Grove Primary School
Early Years Foundation Stage
Active Learning Trust Academy
We have a 26 place morning and afternoon Nursery and two Reception classes made up of a cohort of 45 children.
At Grove Primary School, our philosophy is to value every child as a unique individual, who enjoys learning and thinking for him or herself. Our aim within the Early Years Foundation Stage is to provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment, which allows all children to feel secure and valued and therefore ready and eager to learn. We provide a supportive and secure environment in which every child can flourish and learn at their own pace and in their own individual way. Our role is to stimulate and encourage their development and enjoyment of learning through a variety of different activities, both adult directed and child initiated in secure indoor and outdoor situations.
We believe the relationships which the children develop in the Early Years, with each other and with our staff, are central to their happiness and will lay the best possible foundation for them to become independent lifelong learners.
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Intent
Children in our Early Years phase follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning. We teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning. We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. We support individual learning through our skilful interactions and observations which lead to detailed next step planning. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our curriculum and pupils learning, through an enabling and well-planned environment we ensure we provide meaningful opportunities for playing and learning, active learning and creating and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement.
Early Childhood in an ALT School
We celebrate the uniqueness of each child, recognising they all learn and develop in different ways, at different rates and bring diverse experiences to our school.
We have the highest aspirations for every child, believing that they should be empowered to take ownership of their learning and their environment.
We believe that risk and challenge are vital in order for our children to develop critical thinking, resilience and perseverance.
We are committed to partnerships with families to provide every possible opportunity for our children to become confident communicators, to be socially competent, to have high levels of well-being and to develop the necessary physical skills.
We nurture children’s natural curiosity, joyfulness and intrinsic creativity as powerful motivator across all areas of learning and development.
Early Childhood Environments in an ALT School
We recognise that the environment plays a significant role in supporting children’s learning and development and so our indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to promote high levels of involvement and the level of learning.
Well-planned, high-quality continuous provision provides for children with familiar and consistent areas and resources that are open ended and flexible, promoting all aspects of learning and development.
We provide stimulating and challenging enhancements that give children new experiences and support new learning.
To enable children to participate in “risky freedoms” we ensure that both adults and children are involved in processes of assessing risk/ benefit.
Our environments are created to reflect and respond to children’s predictable and specific needs and interests.
Our daily routines are flexible and a key teaching strategy to embed learning. They are designed to provide sufficient time for children to become in grossed in self-initiated activity.
Early Childhood Staff in an ALT School
Our greatest resources are the adults who have a good understanding of child development, support children’s autonomy, and are reflective and evaluative.
Sensitive and skilful adult-child interactions focus on extending thinking, broadening communication and introducing challenge.
Warm, authentic relationships between all staff, the children and their families are a priority.
Use observation assessment effectively to be responsive to the children’s needs and interest ensuring that all children make progress from their starting points.
Our adults utilise a range of strategies to ensure that the teaching is developmentally appropriate, varied and stimulating.
All staff recognise importance of modelling skills, learning behaviours and high expectations.
Continuous Provision is how we plan our learning environment. The purpose of continuous provision is "to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult". Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge the development needs of our children.
Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children so they can lead, take ownership and become immersed in their learning. We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. We also provide 'hooks' or 'scenarios' to support their ideas and to really engage the children in their new learning experiences.
As well as our indoor provision our outdoor provision provides varied and exciting experiences. This includes Woodland School and access to a well planned outdoor space which offers the children those experiences only available in the natural world.
Continuous Provision Planning
We use the Early Excellence Assessment Tracker to record our children’s knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. It is a consistent and reliable way of demonstrating progress through the EYFS. The statements within EExAT consist of six monthly bands of development that reflect an ‘age related expectation’. EExAT recognises the importance of relating attainment to chronological age and also values the 'how' of learning and so the characteristics of effective learning are scored in the system and levels of well being and involvement are recorded too.
Through daily observation and interaction we are able to build a rich and accurate understanding of each child across all aspects of learning and development. Our assessments are meaningful and impact on our children’s learning and development as we use them to inform our children’s next steps which are personalised and challenging. Our observations then inform the assessments we make on EExAT as children approach the end of a six month milestone. We bring our knowledge of a child together to make a summative assessment about where they are in relation to key developmental milestones.
We use the online Learning Story provided by EExAT (see example page below) to record our observations. These observations are
then shared with families, allowing them to comment and
also add any out of school experiences or learning at
home which they wish to share with us.
PD – Moving and Handling - 60 months
PSED – Self Confidence and Self Awareness - 60 months
Benjamin visits the Woodwork Station. "What are you doing?" He asks. We are using hammers to tap nails into a piece of wood. "Can I have a turn?" Benjamin asks. Benjamin puts on his goggles. Why do you think we need to wear goggles Benjamin? “So that our eyes don't get hurt” he explains. Together we talk about how to use the hammer safely and how to hold the nail when tapping it into the wood. Benjamin listens carefully and follows the instructions on how to keep safe. Benjamin attempts to secures his nail into his piece of wood. "I can't do it can you help me?" He asks. I encourage Benjamin to try again. Benjamin attempts to secure his nail again, he lets go to test if the nail steady. Benjamin holds the piece of wood steady using his left hand and supports the hammer with his right hand, he begins to tap on the nail with the hammer. He shows good control, persistence and keeps his other hand gripping the wood away from the hammer.
NS - To manipulate small equipment.
PSED - Making Relationships - 42 months
UTW - The World - 42 months
CL - Understanding - 42 months
Reggie joined in with me and other children who were on a bug hunt. Reggie pushed over a log and said “look here” I asked Reggie “What have you found?” He replied “think it a caterpillar”. Reggie tried to pick it up, but it ran quickly into a pile of leaves. We then saw a spider. I asked “How many legs does a spider have?” Reggie replied “lots”. We counted them together 1-8. Reggie said “let’s find another one and went off to look for more.
NS- To observe and care for living things.
Leuven Scales of Well Being and Involvement
The Leuven Scales acknowledge the critical importance of a child’s emotional well-being on the quality and depth of learning. We use the Leuven Scales to indicate a child's level of Well-Being and Involvement at the time of assessment (low, medium or high level).
Well-being is defined as ‘the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’. Involvement is defined as ‘the fact of being involved with or participating in something’.The Leuven Scales support accurate and authentic summative assessment of a child’s knowledge, skills, understanding and learning behaviours.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning underpin our pupils learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The ways in which they engage with others and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the children to remain effective and motivated learners. We make judgements about a child's demonstration of the Characteristics of Effective Learning at their particular age and whether or not the learning behaviours defined within these characteristics describes the child.
Examples of our planning
For further information regarding the EYFS Curriculum, please see the links and attachments below: