The Educational Programmes set out in the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance 2021 in conjunction with United Learning Early Year’s Curriculum has informed our Curriculum which includes activities and experiences tailored to the needs of our children at William Hulme’s Grammar School.
The curriculum consists of three Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language Development
These are essential in nurturing a child’s natural development and learning throughout EYFS.
Also, four Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Art and Design
Underpinning all seven areas of learning and development are a number of characteristics that play a central role in our children’s learning and supporting them in becoming an effective learner. These are
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and Thinking Critically
We provide daily opportunities for children to take part in independent, child initiated and adult directed play. We understand that play is a fundamental part of children’s learning and, central to our practice is developing children’s language and communication skills: We acknowledge that children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development and all areas are important and interconnected. Adults will reinforce and develop children’s language by modelling language through self-talk and narrating what the children are doing. They will encourage high quality back and forth interactions with the children whilst also engaging in sustained shared thinking to help them make sense of their world.
At William Hulme’s, we recognise that good communication is a prerequisite in giving the children the essential tools to develop personally, socially and emotionally. Children will be taught to recognise their uniqueness and celebrate diversity. Throughout the Foundation Stage, the children will be learning, lifelong skills, concepts, and knowledge, whilst also learning about our school’s core values of ambition, compassion and respect.
Staff are encouraged to develop children’s personal, social and emotional skills in the moment, through talking through situations, naming the emotions, as and when the children experience it, and modelling how the children could have handled a situation more appropriately and giving them a voice to let people know how they are feeling. In Reception, the children are taking part in a programme called Think Equal. The core tenets of the programme is the belief in the child as autonomous and an empowered being, giving them a voice whilst also teaching children the importance of compassion, and respect for all.
Adults use Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction in the Foundation Stage to reinforce children’s learning to ensure no child is left behind. New skills are modelled by the adults as they play alongside the children. Lessons are designed in small steps. There are visual scaffolds positioned around the areas of continuous provision to encourage independence. There are daily adult directed activities teaching objectives taken from the Curriculum, together with daily phonics sessions following the Read Write Inc Scheme. New learning is reviewed regularly to encourage mastery. Children practise any newly taught skills in the Continuous Provision through regular challenges which help to develop their confidence, resilience, and independence. Children are taught how to look after their environment both indoors and outdoors and encouraged to show care and respect for both the environment and the living things that share our outdoor space.
To ensure that our environment build’s on children’s previous experiences, home visits are arranged for all or new Nursery children. This gives the staff the opportunity to see the children in their home environment, establish a relationship with parents and discover the uniqueness of each of our children. To build on previous learning experiences/skills in school, adults will observe children in their independent play. Observations are captured using the Evidence Me learning platform. These observations will inform the weekly planning of the environment and enhancement or challenges will be put in place. To ensure that all children access all areas of the Continuous Provision, children throughout our Foundation Stage take part in daily “Have a Go” sessions giving children opportunities to practise new skills.
Staff assess children on a daily basis to gain an understanding of each child’s level of understanding. These are done through daily interactions, observations, examples of work parental conversations. Assessment occurs throughout taught lessons using Rosenshine and TLAC techniques, as well as during independent play, where adults will make an immediate assessment of a child’s level of learning and endeavour to move the child’s learning forward in that moment.
Strong parental partnership is maintained as parents are kept informed of their children’s learning through daily interaction and photos sent home via the Evidence Me platform. Parents are invited to attend half termly workshops to familiarise them with the learning that is taking place in school and discover how they can support their children at home. Nursery parents have the opportunity to take part in our “Little Lions” programme which takes place one afternoon a week over 6 weeks and covers topics such as developing language and communication, using imagination, encouraging social awareness and developing fine motor skills.
To ensure children are exposed to rich experiences developing their cultural capital, they will have the opportunity to take part in:
- Half termly career days where children will meet visitors who will talk about the importance of the work they do, starting with staff in our own school
- Tasty Tuesday – preparing and trying a range of healthy foods
- Welly Walks around the school grounds themed around learning taking place that week
- A walk to the local library
- A walk to the Hindu Temple
- Watch the life cycle of a butterfly
- A trip to the local park
- A museum/art gallery trip
- A trip to a farm
- Harvesting, planting, growing and harvesting in our garden