Early Years Foundation Stage
At Great Ponton Church of England Primary School, we ensure that we comply with the legal requirements of EYFS by following the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, effective from September 2021.
In Reception, we deliver a broad and balanced curriculum, linked carefully to the seven Areas of Learning. Each area of learning and development is implemented through a range of planned, purposeful adult-directed or child-initiated activities. We maximise opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the ‘unique child’ by offering extended periods of play, both indoors and outdoors, and sustained thinking, following children’s interests and ideas.
By providing a carefully thought out stimulating environment with different areas for the children to explore, such as construction, small world, creative arts, role play, mark making, stories and reading, music, etc, children are able to develop their knowledge and skills across each of the Prime Areas of Learning (Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development & Physical Development) and the four Specific Areas of Learning (English, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design). Furthermore, we help the children to understand the importance of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, including oral healthcare.
The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching each day, e.g. English, Phonics and Maths. These sessions are followed by focused individual/group work with practitioners guiding the learning through playful, rich experiential activities, modelling varied and ambitious vocabulary. This focused group time ensures that adults can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children.
We provide a welcoming environment for all children and parents, which establishes a clear sense of belonging for all children. We establish positive relationships with parents/cares during our transition process and keep parents well informed about the curriculum and their child’s progress. Parents/carers are supported with how to help with their child’s learning at home, as well as invited to various curriculum meetings throughout the academic year.
On entry to Great Ponton Church of England Primary School, Practitioners spend time interacting and engaging with each child, using their skills and knowledge to understand where the children are developmentally in each Area of Learning. Having a detailed knowledge of each child’s starting points ensures that EYFS Practitioners are able to plan a challenging and enjoyable EYFS experience, which reflects the children’s needs in all areas of learning and development.
In addition, EYFS Class Teachers administer the Governments Reception Baseline Assessment within the first six weeks of all children starting school. This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.
Children are supported by adults that are well-trained and passionate about providing the best education for every child in EYFS. Through a mixture of adult-led, adult directed and child - initiated opportunities, children make strong progress from their starting points and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child’s unique needs. The percentage of children achieving the Good Level of Development within the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is in line with or above the national average.
Observations, on-going informal assessments and formal assessments, e.g. phonics and number assessments, are embedded as an integral part of the learning and development process. We use termly Assessment Points, linked to our Reception long term plan, to identify those who are on track and those who are not on track. Early years staff meet regularly to discuss children and to moderate judgements.
For those children not on track, next steps are used to inform planning, set targets and aid early identification of any special educational need. Where a child has emerging special educational needs, practitioners liaise with the SENDCO to assess and support with targeted interventions, thus ensuring there is a robust ‘graduated response’. Where children move on quickly, our emphasis is on deepening their learning rather than introducing new skills or concepts.
At the end of Reception, each EYFS teacher makes a holistic, best-fit judgement about each child’s development, and their readiness for year 1. When forming a judgement about whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, the early years teacher draws on their knowledge of each child and their own expert professional judgement. This is the assessment of a child’s individual level of development in relation to each of the Early Learning Goals. The profile is shared with parents/carers at the end of the academic year, as part of their end of year report.