Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.
At Cowling School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon throughout their school life. We want our children to develop physically, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and their learning.
At Cowling Primary School our Early Years Ethos is to support children’s personal, social and emotional wellbeing so that children feel safe, secure and ready to start their learning journey.
The curriculum in the Early Years is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that supports the needs of all pupils. Through the seven areas of learning we provide topics to excite and engage our pupils. We build on the children’s previous knowledge and ensure that learning opportunities are provided to widen their knowledge and understanding of the world. This ensures that they have a secure foundation in learning and development, ready for accessing our curriculum when transitioning to the next year group.
It is our intention to provide, within the context of our Mission Statement, a broadly enriched, rounded and stimulating learning environment where children can work with adults and peers in a climate of mutual respect to develop;
- Confidence in their ability to learn.
- The social skills necessary to learn.
- The emotional capabilities to enable them to understand their feelings and to solve problems.
- A unique child.
We work in close partnership with our parents and carers to encourage happy, independent and resilient learners. We understand that all children have different starting points and we work to ensure that each child reaches their potential.
At Cowling we provide a broad and balanced curriculum which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of the children whatever their starting point. We follow the Early Years Curriculum using topic themes and enrichment opportunities. The three prime and four specific areas are equally valued in our EYFS environment and we balance this through adult led and child initiated activities in both the indoor and outdoor provision.
Throughout the year we assess children against the Early Learning Goals and Development Matters to ensure children are on track to achieve their highest potential. We use Launchpad to Literacy to enable us to complete formative assessments to ensure all children progress well in communication, language and literacy. Parents and carers are kept informed through Tapestry and parents meetings (termly) about their child’s development against the curriculum goals. We actively encourage parents to know their child’s next steps in learning so they can support with learning at home.
Phonics is taught daily through Little Wandle Letter and Sounds Revised and the love of real books. Our phonics is taught through a range of activities and the phonic sounds introduced to children each day in an engaging way. Our phonics activities are incorporated into our indoor and outdoor provision so that children have opportunities to consolidate their learning through the day/week. Through thorough assessments we ensure that children are reading the correct decodable reading book for their individual learning level. This ensures that we are providing extra phonics keep up during indoor and outdoor provision for those children who require extra support.
Mathematics is taught through daily sessions, following the White Rose Maths scheme. We also use Numberblocks and the NCETM as additional mathematics teaching material to support problem solving and reasoning skills. These sessions are planned using concrete resources to build on prior learning across the year. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to problem solving, reasoning and real life opportunities.
At Cowling children have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the world and expressive art and design skills through adult led and child initiated provision. Children then have opportunities to apply these new skills and knowledge so that they become confident independent explorers and learners.
Children are engaged and eager to access indoor and outdoor provision, which ensures that children’s progress is good from their varied starting points ready for transition into Key Stage 1.
Children develop their characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures we have in place. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place, if and when required. All Early Years staff use observations to make formative assessments, which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills. At Cowling we track our children using the Development Matters Statements and the Early Years Statutory Framework. This helps to ensure that the progress of all children is at least good, including our vulnerable groups of children such as those with SEND and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.