“Every child can make progress with the right support” ― Julian Grenier
At All Saints Primary School, we aim to provide a high quality and inclusive early years education, giving children the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for Year One and beyond. Our aim is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development. We want our pupils to become successful, active citizens and happy, curious lifelong learners. Our curriculum is the cultural capital we believe our children need, in order to narrow the gaps in their overall levels of achievement. We understand each child is unique and that they begin school with their own set of experiences. We intend to provide high quality care, with practitioners building positive relationships with each child, observing and responding to pupils’ needs. Our broad and balanced curriculum is sequenced and progressive. We focus on the Prime Areas of Learning as a foundation to enable the development of skills and knowledge in the Specific Areas of the EYFS curriculum. Throughout the year we encourage the children to develop a love of reading, writing and Maths. We aim to be reflective and flexible in our approach to planning, to maximize children’s’ interests and to take the time to embed concepts and ideas. We aim to embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We believe through play and exploration children can learn how to be active learners, with the ability to think creatively and critically. Children learn how to persevere, to develop resilience and to self-regulate. We value imagination and we seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning.
We provide a breadth of opportunities and experiences for children to learn; through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching
Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult led activities. The timetable is structured so children have differentiated and rigorous direct teaching in English or Topic, Maths and Phonics every day. These sessions are followed by group work where children can work with a member of staff to focus on their learning targets. Teaching staff systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time feedback, which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Children have plenty of time to practice in exploration throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. Enabling environments are carefully planned for the inside and outside areas and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development including understanding the world and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. In each topic, children are encouraged to share what they know and to ask questions about what they want to learn. Each topic provides the opportunity for children to engage in real, vibrant and stimulating experiences, for example, looking after pets, growing plants, baking cakes and observing fossils. Through differentiated teaching and learning, we revisit key ideas and concepts throughout the year, enabling children to make connections and apply their knowledge and understanding.
We aim for all children to begin to read in EYFS. Children follow the Read Write Inc scheme so that they meet good outcomes for reading, with almost all our children passing the Year One Phonics Screening. We have chosen many high quality texts to support children’s reading and language development. Our planning and teaching reflects a language rich environment, with progression in language and vocabulary acquisition.
We emphasise studying the key skills of number, number patterns and their relationships as well as many aspects of shape and measure. Children also deepen their understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives, which are rehearsed and applied to their learning.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together but we have a range of additional interventions and support to scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential. These include smaller, focused Speaking and Listening groups, Phonics intervention, Maths groups and a motor skills group. Our therapeutic approach to managing behavior means that children are supported with their individual needs.
We run workshops and information meetings about Reading and Phonics, to help parents understand how to support their children. By using Tapestry, the online learning journal, we collect observations and assessments and share information with parents. We also encourage parents to share their observations via Tapestry.
Our curriculum meets the needs of all our children, including our disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND. We spend time looking at and evaluating how children are learning. This is achieved through discussions with pupils, assessing their work, observing their learning and analysing data. Staff use daily observational assessment to monitor children’s starting points and progress. We use this information to plan learning experiences and next steps so that knowledge and skills build cumulatively. During each assessment window, three times a year, teachers update the progress children have made onto Scholarpak, which allows us to assess and evaluate the impact of our teaching against a national data set. We are quick to identify the individual needs of children, and plan interventions and strategies for parents and practitioners to support them.
Children with SEND, Speech and Language needs or issues regarding other areas of wellbeing have appropriate pathways of support. We assess the children in self- initiated and adult led activities and in individual and group tasks, and encourage self-reflection. Professional discussions are part of our everyday practice between staff, parents and other adults involved in a child’s development, such as the SEND teacher, family support worker and outside agencies. Teachers engage in termly parent meetings and Pupil Progress meetings with SLT to discuss how to support children’s progress.
Children in our EYFS, on average, arrive with lower starting points than national. During their time in Reception, a majority make good progress. Many meet the national expectation for Good Level of Development at the end of the year and are ready for the challenges of Year One. We believe this good progress is due to the delivery of first wave quality teaching, high expectations, enriched play-based exploration alongside frequent assessments throughout the year.
Our exciting and stimulating curriculum fosters happy and curious children with a love of learning.