Early Years Foundation Stage
Our Vision for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Applecroft:
Our EYFS underpins the vision and values of our whole school community. We believe in providing children with a safe, happy, stimulating environment which develops a love of learning, curiosity, and independence while building strong partnerships with parents and families that foster trust, respect, confidence and self-esteem.
We recognise that learning should be fun, engaging, suitably challenging, using both the indoor and outdoor environments and be a combination of child-led and adult-directed sessions.
We are committed to giving our children the best possible start to their school life teaching them skills, modelling positive attitudes, promoting leadership and the desire to learn, which will ensure that all our children are well-equipped to meet the challenges of education, work and life.
Our Curriculum Intent for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Applecroft:
At Applecroft School we:
- Provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment, where children can become confident, independent and resilient learners
- Enable every child to reach their full potential and maximise their unique gifts and capabilities
- Guide our children to be supportive, kind, tolerant and understanding with one another and to develop their social and leadership skills to build relationships with themselves and others in our school
- Provide an ambitious, inspiring and high quality curriculum underpinned by the principles of Development Matters 2021 which enables children to develop a love of learning and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude to their education.
How do we Implement the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Applecroft?
Our Nursery and Reception classes follow the EYFS statutory framework alongside the Development Matters 2021 guidance which supports children’s learning in seven areas of learning and development.
The three prime areas are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
There are four specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge provided by adults in class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult led, teacher taught sessions as well as stimulating continuous provision opportunities to encourage curiosity, adventure and challenge.
Throughout the areas of learning and the heart of our curriculum are the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’. At Applecroft we strive to develop these key characteristics of ‘Playing and Learning’, ‘Active Learning’ and ‘Thinking Critically’ in in order to give the children skills that they will draw upon throughout their lifetime of learning. All these skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year which encompasses range of question based topics that are designed with the capacity to follow the children’s interests.
As a whole school we develop leadership habits and pro-social behaviours through ‘The Leader in Me’ based on the work on Stephen Covey. In EYFS, this is about developing habits linked to independence, proactivity, planning and prioritising. This is supported through weekly 'Monday-Me' sessions with a focus on the self and personal development. We want our children’s learning to be memorable to them and foster awe and wonder at the world around them. With this in mind, the Applecroft Adventure was designed to give our children ‘extra-curricular’ experiences that they may not otherwise have, enriching their classroom based learning with visits and opportunities that were had by many generations of children before them.
Our learning environments, both inside and outside, are adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children in our care. We ensure the areas are stimulating and exciting and importantly that they are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. We recognise the variations in pre-school and home experiences of all our children and work to build from these, in terms of both experience and opportunity. Our environments have been developed to promote independence within all our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge.
Within our EYFS curriculum, the children are assessed continuously through accurate and child-focused observations. These observations provide us with information for future planning both for whole class groups and individual next steps in learning. Practitioners ensure that learning is embedded, consistent and that all children are making progress from their unique starting points. Observations are shared with parents which strengthens the home-school relationship, celebrates the ‘whole child’ and ensures that learning dialogue and expectations are consistent.
At Applecroft we strongly believe that the start of a child’s school journey ignites a passion for learning, helps to develop key life skills such as independence, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. Our staff ensure that these foundations of learning are strong and prepare a child for the next stage of their learning.
What is the Impact of our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum at Applecroft?
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes year on year and against all schools nationally. We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment in the prime and specific areas of the curriculum are at least in line with age-related expectations or are achieving their potential by the progress made from their differing starting points. We intend that the impact of our curriculum and provision is that children will be academically, physically, socially and morally prepared for their future in education, modern Britain and the wider world. We measure this not just in the work our children produce, but by the role they play in the wider Applecroft community and their confidence in doing so. The children are highly motivated to succeed and achieve and our EYFS curriculum equips them with the personal skills needed to do this.