Our intent for EYFS at the 4 Cornerstone Schools is to inspire, engage and enthuse our children to be active learners every day. Our children in EYFS learn in a stimulating environment with high quality provision areas inside and outdoors. This includes our construction area, sand and water area, mud kitchen, home corner and the creative station, and many more which are enhanced on a daily/weekly basis.
High aspirations are instilled in our pupils from a very early age and children’s self-belief and ownership of learning allow them to take risk and develop resilience on a daily basis.
Children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning is ignited, along with the development of skills needed to learn, form relationships and thrive. Whilst recognising that every child is unique and joins one of the 4 Cornerstone Schools with differing levels of learning and social skills, our aim on them leaving Reception is that children:
- Are confident learners, who are resilient and willing to take risks.
- Are positive about their learning and are able to self-regulate.
- Have high expectations of themselves and others.
- Are inspired by their Faith to love themselves, others and the world.
Our approach is implemented through our curriculum which has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language, including Oracy.
We believe that high level engagement ensures high level attainment. We therefore provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking. We follow children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school.
In Early Years, we have a rigorous approach to phonics teaching. We use ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’. Each phonics adult-led session comprises of four parts: revisit/review; teach; practise and apply. Each child in Reception has a decodable book and a Read To Me book they take home to support their early reading skills. Please see our phonics section on the website for further information.
Mathematics in Early Years is based around the White Rose planning and NCETM Numberblocks planning. We teach through a range of planned and structured play situations, both independent, and supported by teachers, where there is plenty of scope for exploration. Maths is also emphasised in all aspects of the daily routine e.g. snack-time /lining up etc.
Parents as Partners
Tapestry is a secure online Learning Journal we use to record photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, to build up a record of children’s experiences. This system allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children’s play and learning in and outside of the classroom on a daily basis.
The impact of our Early Years approach is that children develop into independent thinkers who work collaboratively, are happy and confident and love learning!
We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their learning journeys, photographs and videos on recorded Tapestry. We aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving Good Level of Development.
Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments are also carried out.
The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment)
This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.