Early Years Foundation Stage

Here are our curricular plans for each class. This year we are currently on cycle B.

Our Early Years Curriculum Intent (What we intend to do)

Our Early Years curriculum is unique to Kippax North Primary School, planned and developed around the specific needs of our children and our community. In the Moment Planning (ITMP) and a highly engaging environment is used in EYFS in order to provide a personalised curriculum which promotes high levels of involvement for all children, leading to the best progress. This approach is combined with key visits and meaningful experiences that appreciate the starting points and needs of all our children.

Our mantra in EYFS is: Engaging environment + Skilled adults + Pupil interests = Maximum progress!

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2021:

  • Sets the standards that all early year’s providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well
  • Ensures children are kept healthy and safe
    Ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school

Our EYFS curriculum covers all aspects of the framework and we focus on developing identified core knowledge and skills, starting with those needed by our youngest learners in nursery, moving through to our reception children so that they are creative and adventurous learners, fully prepared for Year One, with all the tools needed to achieve and exceed in life.

At Kippax North our children in Early Years are immediately welcomed into our school family  and embark on a journey of “Digging Deep Aiming High” right from the very start of their educational journey. We have six school core values which we teach, model and celebrate in the EYFS: individuality, kindness, pride, equality, integrity and resilience. These core values are imperative to our aim of nurturing well rounded, happy, resourceful and independent pupils who are ready for year 1 and beyond.

We develop individuality by engaging our pupils in a stimulating environment led by the children yet carefully organised and managed by adults. We provide a curriculum responsive to individual starting points and needs which encourages collaboration and invites our children to take the lead in their own learning, encouraging confidence to explore new ideas creatively, problem solve, take risks, make links and seek challenge and build resilience. We develop high levels of engagement, curiosity, collaboration and cooperation, ensuring our pupils are adept at managing their own behaviour in the classroom and in social situations. We enable pupils to express themselves with confidence in a meaningful way, respecting the opinions and values of themselves and others. Our children build the foundational knowledge, skills and language which enable them to access the Year 1 curriculum with a positive attitude to learning, an enthusiasm for knowledge and the confidence to “Dig Deep and Aim High.”

*Where our EYFS aims link to our whole school intent

Curriculum Implementation (How we do what we do)

The three characteristics of effective learning (EYFS framework) describe the behaviours children use in order to learn:

  • Playing and exploring – investigate and experience things, and build resilience to ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning – concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, enjoying achieving.
  • Creating and thinking critically –children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The Areas of Learning and Development

Our Curriculum gives our children the essential core knowledge and skills they need to become lifelong learners and the tools to succeed in life. We start with our youngest learners in F1, progressing to our F2 learners, ensuring they are fully prepared for Year One. We provide the best possible start to education and lay the foundations for future success through enhanced learning opportunities, high quality interactions and awe and wonder, through our Nature Study and through the seven areas of learning.

The Prime Areas: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development.

The Specific Areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding The World and Expressive Arts and Design.

“The education of even a very small child does not aim at preparing him for school but for life”
- Maria Montessori, 1967

At Kippax North, our approach is influenced by the work of educationalists, researchers, psychologists and practitioners who have guided our knowledge of how young children learn and how adults can support and facilitate their learning. At Kippax North, provision is underpinned by a complementary relationship between true child-led learning, adult led whole class teaching and limited adult-initiated tasks. We are ambitious in our approach using a continuous cycle of observation and assessment, planning/teaching, alongside structured and systematic lessons.

Shared Input: In Nursery and Reception, we deliver shared inputs four times a day as a whole class covering the specific areas of phonics, maths, language development and another EYFS curriculum area such as gross motor development, poetry, performance, yoga or music.

Adult – led group and individual work: Short, adult led activities such as 1:1 reading, individual composition of Helicopter Stories and intervention groups take place as part of our weekly timetable In Nursery and Reception.

Continuous Provision

“To continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult.”
- Alistair Bryce Clegg, 2013

Indoors and outdoors resources are organised to develop children’s skills in personal interaction and exploration and are chosen carefully to meet the development needs of the children, enhance potential for new learning and consolidate prior learning. Continuous provision transcends all areas of learning and provides children with the opportunity to demonstrate the three characteristics of effective learning. Children are given the freedom to make independent choices and are encouraged to be active learners and take control of their own learning.

“The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences. “
- Loris Malaguzzi

Our Learning Environment

Our meticulously planned learning environment promotes calmness, is purposeful and develops children’s natural curiosity, offering progression as they grow. We offer a beautiful learning environment at Kippax North that is calm, communication-rich and promotes a feeling of homeliness. This ensures our children feel safe and secure. Indoor and outdoor resources are organised to develop children’s skills in personal interaction and exploration and are linked to current assessment data. Resources are carefully selected to meet the development needs of the children in order to enhance potential for new learning and consolidate prior learning as well as enabling discovery, investigation and exploration. Carefully planned progression of routines and behavioural expectations ensures that our children develop high levels of respect and care. Our outdoor area enables our children to explore, be curious and develop important gross motor skills. Our wide range of learning activities engage, inspire and provide challenge, both mentally and physically. We believe in offering our children first-hand experiences and opportunities to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world through visits and visitors. (See Long Term Plans for Nursery and Reception)

The role of the adult

The ‘In the Moment Planning’ approach requires skilled adults who know our pupils very well. Through constant observation, staff communication and parental involvement, staff know pupils’ next steps and tailor their interactions to help them achieve this. We follow pupil interests to ensure maximum engagement in activities and then adults support pupils in their learning by:

  • Tuning in to what is happening or a child’s thinking.
  • Showing genuine interest.
  • Respecting children’s own decisions and choices.
  • Inviting children to elaborate.
  • Recapping on what has happened so far
  • Offering personal experience
  • Clarifying ideas
  • Reminding
“Knowledgeable practitioners appreciate that adult-led learning offers a child something different from but complimentary to, child led learning and it is one without the other that leads to an impoverished educational experience.”
- Fisher 2016 (Interacting or Interfering)

The definition of teaching in the Early Years as stated by OFSTED (2015); Teaching should not be taken to imply a ‘top down’ or formal way of working. It is a broad term which covers the many ways in which adults help young children learn. It includes their interactions with children during planned and child-initiated play and activities: Communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, providing a narrative for what they are doing, facilitating, and setting challenges.

Reading, Writing and Early Language Development

At Kippax North, we believe the key to success in reading is communication. Research clearly shows that the level of development in language and communication is the greatest predictor of success in later life. Within the EYFS communication and language development is a prime area of learning. At school children use language to: • Build strong relationships. • Communicate their ideas and their feelings. • Think creatively and critically. • As a tool for learning. • Become confident with the written word. (Julie Fisher, 2016).

The development of a young child’s communication and language comes primarily from tuning in to conversations that are meaningful to the child. The preparation for all aspects of written language develops through one to one conversation with a responsive adult. Alongside quality interactions, rich and varied experiences ensure language provides the foundation of thinking and learning.

Improving young children’s vocabulary is paramount. Exploring and extending pupils’ vocabulary is part of everyday teaching. Lessons are planned to enrich vocabulary and incidental opportunities are exploited. Vocabulary is discussed with the intention of building background knowledge so pupils can comprehend the content of a text.

Shared Reading

Reading and books are at the heart of our teaching and environment at Kippax North. In Nursery and Reception, we have 12 core ‘Treasured Texts’ that are a reading focus for story times each half term. They have been carefully selected for progression in themes and language and they link to our long-term plans. Through these texts, we select ‘Tier 2 Vocabulary’ that is explicitly taught and then used, promoted and encouraged in provision by all adults and pupils

Our key texts are planned and linked to the seasons, patterns and celebrations of the year to support and strengthen learning. Through highly tailored teaching and in exploration time, we focus on the core early reading and writing skills; imitate, innovate and invent (independent application). We ensure the texts we have in our collections foster and increase children's experience of literature as well as supporting current interests. We know that it is really important to listen to and respect children's choices while helping them to broaden their reading range.

Having books which really lend themselves to being read aloud is so important. In fact, it is probably the most important thing a teacher can do. Reading a book aloud creates a fantastic shared experience, giving children access to texts that they may not be able to read themselves and introducing them to new authors, adventures and worlds.

Poetry and Rhymes: As well as songs and rhymes which are used as part of daily teaching in EYFS and the celebration of Nursery Rhyme Week and other key events throughout the year, we have dedicated time in our week to learn, recite and perform poems. We use traditional nursery rhymes in F1 and The Poetry Basket in F2 to build up a bank of poems that are familiar, repeated, and language rich.

Individual Reading: Encouraging reading for pleasure is part of our school vision to create learners for life. All children in F2 have their own individual reading book which is carefully matched to their phonics stage and ability. In F1 and F2, children also choose a library book weekly to foster a love of reading and shared story time at home as well as promotion of comprehension and composition skills.

Phonics: Systematic synthetic phonics is taught using Read Write Inc Phonics. Whole-class teaching takes place daily. Phase 1 is taught continuously throughout EYFS but is the primary focus in Nursery. In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about: • Environmental sounds • Instrumental sounds Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping) • Rhythm and rhyme • Alliteration • Voice sounds • Oral blending and segmenting Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy. This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.

Formative assessment takes place during all phonics lessons, quickly identifying who has and has not understood a new phoneme or grapheme or common exception word, informing future planning. Summative assessment takes place half-termly in Reception for targeted individuals. Knowledge of each sound is checked, as well as the child being able to apply this when reading words. Pupils who are making slower progress are identified quickly and intervention is immediately put into place, alongside the usual phonics teaching. Each phonics session is 20 - 30 minutes in duration and includes reading and writing words and sentences. Lessons follow a teaching sequence which is implemented throughout the school ensuring transition to Key Stage 1 is seamless.

Writing: As well as the formal teaching of segmenting for spelling, letter formation and gross and fine motor skills, our indoor and outdoor classrooms are designed to promote independent application of writing skills. Time, space and attention is given to pupils’ mark making during child-led play. Resources are carefully chosen, well organised and attractively presented so that pupils can decide independently how they want to represent their ideas.

Shared Writing Time

In order to further support pupils to compose and construct writing, we use 3 main initiatives:

Squiggle while you Wiggle uses dance and large movements to help children develop the fine muscle control they need for writing

Talk 4 Writing - a fun and creative approach developed by author, Pie Corbett to teach writing.

Helicopter Stories – scribing stories from children and supporting them to act out their narratives collaboratively. Both approaches move from dependence towards independence and develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.

Maths at Kippax North

There’s more to maths than counting! Children learn about maths through play and their daily experiences. And the more meaningful to them and hands on it is, the better. Our setting is full of mathematical opportunities for children to explore, sort, compare, count, calculate and describe. Providing a safe environment to be creative, critical thinkers, problem solvers and to have a go. Our objective is to ensure that all children develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. This means actively learning using resources and activities provided in the environment.

Maths is everywhere! Here are a few examples of how our environment promotes mathematical development:

  • Sand & Water can develop mathematical concepts and language, e.g. heavy, light, empty, full, big, little
  • Malleable – dough can develop mathematical language – short, long, fat, thin and make shapes of different dimensions
  • Imaginative play - set the table for dinner can develop counting skills. Sorting clothes into different colours, e.g. t-shirts and socks will develop knowledge of shapes and colours.
  • Physical play can develop fine motor skills e.g. Sorting out a jigsaw, threading beads. Block play or playing with toy cars can help to develop sequencing and sorting. Playing with different sized blocks can help to develop an understanding of weight and dimensions.
  • Outdoors – Children may plant seeds this can develop understanding of time and the life cycle of plants. As the plants grow children use measures and develop mathematical language of size.
  • Books & Rhymes - Enjoying stories and rhymes with a mathematical element, e.g. “One-two buckle my shoe” can develop number concepts, knowing direction that the print reads from left to right.

Whole Class Teaching

Maths is also explicitly taught daily as short whole class sessions and followed up with opportunities to apply concepts within the environment. In F1, maths teaching takes the form of songs and games with a focus on ‘readiness for Reception’. In F2, we follow the White Rose Maths Hub EYFS guidance and the NCETM resources to structure our planning with a focus on number sense, enhancing pupils’ understanding of numbers and confidence when using them. Subitising plays a fundamental role in our provision and the teaching of maths in EYFS as we recognise the impact it has on a child’s ability to visualise and learn number facts, giving them a strong foundation for maths concepts throughout school. Mastery of mathematical concepts in the EYFS takes the following approach:

Concrete – children use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial – children build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.

Parent and Family Communication

Embedding strong parental relationships is fundamental to Kippax North. We communicate with our parents and families in a variety of ways, including in person as far as possible. Our Early Years practitioners are on the door every morning and at the end of every day. Alongside this, we use an online tool called Class Dojo for whole school communication. We use this to share learning, celebrate successes share important key dates and information and communicate with individual parents. Throughout the year, we also invite parents to special events, informative curriculum meetings and stay and play sessions.

The impact on a child’s education is greater if parents and schools work in partnership. At Kippax North, parents are invited to be involved in every step of a child’s journey in education. We have a robust transition package in place for our EYFS pupils which involves: home visits, stay and play sessions, new starter events, prior setting phone calls / visits, quick but staggered start for pupils

Open Door Policy:

We are incredibly proud of the relationships we build with our parents and know that our genuine open-door policy is one of the reasons why our families respond so well to the way we work in EYFS at Kippax North. A warm welcome each day often leads to a deeper knowledge and understanding of each child and their family.

Focus Children:

As part of our ‘In the Moment Planning’ approach, we know our pupils extremely well and tailor our interactions accordingly. During a focus child week, we also collaborate with parents formally, asking them to inform school all about particular interests, events and significant information regarding their child. Parents also have the opportunity to ask questions or enquire about aspects of their child’s development.

Parent Events:

Throughout Nursery and Reception, we prioritise opportunities for parents to come in to school and share in their child’s learning and EYFS experiences. As well as parent volunteers joining us on outings and school visits, we also organise EYFS events such as Christmas performances, parent workshops and fundraising events.

Assessing Learning and Progress

Our skilled practitioners work alongside children in the setting to support children to make progress across all areas of learning. We track children’s progress against the Development Matters Checkpoints and document meaningful learning moments. We hold formal parents meetings twice a year, where progress and next steps are shared. Each child receives an End of Year Report which details practitioners judgements as to whether each child has met the Early Learning Goals. Every member of staff uses ongoing observational assessment to identify children’s starting points and plan experiences which ensure progress. During each assessment window, three times a year, teachers update the progress children have made onto Otrack, which allows us to assess and evaluate the impact of teaching.

Impact (The result of what we do)

The impact of our knowledge-rich and language-focused curriculum, combined with skilled adults and an enabling environment, enables our children to be successful learners who celebrate individuality, are kind and are proud of themselves and others. Ultimately, our children have the ability to ‘dig deep and aim high’ ready for Year One.

We strive to ensure all our children make good or better progress in all areas of the Early Years with the ability to communicate effectively and self regulate. At Kippax North, we have the highest expectations of all learners and our curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our children in our context. Our provision is constantly adapted to meet our children's developmental needs and next steps are personalised and unique to each child. Children enter Key Stage One ready to begin the next chapter of the educational journey. They are equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for future progress through school and life. In 2017, a ‘Study of Early Education and Development: Good Practice in Early Education’ was published which outlined 3 themes that underpin effective practice that are aligned with our ethos and development. At Kippax North we:

1) Tailor practice to the needs of the children - the child is at the centre of our practice. We have a clear vision of what we want to achieve for the children in our care, and these clear goals inform all areas of our practice.

2) Invest in skilled and experienced staff - that support children to reach their full potential.

3) Operate an open and reflective culture –our culture is driven by continuous improvement. We seek out other settings and professionals to learn from, share and reflect practice. We recognise the knowledge and expertise of our own staff and value open discussion and staff consultation; and embedded within our school is a culture of self-evaluation as a means of driving continuous improvement.

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