We value the richness of learning and the range of opportunities which allow children and adults to think, question and explore. We want our children to be filled with a recurring sense of awe and wonder, and encourage their natural curiosity and imagination to be inquisitive, innovative and creative. Together we seek to broaden horizons and develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to flourish in the wider world. (LPGD 2021-22)

Rationale- What has informed our curriculum design in the EYFS?

Across our federation, all teaching staff deliver an EYFS curriculum through immersion in high quality teaching alongside an enriched environment. Our philosophy is to nurture every child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, developing both skills and confidence as they take their first steps on their unique journey of a lifelong love of learning alongside the EYFS statutory framework.  We strive for high standards, consider the development of the whole and unique child and seek to foster resilience and independence. We aim to provide the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success and to give children the best possible start to their early education. We provide inviting classroom environments indoors and outdoors, to encourage learners and engage them in developing the three ‘Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning’, as set out within the EYFS.

“The education of even a very small child does not aim at preparing him for school but for life.”

- Maria Montessori, 1967

Intent - What are our aims?

The intent for our children is to enter the next stage of their education ready to tackle new challenges with confidence and a positive mindset. We want to engage our pupils in a stimulating environment led by the children yet carefully managed and organised by the adults. We provide a curriculum responsive to individual starting points and needs. We encourage our children to take the lead in their learning, encouraging confidence to explore new ideas, think about problems, take risks, make links and seek challenge. We develop high levels of engagement, curiosity, collaboration and cooperation in the children who become highly adept at managing their behavior in the classroom and in social situations. We help children to learn to express themselves with confidence in a meaningful way, respecting the opinions and values of themselves and others.
We carefully plan our curriculum to meet the following aims:
Foster a love of learning which inspires curiosity
Provide experiences of awe and wonder
Ensure all children have access to high quality learning opportunities
Work in partnership with parents/carers and develop and recognise the importance of learning both at home and at school
Develop knowledge and understanding of the community and wider world

Implementation: How do we teach in the EYFS?

Our approach is influenced by the work of educationalists, psychologists and practitioners who have guided our knowledge of how young children learn and how adults can support their learning.
Quality first teaching across all areas of the curriculum.
Stimulating learning environments indoors and outdoors.
Well planned and organised continuous provision which allows the children to learn through play.
A carefully planned balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning opportunities.
We promote a love of learning through real life experiences and opportunities to build on prior learning.
Close links with local nurseries which support a smooth and settled transition into school.
Strong parental partnerships which empower parents to support their child’s learning at home.
Systematic approaches to teaching reading to ensure all children learn to read. High quality phonics teaching is started as soon as children begin reception.
Opportunities for children and families to develop a love of reading.
Planned opportunities for outdoor learning through ‘Forest Schools’ and in the outdoor classroom.

Impact: How will we know this?

Children enter Key Stage 1 ready to begin the next chapter of their educational journey. They are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills which provide the right foundation for future progress through school and life. Across the federation we tailor and centre our practice on the needs of the children. We have a clear vision of what we want the children to achieve in our care. We operate an open and reflective culture in the EYFS and it is driven by continuous improvement. We seek out other settings and professionals to learn from and share and reflect on best practice. We recognise the knowledge and expertise of our own staff and value open discussion and staff consultation, which contributes to our federation culture of self-evaluation as a means of driving continuous improvement for the care and teaching of our children.     
We carefully plan our curriculum to meet the following aims:
High levels of engagement and motivation demonstrated from children which supports them to become lifelong learners.
Confident and capable readers who demonstrate a love of reading.
Evidence of strong links with parents.
Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.
All children access a balanced and challenging curriculum regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
AChildren make strong progress from their starting points and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child’s unique needs. 
Children are supported by adults that are well trained and passionate about providing the best education for every child.
The percentage of children achieving a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of the reception year is in line with or above the national average.

Learning in the EYFS- Play, Scaffolding, Modelling, Observing, Guided Learning and Direct Teaching

In our classrooms, you may see children playing alone or with their peers, deciding on resources and choosing how to spend their time. You may see a child playing and listening to an adult, who is modelling how to achieve something or teaching a new skill that interests the child.

Adults may scaffold a child’s play. This involves taking their play to higher levels of learning, entering the play as a co-creator and helping to provoke a framework for the children to go from ‘what they know’ to ‘what else they could know’. Scaffolding enables a child to solve a problem, carry out a task or achieve a goal which is just beyond his or her abilities. During play, where foundational social and emotional skills are developed, scaffolding is a bridge to new skill levels using three key elements; modelling the skill, giving clues and asking questions while the child is trying out a new skill, and then as the child approaches mastery, withdrawing the support.

The EYFS statutory framework does not prescribe a particular teaching approach.

“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.” Development Matters [DfE, 2021]

The reception teacher carefully plans what the children learn in the classroom and through provision enables them to learn from their interests, alongside extending their knowledge and understanding through direct teaching.  Each day, we stimulate children’s interests, respond to each child’s emerging needs and guide their development through warm, positive interactions coupled with secure routines for play and learning. As the children develop and their skills progress throughout the reception year, we use more direct teaching and modelling and plan specific sequences of lessons. These strategies help us to focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning so that the children can develop the skills and confidence required for the end of their reception year.
Seven Key Features of Effective Practice

The best for every child:
All children will be given an equal chance of success.
We ensure that all children have access to high-quality early education. We pay particular attention to those children from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure we can ‘narrow the gap’.
We provide high-quality early education and care which is inclusive for all children. Children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are identified quickly. All children promptly receive any extra help they need, so they can progress well in their learning.
High-quality care:
Our practitioners ensure the children’s experience is the central focus of thinking.
We ensure our children are well cared for to enable them to thrive.
High-quality care is consistent. All practitioners enjoy spending time with young children and this is reflected in their interactions with children.
Practitioners are responsive to children and ensure they form effective and positive relationships with all children.
Practitioners support children to develop their independence.
“Young children learn from those they trust and with those they foster enthusiasm for learning.”

- Trevarthen 2002
The curriculum
The curriculum is well planned to ensure we identify ‘what we want’ the children to learn.
We ensure planning helps every child to develop their language skills.
The curriculum is ambitious. Careful sequencing will help children to build their learning over time.
Planning is flexible to ensure children’s interests are used to drive the children’s learning and development.
We ensure that depth in early learning is achieved through spending time embedding the children’s learning.
Every child is enabled to make progress in their learning, with the right help.
We utilise different approaches to learning to ensure all children make progress. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching.
Practitioners carefully organise enabling environments for high-quality play.
Children in our early years also learn through group work, when practitioners guide their learning.
As the children develop throughout the year they are given more guided learning.
We have a well-planned learning environment, indoors and outdoors.
Assessments are completed to inform planning and support the practitioners in identifying children who need additional support.
Assessment is based upon a secure knowledge of child development.
Practitioners have a clear expectation about what children need to know and how best to support them in developing their learning.
Accurate assessment is used to highlight whether a child needs extra support.
Tapestry is used to record an electronic learning journey for each child. Tapestry is used as a valuable tool to assess children’s development and to provide a link for parents/carers.
Assessments are completed to inform planning and support the practitioners in identifying children who need additional support.
Assessment is based upon a secure knowledge of child development.
Practitioners have a clear expectation about what children need to know and how best to support them in developing their learning.
Accurate assessment is used to highlight whether a child needs extra support.
As part of our ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ teaching provision we support each child’s ability to:
Hold information in mind
Focus their attention
Think flexibly
Start to learn to inhibit some types of impulsive behaviour.
These abilities contribute to the child’s growing ability to self-regulate:
Concentrate their thinking

Plan what to do next

Monitor what they are doing and adapt
Regulate strong feelings
Be patient for what they want
Bounce back when things get difficult.
Regulate strong feelings

Be patient for what they want
Bounce back when things get difficult.
Partnership with parents
We ensure that parents/carers have a strong and respectful partnership in the early years which enables children to thrive.
We listen regularly to parents and give parents clear information about their children’s progress through face to face opportunities and electronically via Dojo.
Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning and development at home as this has a significant impact on their child’s learning.
We take the time to ‘get to know’ and understand the children and their families enabling us to offer support as needed.
We carry out home visits or one to one school tours before the children start school in September. This provides the foundation for strong and effective partnerships with parents.
Parents/carers are invited into school for a ‘Stay and Play’ session with their child prior to starting school. This provides parents/carers with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the classroom environment and meet other parents.
Parents/carers are given the opportunity throughout the year to engage in the wider school community.
Parents/carers are fully involved in their child’s learning and development through the use of Dojo, which is regularly updated.
Parent’s are invited into school for regular parents evenings to provide an update about their child’s learning and progress.
Children with SEND or additional needs have in-depth ‘shared conversations’ to ensure targets and progress are shared.
We are flexible in our approach to communicating with parents/carers and adapt our communication methods to suit different preferences.

EYFS Statutory Framework

Characteristics of Effective Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the areas of learning and development.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
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.
Tel: 01822 832646
Calstock CP School
Back Road, Calstock PL18 9QL