At Earl Sterndale School our EYFS curriculum is rooted in our core values. We aim to provide a happy, stimulating environment where every child will be given the best possible opportunities to achieve their full potential and an education which will nurture their needs as individuals. We constantly review our provision, preparing learning experiences that are meaningful, active, challenging and inclusive and, in consultation with parents and our wider community, we strive to retain our family ethos, grounded in Christian values, whilst also equipping our children for the future. We believe that the Early Years are critical in children’s development and that the EYFS builds a firm basis for future learning, development and independence. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum which extends previous learning and covers the seven areas of learning as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. We want to ensure that children develop positive attitudes to learning, self-motivation, curiosity, confidence and responsibility by providing children with first-hand learning experiences rooted in purposeful play in which they can become actively engaged, expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings. We aim to develop the whole child socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually and aesthetically and maintain partnership with parents and others including professionals who are involved with the development of the child.
Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to see our Curriculum Overviews.
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape educational programmes in our early years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. There are times when children may learn alongside their Year 1 and 2 peers and other times, where they taught in their year group.
The three prime areas of learning are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three prime areas are: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
There are four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design
Planning in all topics includes the following:
• Communication and language development which involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
• Physical development provides opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
• Personal, social and emotional development which involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
• Literacy development which involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
• Mathematics which involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
• Understanding the world which involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
• Expressive arts and design enables children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The staff set high expectations for children’s attainment and progress. Sessions are organised so that there is a balance of teacher initiated and child initiated activities, play based learning, large group, small group and one to one sessions. During these sessions, adults can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. The children’s own interests and experiences are valued and their learning takes these into account. Teaching always allows for the opportunity to explore the unexpected!
Communication and Language is highly valued in our EYFS curriculum. We strive to provide a language rich environment by interacting purposefully with children and engaging in conversation. We value the children’s thoughts, ideas and suggestions and listen to them with interest. We endeavour to develop their repertoire of language by modelling and exposing them to high level vocabulary in the provision.
We follow Monster Phonics with daily sessions in Reception, increasing in duration from 10 minutes to 30 minutes by the end of the Reception year. Children partake in at least 3 reading sessions per week with a member of staff, with a book matched to their phonic knowledge. We find this programme helps us create confident and fluent lifelong readers who are enthusiastic about reading.
In Maths, we use the White Rose Maths Scheme to support learning. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed, applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. This scheme complements our learning environments and facilitates meaningful interactions with adults to support the children’s development of mathematical thinking and discussion.
Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity for the seven areas of learning. We weave trips and experiences into the curriculum, which are plentiful; creating life-long memories and enable to children to draw upon personal experiences and make links between their learning.
We believe all children learn best when they feel secure, safe and happy. Our teaching and practice is led by the four guiding principles. The Principles are; that every child is unique, that every child can learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships, that children learn and develop best in enabling environments and that children develop and learn in different ways.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning are threaded through, and central, to all learning in the EYFS curriculum. Emphasis is placed upon playing and learning, active learning and thinking critically.
The impact of our stimulating environment and enriching curriculum, supported and delivered by our infant staff, will be a cohort of children who have the requisite foundation knowledge, skills and confidence to progress successfully to the next stage of their primary education; they will be impassioned learners who show drive, perseverance, resilience and creativity, and each an individual who is kind to themselves, their peers, community and the world. They will have a wide-ranging vocabulary and be confident communicators, who are well-prepared for the next stage in their journey.
The impact of our EYFS curriculum is under constant review utilising the judgement of our experienced practitioners and the data collected through the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) and the continuous evidence-gathering and grading of each child’s progress against the Early Learning Goals. We strive to ensure each child makes a good level of progress through to the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception from their individual starting points. All children get the best possible start to their school journey and develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as they continue their learning journey into Key Stage One.
We use a range of different phonics and reading schemes in EYFS.
For phonics we use Monster Phonics materials.
Our home reading books consist of Monster Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree, Jelly and Bean
For our Guided Reading sessions we are using Rigby Star.
In Maths we use White Rose Maths to support learning.