment of writing and drawing.

Mathematics

Adults will teach key principles of mathematics through playful adult led sessions and through children’s play. Our environment will foster maths through play, with planned opportunities to practise current learning as well as consolidate prior learning and make new discoveries. We regularly take maths learning outside, looking for maths in our natural environment and applying concepts to the real world.

Understanding the World

Adults will provide opportunities for children to explore their world. Adults will plan frequent local trips and meetings with the local community. Adults will enrich children’s vocabulary. Our environment will foster exploration of the natural world and include a broad selection of books. We foster a love of the natural world through regular trips out into our local environment and weekly Forest School sessions. The children get to know their local area through trips and walks, knowing key places in the community. The children visit the local Art Gallery, the Church and regularly visit the library.

Expressive Arts and Design

Adults will provide on-going opportunities to engage with the Arts and introduce children to Artists. Adults will encourage and support children’s ability to communicate through the Arts and model confidence, imagination and creativity. Our environment fosters this through the range and quality of materials on offer.

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Impact

All children will thrive in our EYFS. They will leave Foundation Stage well prepared for KS1 with positive relationships and a good level of development. Children are confident learners with high levels of well-being and involvement and a positive attitude to learning.

Design technology

In EYFS we build the foundations of Design Technology through Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development and Mathematics. We help children to develop their small motor skills so they can use a range of tools competently. This includes scissors and knives. We offer activities to develop and refine skills such as threading, making models with junk modelling and using playdough and clay.

We talk about and explore 2d and 3d shape and encourage the children to use these to build for a purpose. Providing real opportunities for engagement lays the groundwork for future Design Technology with den-making, brick play and open-ended construction. Children are expected to work collaboratively to develop and realise creative ideas and discuss how problems might be solved. Adults provide children with a wide range of materials and teach children different joining techniques for them.

Physical Development ELG:

Fine Motor Skills

Children at the expected level of development will

  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery.

Expressive Arts and Design ELG:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
  •  Share their creations, explaining the process they have used
  •  Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

 

Art

In EYFS we build the foundations of Art through Expressive Art and Design and Physical Development. We help children to develop their small motor skills so they can use a range of tools competently. This includes pencils for drawing and paintbrushes. We offer activities to develop and refine skills such as threading, making models with junk modelling and using playdough and clay. The children have regular opportunities to engage with the Arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Adults encourage children to consider what they see, hear and participate in, developing their vocabulary and ability to communicate through the Arts.

We introduce children to an Artist every month and link this to the children’s learning. The children visit our local Art Gallery, the Burton. Through play, children have daily opportunities to draw, create and make. We provide a range of media including junk materials and malleable materials, a wide range of drawing material including pencils, pens, charcoal, pastels and painting materials including watercolours, poster paint. Adults will provide a wide range of paintbrushes and tools for painting and plan opportunities for observational and imaginative art on a large and small scale. Adults will model the rich language of Art.

Physical Development ELG: Fine Motor Skills

Children at the expected level of development will

  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery.

Expressive Arts and Design ELG: Creating with Materials

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories

Science

In EYFS we build the Foundations of Science through Understanding the World which encompasses the Natural World. We aim to encourage curiosity about and foster a love of the natural world. Weekly Forest School sessions enable to children to observe and describe the seasons and weather. Through photos and discussion, children reflect on changes in the environment over the year. Each class chooses a tree to record its journey through the year. Through Forest School and in their outdoor and sensory play, children are encouraged to explore with all their senses, describing their experiences with a rich vocabulary.  

Children develop early scientific skills such as observing and identifying, asking and answering questions, performing tests and gathering data. Children are encouraged to draw what they see in the natural world. Adults plan and encourage children to interact with natural processes through small group and opened ended play. Our EYFS curriculum ensures we cover the foundations of each of the strands of the NC in KS1. For example, Foundation Stage have their own area for planting which they maintain over the year, growing their own vegetables and plants in the summer term. We provide rich learning opportunities and hands on experiences, for example watching caterpillars turn into butterflies and visit our local ponds, Quince Honey farm and the zoo.

Understanding the World ELG:  The Natural World

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

 

Geography

In EYFS we build the Foundations of Geography though Understanding the World. This encompasses Past and Present and People and Communities.

Through engaging and interesting learning opportunities, children learn about where they live and their local environment. The children take regular trips out of the classroom, beginning with learning about their school environment and then the surrounding area as an introduction to fieldwork in KS1. They take walks around Bideford to look at the key features of the town. They learn about the river, the bridges and the town itself, with regular visits to key places in the community, including the park, the Burton Art Gallery, the Church and the Library. On each walk, they look at maps to help plan the route and talk about what they might see on their journey. They reflect on this on their return to school. Adults enrich their vocabulary, using key geographical vocabulary.

Weekly Forest School sessions enable to children to observe and describe the seasons and the weather. Each session involves the children as ‘weather watchers’ and the children record changes in the weather. Through photos and discussion, children reflect on changes in the environment over the year. Each class chooses a tree to record its journey through the year. In Forest School and in their outdoor and sensory play, children are encouraged to explore with all their senses, developing a love of the natural world.

Children explore key celebrations in different countries and through the children’s interests, adults engage in discussions about different environments, countries and cultures. Books in our environment are diverse and celebrate different countries and cultures.

Understanding the World ELG: People, Culture and Communities

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
  •  Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
  •  Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

History

In EYFS we build the Foundations of History through Understanding the World. This encompasses Past and Present and People and Communities.

Through engaging and interesting learning opportunities, children learn the concepts of past/ present, similarities and differences, continuity, chronology/ sources, significance and perspective, empathy and causation and change.

In EYFS children spend time talking about their own families and their community. During key and special events, we ask children to look at how these have changed over time in the context of their own families, through photos and discussions, developing a basic chronology.

We talk about what has happened in the past and in a time before the children were born. Through photos, fiction and non-fiction stories and artefacts we encourage children to think about how lives have changed. We introduce the children to rich vocabulary through historical learning.

We offer a wide variety of trips into our local area, looking at Bideford and how it has changed over time. We use maps, observations, paintings and visitors to enhance this learning. The Burton is a fantastic resource for this information with key paintings showing the changes in town. These hands-on experiences deepen children’s understanding.

Understanding the World ELG: Past and Present

Children at the expected level of development will: -

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
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