At Leadgate we know that the Early Years are absolutely fundamental in a child's life. Early child development sets the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour and health. The experiences children have in early childhood shape the brain and the child's capacity to learn, the capacity to get along with others and to respond to daily challenges. We are passionate that the children at Leadgate receive a happy; positive, active, exciting, fun, secure, and supportive start to their school life.
- Recognise and value children’s prior learning from previous settings and home experiences.
- Provide first hand engaging, stimulating, and challenging, play-based learning experiences, allowing learners to build positive identities through managing and taking risks, having a go, developing resilience, and promoting a ‘can do’ attitude.
- Provide high-quality provision, along with high-quality interactions, so that we are laying the foundations for the children to become independent, active, successful, and ambitious lifelong learners.
- Offer a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning using a continuous provision-based approach.
- The children’s choices and interests are the driving force for building knowledge, skills, and understanding.
- Every child is valued as an individual, safe and well cared for.
Across our EYFS, we follow The Early Years Statutory Framework 2021 for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We use our personalised curriculum guidance document to guide our teaching, learning and development. The Framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.
Prime Areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Communication and Language development.
Specific Areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design.
To begin with, we focus on the prime areas of learning. These form the foundation of a child’s learning and development. Once the children are secure in these areas they will begin to work on the specific areas of learning. A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing their taught skills on a daily basis. Continuous Provision practice and principles begin in the Early Years Foundation Stage and support children to develop key life skills such as independence, creativity, inquiry, and problem-solving. Continuous provision areas are set up to reflect children’s interests and special events, as well as ensuring that reading, writing, and maths are consistently of high profile. Throughout a typical day, children have the opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their peers and work with practitioners.
There are several direct teaching sessions taking place daily in Reception. These include
- Little Wandle phonics sessions
- Maths, using the White Rose Maths Hub concept of ‘Concrete, pictorial and abstract’.
- Literacy – storytelling, sequencing, verbally composing simple sentences and writing
- A topic related lesson which focuses on ‘Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design, Communication and Language, Personal, Social, Emotional Development’.
In Reception we also have:
- Two explicit Physical Development sessions each week
- Daily singing and storytelling sessions
In Nursery, we have two ‘group times’ in each half-day session. These are teacher-led sessions and each day will focus upon one or more of the seven areas of learning.
These will always include:
- Communication & Language programmes such as BLAST
- Early phonological awareness
- In the summer term of the year, some children will progress to the Little Wandle phonics programme
- A story time each session using a carefully considered text
- Counting, shape and pattern activities
- Fine motor skills development using programmes such as ‘Squiggle Whilst you Wiggle.’
- Gross motor skills including dance and football sessions with professional coaches.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by:
- Daily observations and assessments.
- How well practitioners know each individual child.
- Individual progress made in relation to children’s starting points.
- Internal termly data, as well as measuring outcomes against the Local Authority and nationally at the end of the EYFS phase.
- How effectively it helps our learners to develop into well-rounded individuals who are independent, confident, active, successful, problem solving and ambitious lifelong learners.
EYFS – Individual Development Milestones