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Early Years

Intent

At Dale Hall Primary School, the EYFS curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and resilient learners. We aim to provide the building blocks our children need to be successful academically as well as being respectful, responsible and caring young people. We recognise children’s prior learning and diverse starting points, and create a holistic curriculum that maximises cross-curricular links, interwoven by the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which are the golden thread of our curriculum. Our EYFS curriculum is ever evolving and reflects the needs, interests, heritage and aspirations of our children. It provides our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for Key Stage One and beyond.

We offer extended periods of play every day through vibrant and purposeful continuous and enhanced provision, both inside and outside. This supports us in following our children’s interests and deepening their thinking and learning through investigation and play based experiences and therefore promoting the unique child.

Implementation

We ensure that leaders identify precisely the key skills and knowledge children need in the EYFS to prepare then for Key Stage 1. We carefully plan for what we want our children to know, understand and remember buy using subject specific skill progression maps alongside the EYFS Framework.

We deliver a balance of Continuous Provision, Enhanced Provision and Direct Teaching, ensuring children encounter engaging experiences, explore concepts and are given time for repetition, rehearsal and consolidation. The structure of our timetable develops throughout the year, ensuring teachers have the flexibility at the beginning of the year to spend time getting to know every child, developing learning behaviours and setting expectations. We ensure the children receive high quality direct teaching in phonics and maths daily and have regular opportunities to explicitly learn skills and broaden their knowledge and vocabulary through both direct teaching and in provision.

Our Continuous Provision is planned based on the skills children need to develop in different areas of the environment, ensuring the resources available are both accessible and challenging. Our enhanced provision reflects our current learning and links to maths and our Power of Reading text. We also use enhanced provision to explore the children’s personal interests, ensuring all children are represented within the environment. Direct Reaching occurs in a number of ways; through whole class inputs and active learning, small group work, reactive intervention and high quality 1:1 interactions within the provision.

We follow the Twinkl synthetic phonics scheme. Highly engaging discrete phonics lessons are taught daily to support our children in achieving good outcomes in reading. This is then supported by weekly adult directed writing activities which re-enforce the current learning in phonics. Reading books are sent home weekly which reflect the children’s phonetical ability and children are regularly read with at school in small groups or 1:1. In addition, we follow the Power of Reading, where high quality, diverse texts are chosen to base our themes and learning around. We offer guidance to parents to enable them to support their children at home. Our lending library offers an opportunity for parents and carers to come into school every fortnight, where they are able to speak to the classroom staff and choose a game or book with a linked activity with their child to borrow.

At Dale Hall, we follow the White Rose Mastery approach to maths, which in Reception emphasises the key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. Our Pupils learn through games and activities using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during provision.

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, however to ensure equality and equity we also use a range of additional interventions to support, enhance and scaffold where children may not be reaching their potential or to help move on children who are having difficulties making progress. We achieve this by enhancing the ratio of staff in the Early Years where there is a need and offering support through social groups, physical development interventions, additional reading, speech and language support and reactive intervention.

We use Class Dojo to communicate effectively with parents and share weekly updates of what our children have been learning. We also use Dojo to keep a record of wow moments and achievements for individual children to paint a picture of their learning journey throughout Reception.

Impact

To ensure our ever evolving, curriculum meets the needs of all of our children, we dedicate time to observe our children’s learning behaviours, experiences and interests as well as looking at their work and analysing data. We regularly asses and moderate development in all Areas of Learning and closely monitor progress, which is supported by our Achievement Leader and SENDCO. Our assessments are based on the evidence we collect and most importantly by the excellent knowledge our Early Years team has of every child.

We ensure every area of our School Development plan is reflected in the Early Years and develop a rigorous action plan for development each year. This is shared with and understood by all staff working in the Early Years and is monitored and evaluated by our EYFS Leader, alongside the Senior Leadership Team.

The impact of the EYFS curriculum at Dale Hall is reflected in having confident, resilient and independent children transitioning into Year 1. Our children make good progress throughout their Reception year and as they move into KS1, they are ready to take on new challenges through the metacognitive skills they learn during their time in Reception.