At Horbury St Peter’s and Clifton Primary School, we intend to instil the “St Peter’s and Clifton School Spirit” in all our children. Our Foundation Stage curriculum does this by:
At Horbury St Peters and Clifton CE Primary School we believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential. By working in partnership with parents, we wish to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school. Our learning environments, both inside and outside are adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, importantly, they are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. The environments are developed to promote independence within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge. Our high expectations will enable children to develop socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally. We will ensure that all our children are kept healthy and safe and that they achieve the knowledge and skills they need to start in Key Stage 1.
We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings:
Our curriculum for the Foundation Stage reflects the learning aims and objectives set out in the EYFS Statutory Framework 2021. There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in all Early Years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected and none can be delivered in isolation from the others. Our children’s learning experiences enable them to develop knowledge and skills across these areas of learning. Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
These are the prime areas:
Staff also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The Specific areas are:
Children learn an astonishing amount in their early years, using their inborn drives and learning power as they encounter people and the world around them. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are an integral part of our daily work with the children:
The Early Years Foundation Stage team consists of high quality, experienced practitioners, including teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants, and we ensure a good ratio of adults to children. We understand to maintain high standards of quality first teaching we have to invest in our staff by providing high quality CPD to match the current needs of the staff and also to match the needs of our children.
We are proud of our learning environment, but always strive to improve and are not afraid to make changes, to respond to new research and guidance and to reflect upon our practice. We work to give children a secure framework to build upon, both personally and in terms of education. We continually engage in high quality communication and interaction with the children to promote high quality learning in all areas.
We provide a balance of adult led and child-initiated activities in order for children to develop effectively and to give them the best chance of obtaining a good level of development at the end of Upper Foundation. Daily Phonics and Mathematic sessions are planned into the timetable. These sessions include a good balance between whole-class work, group teaching and individual practice. In the summer term in Upper Foundation these sessions are extended in preparation for Year 1. The children take part in guided reading sessions and we ensure the children’s reading books match their phonic ability (see Mathematics, Phonics and Reading Policy).
Play is an integral part of the foundation stage it is through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practice and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
We have high expectations to ensure that all our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good, based on their various starting points. We strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National expectations.
All children are assessed by observation and discussion on a regular basis and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects individual needs. The assessment mostly takes the form of observation both planned and spontaneous and involves the teacher and other adults as appropriate. Each child has a learning journal which is used to record their ongoing observations and assessments. We use Evidence Me to create each child’s learning journal. It is a formative assessment app that enables early year’s staff to track children’s progress in a fast and effective way. We share this regularly with parents by sending them reports. Parents can send comments and pictures back to add to their child’s learning journal. The information gathered from observations is used to inform OTrack (our whole school assessment tracker) at various points throughout the year and to make a final judgement against the end of Reception Early Years Foundation Stage Profile for each child.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment. We endeavour to ensure that our children leave EYFS ready to move with confidence into KS1 and their lifelong learning journey.