Early years foundation stage
We know the undisputed impact of great teaching on children’s progress and outcomes and are so very proud to be
able to offer your child this in abundance. Our nurturing and experienced Reception Team, along with PE coaches
and Forest School teachers, come with a wealth of expertise and an unfaltering commitment to make a difference
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through meaningful interactions with others, through physical activity and through play. Our Early Years practice is based on on-going observation and assessment of the children and their interests. We believe the best outcomes for children’s learning occur from either child-initiated play, actively supported by adults or focused learning, with adults guiding the learning through playful, rich and experiential activities.
Our Long Term Planning in EYFS is informed by the following documents:
- Statutory Framework EYFS
- Birth to 5 matters
These documents have been used to help design our long term planning. The document plans the objectives we want to cover each half term using the non-statutory guidance from Birth to 5 Matters. It also sets out our end of year key knowledge and skills in Reception and the minimum expectations for that year group. The topics are used to engage and promote the children's interests and needs.
Birth to 5 matters provides comprehensive guidance, drawing on previous guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which has been updated in order to reflect recent research, to meet the needs of practitioners, to respond to current issues in society, to meet the needs of children to today and to lay a strong foundation for their futures.
Below you will find other relevant and key policies followed in EYFS.
Intent- Why do we teach what we teach?
At Carlton Junior and Infant School, we place great value on the development of
children as individuals and on providing them with the skills and knowledge needed
for them to progress well. Our aim in the EYFS is to enable the children to become
confident, motivated and happy learners, developing the skills and attitudes
necessary for their own successful future learning.
Our curriculum is based around providing first hand learning experiences, through
meaningful interactions with others, through physical activity and through play. We
provide the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. We always
consider the individual needs, interests, and development of each child. We use this
information to plan challenging and enjoyable experiences for each child in all areas
of their learning and development through the Characteristics of Effective Learning –
Play and Exploring, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking.
Many of our pupils arrive well below national expectations for their age and a high
proportion come from disadvantaged backgrounds and with additional needs. We
have to teach them how to listen, speak and meet the high expectations for
behaviour by working together and being kind. We prioritise personal, social and
emotional development and communication and language. Our enabling
environment and our nurturing and skillful adult interactions support the children as
they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. As the pupils arrive in
Reception we focus on these areas as well as early reading, writing and
mathematical skills. This is delivered through a holistic curriculum which maximises
opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences as well
as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained
thinking following children’s interests and ideas. We value imagination and creativity
and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through our
indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips and visits. We promote a forest school
approach, where learning outdoors is weaved into our daily activities and learning.
Implementation- How to we teach what we teach?
Teaching in EYFS can take on many forms and it covers the many different ways
that adults within the setting help children to learn. We understand that the
interactions between the adults and children are vital during planned and child-
initiated play and activities. Practitioners interact with children though modelling
language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring, questioning, encouraging
and investigating and providing challenges. Pupils learn through a balance of child-
initiated and adult-directed activities. In Reception, the timetable is carefully
structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in phonics, maths and
writing. These sessions are followed by small group work/ 1:1 sessions so that the
teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to
misconceptions quickly and provide verbal feedback.
Children are provided with time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of
experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The
curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is
given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to
enable all aspects of the children’s development including understanding the world
and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children follow the rigorous and systematic
phonics programme, Read, Write, Inc. Every child in Reception has access to a
phonics session for 40-45 minutes every day. Daily interventions are carried out to
support children who are finding phonics more difficult. A love of reading is at the
heart of our curriculum with highly engaging books being part of our topics/themes.
We develop a love of reading through high quality and positive shared interactions
We follow the Maths Mastery approach (White Rose) in Reception with an emphasis
on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep
understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. Pupils learn through
games and tasks using concrete objects which are then rehearsed and applied to
their own learning during exploration. Reception pupils develop these key skills
during daily maths sessions, where they explore number, calculation, shape and
measure. These early mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help
pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with
integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together but we have a range of
additional intervention and support to enhance and scaffold children who may not be
reaching their potential or moving on children who are doing very well. We use
‘immediate interventions’ in maths to address gaps in learning. The characteristics of
effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are
reflected in our observations of children.
Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes coaching and feedback
from the phase leader so that teachers develop good subject knowledge and are
effectively supported. We tailor our staff CPD to be early years specific and are
focused on moderating outcomes across the phase so that every member of our
team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual pupils
are and their next steps for learning.
The EYFS team collect evidence of children’s learning through work completed in
their workbook (Reception), observations, photos and videos which are shared with
parents daily using the Early Essence online system. This means that parents can
engage with children regularly about their learning and can contribute to the
knowledge we have of the child in school.
Impact- How do we know what pupils have learnt and how well they have learnt it?
Baseline: Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents,
previous settings and read previous learning journey’s to gain an understanding of
the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Reception, all staff
use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop
a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so
we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments
are also carried out.
The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment): This assessment focuses on
‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is
to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.
Ongoing Observation: All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning
and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve
prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work.
Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional
judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical
examples such as a child’s drawing / making. Some observations are uploaded
using Early Essence.
Assessment: Phonic assessments are carried out using the ‘RWI’ tracking and
assessment system. This is carried out every half term to quickly identify pupils that
are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than
‘catch up’ where possible. Assessments are completed six times per year and
shared with parents during termly parent- teacher consultations. In Summer Term 2,
the EYFSP is completed where teacher judge whether the child has met each of the
17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Impact is also
evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good
understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust
planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation -
children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and understanding in the
prime and specific areas.
Reading underpins all other aspects of learning - it is of paramount importance and therefore is a large part of our curriculum in EYFS.
We aim to develop pupils' reading through systematic, synthetic phonics teaching (using the scheme Read, Write Inc), 1:1 reading, home sharing books and shared reading so that children will learn to read widely, fluently, frequently and with good understanding and pleasure.
We involve parents in improving their child’s reading through parent workshops, home-school diaries and phonetically progressive books. We model reading with expression, and we promote enjoyment and understanding, through daily shared reading of our core books and access to books in our inviting reading areas. We ensure that all children have the opportunity to have a high quality text read to them every day in school - this is through the school's ‘core books’ which adults have access to in every classroom.
What is Read to Write?
Read to Write Foundations provides a clear teaching sequence for writing through evidence-based approaches. These comprehensive termly units have been constructed against the reformed Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. They have an emphasis on providing practical ways for young children to engage, explore and enjoy communicating through writing at their individual stage of development.
- Have been developed specifically to support children on their writing journey towards the Literacy Early Learning Goals
- Provide opportunities for adults and children to share ideas and engage in a rich range of vocabulary and language structures
- Provide a strong planning scaffold for teachers
- Empower teachers to teach a range of writing through Vehicle Texts (high-quality children’s literature)
- Have a heightened focus on Daily Sentence Accuracy work
- Are sequenced, coherent and progressive across the year
- Have a clear focus on the skills and strategies needed to be a proficient and confident writer
- Help schools to ensure expectations for children at the end of the EYFS are reached
Here are plenty of activities for you to complete with your child. It answers a hundred questions or more from the best of that experience about the stages of core development and what a growing human needs. Have fun!