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Early Years Foundation Stage- Reception

Intent – What do we want to achieve?

In Reception at Easingwold Primary, we place great value on the development of children as individuals and we aim to provide all children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the next stage in their lives, regardless of their background. We believe in Excellence for All. Our aim in Reception is to build strong foundations in all seven areas of learning and development so that our pupils can be successful as they move into key stage one and ultimately go on to be active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners.                                                                                                                                

Our curriculum is the cultural capital we know all our pupils need, particularly our disadvantaged learners. Our curriculum considers and builds upon what the children already know and can do and their past experiences and our locality. Working closely with PVI settings and our families we know the children well before they start at our school. We can plan a curriculum that meets their needs. It is progressive and considers our whole school curriculum and what comes next, so our children are fully equipped for the next stage. Our curriculum is ambitious, broad, and balanced and caters for all children. We ensure it meets the needs for children with SEND by being all inclusive in our approach to teaching and learning. Currently, all children are learning British Sign Language to aid communication and understanding amongst children with hearing impairments.

Our Curriculum offers all of our Reception children indelible, real-life experiences such as trips and visitors that are linked to the areas of learning. We aim to ignite learning, promote awe and wonder and immerse our children in experiences and opportunities that help them to develop holistically, particularly our disadvantaged learners.

Leaders and teachers in Reception have an excellent understanding of how young children learn and child development. They understand the need for children to acquire the fundamental skills that lay the foundation for future learning. There is a strong emphasis on Communication and Language and Reading across all areas of learning and development. We aim to immerse children in a language rich environment full of talk, conversation, role play, stories, rhymes, and songs. Children become good communicators and develop their vocabulary. Books, songs and rhymes are carefully and purposefully planned into our curriculum to ensure exposure to a range of books, genres, experiences and themes, such as diversity and global issues. Talk, stories, songs all support the development of early reading, so this is a crucial component of our curriculum. By the end of the Reception year all children will be able to read words and simple sentences due to high quality systematic phonics teaching, assessment and intervention in place. We prepare children to become confident and fluent readers by ensuring they have a secure a knowledge of phonics.

Children in Reception learn how to be a ‘Fantastic Learner' ; a learner who is resilient, believes in themselves and a learner who has the confidence to have a go, think creatively, critically and solve problems. Children are encouraged to take risks and try hard. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are central to child led learning time.  Children follow their own ideas and interests, and adults help to scaffold and move learning on through warm, sensitive, and skilful interactions.

In Reception at Easingwold, we ensure children are happy, that they feel safe and secure and that they form positive relationships with adults. We help children to self-regulate and manage their feelings, be thoughtful and kind and to take turns and cooperate. This emphasis on Personal, Social and Emotional Development ensures children are ready to learn, develop and flourish.

Implementation- How will we achieve this?

Reception teachers have an excellent understanding of Early Years pedagogy, this ensures that the routines and structure to the day including the way children learn is based on the needs of the children.  Throughout the day, children learn through child-initiated play, play guided by adults and adult led sessions this ensures curriculum coverage and progression and ample opportunity for children to develop the Characteristic of Effective Learning. The Characteristics of Effective learning are discussed and celebrated with the children, so they are aware of what skills and attributes make them a good learner.

When children lead their own learning, they can choose to learn inside or outside, in all weathers. Resources in the environment are flexible and open ended and promote children’s creativity and imaginations. The resources are chosen carefully to enhance and extend children’s learning based on their interests and next steps. Adult interactions move children’s learning on there and then, in the moment. This is based on the adult’s excellent knowledge of the child and child development. Every moment is a teachable moment and adults are well trained in ensuring that their interactions with children improve their learning. Weekly supervision meetings are in place, this allows staff to discuss the children’s development and well being and decide what is needed next to ensure children are always making progress, especially if they are not on track to be expected. Intervention and external professionals are involved if required.   These professional dialogues replace staff spending time typing up observational assessment and means more time can be sent supporting children. During staff supervision, coaching takes place to ensure continuous professional development so staff are skilled and well trained in helping children to learn.

Outside, we encourage children to be active and help them to develop physically, using our sports area. Reception children have weekly P.E lessons where they use large apparatus and bikes. Children learn the importance of exercise. The resources in our sports area are chosen to meet the children’s needs and promote learning, for example, crates, tyres, and planks to create obstacle courses, range of balls, stilts to balance on and hurdles to jump over.

A free flow snack area is available to the children where they learn to make their own toast and share it with a friend, this encourages independence and it gives the opportunities for staff to explain the importance of eating, drinking, and resting.

Adult led ‘We Love to Read’ sessions are planned in every day. An adult reads the same book with excitement and enthusiasm every day for a week. Children are encouraged to join in, discuss themes and ideas and make predictions. When children know the story well, they work as a group to act out the story with props. Children extend their vocabulary by learning the meaning of new tier two vocabulary which we then apply in our everyday conversation. Every week children learn a new poem and song or rhyme, this is practised daily, and actions are added until they know them off by heart. Books are a big part of our environment, they are carefully selected and rotated to inspire children to share stories for pleasure. Children can listen to stories using I pads and QR codes around the provision. Adults write down children’s stories and we act them out. Reception children can make their own small worlds and retell stories or make up their own stories with puppets and story sacks. There is a large home corner with authentic, real-life resources so children re-enact their experiences. Opportunity for talk is maximised and vocabulary development is key. All of these opportunities, for all of our children, especially the most disadvantaged, are fundamental and are the building blocks that create successful readers.

Staff are experts in teaching systematic synthetic phonics and have high expectations that all children will learn to read words and sentences by the time they leave Reception. All learners are included in the daily phonics lesson. Children with SEND are supported in the main lesson with extra prompts and have been pre taught. Staff are well trained and resourced. We ensure all learners keep up, through short, specific targeted interventions that have been highlighted by formative and summative assessment. Leaders ensure phonics books that the children read are exactly matched to their phonics knowledge so children learn how to decode accurately, helping them to become fluent readers.

Everyday all children have a short maths sessions led by an adult. This is following a mastery maths approach using the NCETM Number blocks. We ensure all children have a deep understanding of the fundamental concepts, which they can apply to the next stage of learning. A number is explored over two weeks, so it is really understood and each time a new number is introduced the same concepts are explored. Children are asked to ‘show me’, ‘reason’, ‘prove it’, and ‘solve it’ to ensure they have a good understanding. Maths is emphasised in all aspects of the daily routine e.g. snack-time, where children ‘pay’ for their snack, lining up, tidying up etc. Maths is through real-life and meaningful experiences, using practical hands-on resources is key.

Everyday children are encouraged to show how they feel, they use our Colour Monster display to hang their name on the relevant feeling. Time is taken to explore and discuss feelings based around this book. We spend time throughout the day asking children how they feel and discuss their emotions with them. We understand the importance of Communication and Language in this area so we model how we talk about and share our feelings children can develop their own emotional literacy.  We model how to be kind and caring to others and how to share during our play. Structured intervention such as NELI and Narrative Therapy are in place for children who find this more difficult and need extra support with this.

Our curriculum is underpinned by excellent relationships with children, but also with our parents. We ensure that children have the best possible opportunities to achieve by communicating openly and effectively with parents on a regular basis, through newsletters, e-mails, Learning Journeys, formal reports, and parents’ evenings (twice a year) and verbal communication to ensure children receive valuable and targeted support at home. We ensure parents are aware of their child’s progress in line with the EYFS. Parents are invited to a Phonics Information meeting in school where staff explain how we teach reading and how parents can help their child to learn to read at home. Parents are also welcomed into school to watch teachers teach children how to read.

Impact- How do we know we have been successful?

Children develop detailed knowledge and skills across the seven areas of learning in an age-appropriate way. Children develop their vocabulary and use it across the EYFS curriculum. By the end of Reception, children use their knowledge of phonics to read accurately and with increasing speed and fluency. Children have the foundations to learning and are ready for the next stage of education, especially Year One. Most children achieve the early learning goals, particularly in mathematics and literacy and the overall Good Level of Development. Children enjoy, listen attentively, and respond with comprehension to familiar stories, rhymes and songs that are appropriate to their age and stage of development.  Children are ‘Fantastic Learners’ and demonstrate the Characteristics of Learning. They demonstrate their positive attitudes to learning through high levels of curiosity, concentration, and enjoyment. They listen intently and respond positively to adults and each other. Children are developing their resilience to setbacks and take pride in their achievements. Children are beginning to manage their own feelings and behaviour, understanding how these have an impact on others. They are developing a sense of right from wrong.

Early Years Curriculum (Learning and Development Requirements)

Reception Long Term Plan 

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