At Wainscott EYFS, we offer a curriculum rich in memorable experiences which widen our children’s world, inspire them and provide them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to build the firm foundations upon which the rest of their education and future is successfully based.
We believe that a language-rich environment helps to build children’s language and communication skills effectively. The prime areas of learning are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and
thrive, regardless of their background, circumstances or needs.
In our EYFS, a balance of adult directed and uninterrupted child initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils. Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are also key. Staff reflect on and respond to the different ways that children learn, enabling them to develop and practise the skills necessary to become ‘good learners’.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes language development, challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning - a place where children feel safe and secure to think critically, be creative, take risks, develop and apply their learning and be resilient.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people and fosters tolerance and understanding. We aim for our children to be happy, confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. However, development depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. These underpin all learning within our EYFS:
- Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
- Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners foster the characteristics of effective early learning: Playing and exploring • Active learning • Creating and thinking critically.
Our curriculum is inclusive, widens our children’s experiences, builds upon previous knowledge and involves activities and first-hand experiences for children through all seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected and are inter-woven throughout our curriculum and environment.
The three Prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The four Specific areas are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that, as well as uninterrupted child-initiated play to allow time to explore, create, master skills and apply learning, children have daily directed teaching in English, maths and phonics. The children also have regular small group or one-to-one work with an adult to develop their skills and understanding and work on their next steps.
The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. These topics inspire children and widen their experiences - exposing them to exciting new ideas, worlds and cultures. Topics are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development and interweave the specific areas of learning within them. All planning, however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs and interests. As children grow older, there is a greater focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning.
In Wainscott EYFS, we work as a team to care for and support all children’s learning. This means that our differentiated curriculum runs through Nursery and Reception, with all adults aware of our intent, as well as of the needs of all children. We operate a ‘free-flow’ system, so children are able to play and learn across the whole unit and with all other children. This encourages independence and confidence and enables children to learn with and from a wide variety of different people who will respond to and interact with them in different ways. It also ensures a smooth transition from Nursery to Reception and offers a clear progression in learning.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents receive termly newsletters to inform them of what their child is learning and to explain how they can support this at home. They are also invited to workshops, to help develop their own subject knowledge and understanding of how children learn. They are also encouraged to take an active part in their child’s learning through regular stay and play sessions, as well as through regular interaction with our online learning journal, ‘Tapestry’. Through this, they are provided with regular updates and next steps in their child’s learning, as well as giving them an opportunity to share their child’s successes and experiences at home.
Whether it’s during adult directed tasks or during play, our EYFS staff are expected to focus on supporting and extending children’s learning in the moment, which in turn enables them to gain a deep understanding the children they’re working with. We carefully notice and listen, focusing on high quality assessment that helps us to understand every child - their interests, who they are as an individual, their difficulties and obstacles and when they might need extra help. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children make strong progress from their own starting points, both academically and socially - developing a sense of themselves, others and the wider world. Rich experiences inspire children to want to learn broaden their horizons and experiences. They form strong relationships with adults and their peers and develop the core skills they need to become ‘good learners’ – to be able to sit and listen, to take turns and find compromise; to be able to communicate effectively with others; they build firm foundations in reading, writing and maths; they develop their characteristics of effective learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations, making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Our children are confident to take risks and are resilient. They are curious about the world, creative in their thinking and tolerant towards others. They are happy and independent and have begun to learn and master the skills they will need to build a successful future.
Our curriculum is reviewed annually to ensure relevance and to ensure the voices of our pupils, parents, staff and governors are heard.