Our EYFS Approach

At Slade Primary, our EYFS curriculum is designed to build on children’s prior learning and experiences at home, whilst providing first hand learning experiences and allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity. Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of language, basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We provide our children with a wide range of enrichment opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning. 

Throughout their time in EYFS, the children develop a sense of belonging to our school community. They have the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners. Our learning environments, both inside and outside, are stimulating and exciting, and relevant to the needs and age/stage of our children.

At Slade we:

  • work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points. 
  • understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps. 
  • create a stimulating indoor and outdoor environment which captivates children’s imagination and creativity.
  • prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points. 
  • ensure that transition is seamless.

Throughout our EYFS, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we cover in our curriculum. 

We have a broad, balanced and sequential curriculum that is designed to build on children’s prior knowledge. We consider the key knowledge and skills we want our children to acquire by the end of the foundation stage. We encourage active learning to ensure children are motivated and interested. Our knowledge of children is key to developing the whole child; our skilled adults use this knowledge to plan unique learning opportunities and address next steps in the moment. This approach is underpinned by Anna Ephgrave; these principles enable children to engage in learning that interests them as they independently explore their environment. We evaluate the quality of the learning taking place through the use of the ‘Leuven scales’. This ensures that children show sustained levels of involvement as they explore the continuous provision opportunities on offer.

The children have access to a broad, balanced and progressive curriculum that enables them to learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum. 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 
  • Physical Development, 
  • Communication and Language, 
  • Literacy, 
  • Mathematics, 
  • Understanding the World, 
  • Expressive Arts and Design 

These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique interests are supported. We value the importance of uninterrupted exploration and learning and carefully consider our timetable to ensure that children have the opportunity to access their environment and be fully engaged in the learning process. Adults skilfully assess childrens level of independence and provide timely adult intervention that will further enhance the learning or when invited by the child.

We follow the key worker approach so that children and parents have a familiar adult. This helps children quickly build relationships enabling children to settle quickly and become confident within their environment. Each week, the key worker will choose 3 children from their family group to focus on covering all areas of the curriculum whilst capturing wow moments for the other children in the setting.  Parents are invited to support the planning process during their child’s focus week.  During this week, the key worker will work closely with the child to maximise learning, develop language, build independence and ensure that children are accessing learning  and development that meets their individual developmental needs. 

We understand the importance of vocabulary and ensure that we provide a language rich environment through high quality texts and the modelling of language. Throughout the EYFS, we begin each week with a book that children will explore in a variety of ways. 

In Nursery, we prioritise the prime areas of learning, ensuring that children are able to manage their own feelings, independence and physical skills. The daily story time supports children’s listening, understanding and the development of speech.  

Continuous provision is a fundamental  principle that begins in EYFS and supports children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. During the school day, children will have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. 

In Reception, the learning from Nursery is built up on and progressive. Children in Reception have a daily phonics session, daily maths session and a daily literacy session. The continuous provision allows children to build on new and existing learning taking into account all areas of the curriculum. They also have 1:1 reading sessions with their key worker. 

Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Children have access to highly stimulating  free flow learning both indoors and out. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. Staff within our EYFS make regular observations of children’s learning to ensure that next steps are addressed. These are collected and documented in each child’s online learning journey. We regularly discuss children’s progress and then ensure that our provision, adult interactions and learning environment reflects the needs of the children within our setting. 

To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy, allowing them to reach their full potential. This includes transition days, nursery or home visits, stay and play sessions, parent workshops, teddy bears picnics,  focus week reports, parent consultations as well as more frequent informal communication to suit individual families. We also support the transition into Key Stage 1 for both child and parents. We prepare children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of EYFS and the start of Year 1. Parents have the opportunity to meet with new teachers and visit their child’s new learning environment. 

Children in Nursery and Reception make excellent progress from their individual starting points. We strive to ensure that children make strong progress throughout the foundation stage and ultimately reach the early learning goals at the end of reception. Our end of year outcomes have increased year on year and are at least in line with national expectations. 

The impact of our curriculum is measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into confident, independent individuals who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become lifelong learners as they enter the next stage of their learning journey. Each child’s learning journey highlights the breadth of opportunity each child receives along with the high quality interactions with members of staff. It can also be seen through our assessment procedures. Careful tracking of the development bands ensures that all groups of pupils including vulnerable and SEND pupils make sustained progress. Our judgements are robust and are internally and externally moderated to verify its accuracy. 

The impact of our curriculum is also measured by our assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.