At Amesbury Primary School, we aim to provide motivating, first-hand experiences whilst encouraging children to build resilience, ambition and a lifelong love of learning. We aim to build on the wealth of knowledge and skills children already have. We strive to provide our children with a curriculum that is designed to be: flexible, engaging and exciting so that their unique needs, passions and interests are embraced. During the school day, children will have an opportunity to learn independently and collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. We provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and support their child, share their learning and celebrate successes. By the end of the year, we provide opportunities for children to increase their independence in recording their work, as appropriate, to ensure they are well prepared for the transition into Year 1. We also ensure that the pedagogy in Year 1 reflects the independent learning skills children have gained in Reception.
We keep parents informed through our Seesaw communication platform; our class page on the school website; weekly newsletters and Tapestry Learning Journals. We meet regularly with parents to ensure that their child’s learning and development through the EYFS is an exciting experience which allows them to excel with the support needed. Alongside this, we ensure that our parents feel confident and empowered to support their child’s learning at home.
Every child is an exceptional individual and we celebrate and respect differences within our diverse school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge and our school values of: kindness, endurance and dignity, which equip our children for their future successes. We inspire our children to become accomplished, happy individuals, ready to reach their full potential in an ever-changing world. The team in Reception Class and beyond work tirelessly to ensure that children are immersed in a kind, caring and happy environment which help them to develop the same skills in their journey throughout school. It is a positive place to be where resilience, perseverance and successes are celebrated and every child feels valued and respected.
Our EYFS curriculum is driven to:
- recognise children’s prior learning and experiences;
- provide a wide range of rich, first-hand learning experiences which takes the curriculum beyond the classroom;
- allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become critical and creative thinkers and
- foster the development of each child’s character including their personal development and health and wellbeing, preparing them to make a valuable contribution to society.
Our EYFS aims:
- Work in partnership with our parents and carers to promote independent, confident and enthusiastic learners who thrive in school and make at least good progress from their various starting points. (We belong to a tightly knit community where we promote positive relationships and attitudes to learning where we enthuse aspiration for both children and their parents).
- Plan for our children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
- Provide purposeful, enticing and well-planned indoor and outdoor environments, which support learning in all areas of the curriculum.
- Prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage, ensuring children make good progress from their starting points, to create a successful transition to Year 1.
In Reception, we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We recognise that children will learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe and secure. Alongside, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence and independence. Our Reception class follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and work towards the Early Learning Goals.
The 7 areas of learning are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The core aim of the Foundation stage is to provide a strong and solid platform to aid the early development of our children. We strongly believe that they should develop the three prime areas first. As children grow and progress, the prime areas will support them to develop skills in the four specific areas.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions. We ensure activities support the characteristics of effective learning.
Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and have a go.
- Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Curious City in EYFS
Our school is in the early stages of implementing a local, bespoke version of the Curious-city approach that inspires and guides our teachers to create contextually relevant enquiry-led experiences. This enquiry-led approach is enabling our school to create a bespoke, locally focused curriculum over the course of two years that goes beyond the National Curriculum 2014. We use this approach to teach: Geography, History, Science, Music, Art and DT.
States of Being
States of Being enable learners to focus on and/or combine powerful knowledge in different enquiries. Each knowledge-engaged state symbolises an aspect of the curriculum, helping children to master both the know of and know how of a subject, not just remember it.
- Maths - Mathematicians
- English - Authors for writing and reading
- Science - Scientists
- RE/PSHE - Philosophers
- PE - Athletes
- Geography - Geographers
- History - Historians
- Art - Artists
- DT/Computing - Engineers
What is enquiry learning in EYFS?
Enquiry-led learning provides learners with key questions that are too big to answer in one go, but not so conceptually large that they do not understand. In EYFS, the enquiry questions are: 'How' and 'Why' questions which children explore throughout their enquiry. The purpose is to guide learners through ‘being’ something to answer a big question. ‘Answering’ might be by producing something, such as a piece of writing, performance or animation that enables them to answer the question without adult intervention.
The school follows the ‘Read, Write Inc’ phonic programme, using a wide range of physical and online resources to support this. Every child has access to a phonics session every day with intervention opportunities for those who find this area of learning more difficult. We use the phonics session to also develop children’s expertise in handwriting.
We provide effective and focused intervention for those children who are finding learning challenging and are not on track to meet the age-related expectations by the end of the year. This will be provided in an inclusive way and support from parents is also enlisted at an early stage to ensure that the children have every chance to achieve the Early Learning Goals.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. Our children are often amazing role models for others in the school. Our children have varied and diverse starting points. Therefore, we have high expectations to ensure that all children make strong progress across all of the areas of the EYFS curriculum
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 recorded on Tapestry. We aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving Good Level of Development.
Our children make strong progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Knowledge, understanding and skills are secured and embedded so that children attain highly and are fully prepared for their new year group.
At the end of EYFS our children:
- Have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Our children also listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others.
- Take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best.
- Demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge.
- Develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities.
- Are kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society.