Our intent for the Early Years Foundation Stage at Crackley Bank is to provide an education that enables all children to progress and achieve. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 and the educational programs with in that to support us when developing and planning our Early Years curriculum.
When our Nursery children enter school, many come in with low social and emotional skills. This can include toileting issues and their speech and communication skills can be limited. We teach children how to listen, speak clearly and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind. We prioritise the prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language in the Nursery curriculum initially to ensure that children become independent in self-care. Adults support children within their play, modelling sentences and vocabulary. The school rules are established, reinforced and warm, secure and trusting relationships are built so children feel safe to learn.
Reading and writing are an essential part of a child’s life; as they are the key to unlocking learning, accessing instructions and knowledge, so we have made reading the heart of our curriculum design. Our curriculum is based around carefully chosen stories and half termly themes to give us the opportunities to teach children about what is important in their world as well as the wider world around them. Teachers select good quality, current and diverse texts that not only capture children’s interests but develop essential curriculum areas. Stories are read daily to fully embed the skills of early reading. This then enhances the other essential skills that make children fluent and accurate readers.
Phonics is embedded into daily experiences from Nursery through to Reception and continues into KS1. Nursery children work on pre-reading skills that include hearing initial sounds as well as blending and segmenting orally to ensure a strong foundation for Reception learning. Reception children will be taught to read and write with confidence using a fully systematic, synthetic phonics scheme. Jolly Phonics is taught from day one in Reception to fully embed the skills of early reading and writing, creating consistency throughout the school. Children read phonetically decodable books to ensure they can become accurate and fluent readers who understand what they read. Regular recap of our crucial knowledge ensures children can recall and remember key knowledge, those who are falling behind are noted early and have extra support to reach ARE, as we know that reading is an important skill for life-long learning.
Maths in Nursery and Reception is taught using the White Rose Maths schemes of learning. It is a carefully sequenced scheme that builds up on each child’s mathematical knowledge through clear explicit teaching and is used throughout school. In Nursery, children are taught the counting principles from White Rose Maths, practising them through whole class teaching, small groups and within play. As children move to Reception White Rose, quite rightly, puts the emphasis on number skills first. Within Maths, there are key parts of learning that need to be taught within a sequence for example place value needs to be embedded before working with addition and subtraction. In Reception we concentrate on the numbers to 10, understanding their value and learning and reciting number bonds for those numbers by the end of the year. Elements of number and shape space and measure are taught in Nursery and Reception too and regular recaps happen throughout the year to ensure that learning is embedded.
In the Early Years we understand that a clear and sequenced curriculum is vital in a child’s learning journey. Our curriculum in the EYFS prepares the children for the KS1 curriculum by ensuring that Early Reading and Early maths is embedded in the EYFS setting. Emphasis is also on the specific areas of learning to give children the knowledge they need ready for the KS1 curriculum.
We ensure that our curriculum builds in real life experiences through out of school visits, and observations of real wildlife in class, including chicks and butterflies to encourage awe and wonder and increased vocabulary. During the Autumn term Nursery children learn about themselves and their family. Reception recaps the Nursery knowledge and builds on it looking at the wider community and environments, including learning about people who help us and our local area.
Growing in both Nursery and Reception occurs in the Spring term as it gives the children the opportunities to see growth in action. Nursery look to their immediate environment discovering what happens in their own garden and begin to grow vegetables. Reception recaps the Nursery knowledge and builds on it looking at the wider community and environments, learning about the environments that are close to us like the woods and learn about farming. As the year progresses children are then introduced to environments around the world, making comparisons.
Nursery children talk about History in terms of time, what happened just, this morning and yesterday, Reception children are taught to have an awareness of the past and how things have changed over time. We also learn about maps and where we live, describing our immediate environment in preparation for Year One, where they learn about towns, cities and counties.
The Nursery and Reception curriculum provides a holistic approach to teaching and learning. Staff are knowledgeable to what children need to progress socially, emotionally and educationally and respond to children’s needs sensitively to develop independence and self-regulation. This in turn allows children to have the skills and knowledge required for a fluid, confident transition into Year 1 and fully embraces the school ethos of Care + Belief + Pride =Success.