Our Foundation 1 Classroom
Early Years Foundation Stage at Warren Primary Academy
At Warren Primary Academy, we aim to create an enriching, engaging environment that immerses children into their learning every day. Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and happy learners, to provide strong foundations for personal development, and to ensure our children have the opportunity to grow into confident lifelong learners.
Our EYFS curriculum is inclusive and responsive to individual need, according the each child’s needs: we adapt our curriculum to best support individual growth. We recognise children’s prior learning and experiences may be limited, and ensure that we provide an ambitious curriculum for all children to learn and thrive. We work in partnership with parents and carers to ensure that each individual reaches their full potential, regardless of their starting point.
We recognise that our EYFS curriculum is the start of a child’s learning experience at Warren, and that learning key knowledge and skills at this level provides the fundamentals for success across a child’s education journey.
The aims of the EYFS curriculum are consistent with the aims of the whole school curriculum:
Inclusivity and diversity
To ensure that diversity is an integral part of our curriculum and includes developing understanding of ethnicity, gender, faith, disability and values, our EYFS themes are based on a range of foundational ideas.
Our topics include: ‘All about me: why are you special?’ as a part of PSED to ‘Celebrations and Festivals: How do you celebrate special occasions?’ related to Understanding of the World. We also participate in an annual KS1 and EYFS Nativity and Church visit and join the rest of the school to learn about and showcase our learning on observances such as Black History Month.
Ambition and aspiration
To provide ambition and aspiration for all pupils, regardless of background, children in the EYFS are regularly visited by people within our community to discuss their role in society. We host the fire service, police, nurses and dentists, animal handlers and mechanics to name but a few. Children are also provided with opportunities to look after butterflies, chicks and ducklings.
Our Community: The Wider World
Our curriculum aims for each child to understand their role in the community and the impact they can have. We achieve this through facilitating for Understanding the World (UW). UW is one of the four specific areas of learning in the EYFS framework. Through UW we guide our children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places and the environment.
Every voice counts
We aim for every child to find their voice and be heard through the Warren Primary curriculum. Communication is a key life skill which all pupils need regardless of ability or background, and being able to read, write and articulate themselves is an important part of daily life. Therefore at Warren Primary Academy we recognise the importance of language development in building the foundations for literacy and learning, expression and making friends. For this reason new vocabulary, sentence stems and the opportunity to talk through our learning in partners and as groups is used in every lesson.
Leaders of Learning
We believe that our curriculum can support every child to grow every into a leader – by instilling confidence, encouraging risk-taking, working collaboratively with others and giving responsibility to build resilience. Our curriculum design allows pupils to be creative in their approach to learning,
Taking inspiration from role models in our curriculum also allows pupils to see how they can be the next generation of leaders. This is underpinned by our school values which we live out each day.
Our curriculum structure:
Warren Primary Academy’s EYFS curriculum incorporate the requirements of the ‘Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ as well as other experiences and opportunities that meet the developmental needs of the children, values their cultural capital and the develops of a range of transferrable skills.
The delivery of the curriculum uses an integrated thematic approach where the 7 areas of learning and development are integrated into a theme if appropriate but also taught discretely where this might be more suitable to the circumstances.
The 7 learning areas are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design.
Curriculum themes are based on foundational ideas coming from the EYFS curriculum: from ‘All about me: why are you special?’ as a part of PSED to ‘Celebrations and Festivals: How do you celebrate special occasions?’ related to Understanding of the World. From this we have chosen high quality texts, to create an integrated approach to learning from which pupils can experience the full curriculum.
Learning habits in EYFS
We embed desirable learning habits through the use of the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning, (Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking), in our everyday teaching and learning.
Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, showing they can take risks and have a go.
Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying is they encounter difficulties, and enjoy celebrating their person achievements.
Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
At Warren Primary Academy, children learn through a carefully planned balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges. Weekly timetables are carefully structured so that children have directed teaching in English, Mathematics and phonics as well as opportunities to follow their own interest and enquiry during continuous provision.
Delivery of specific subjects across the curriculum:
Foundation 1 – We ensure that the children in Foundation 1 are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in reception by following the Department for Education’s ‘Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics’ programme. We also provide daily opportunities that allow children to:
- Share in high-quality stories and poems.
- Learn a range of nursery and action rhymes
- Develop focused listening and attention.
Teaching of phonics for F2 children begins in week 2 of the Autumn term. We use the government validated systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) ‘Little Wandle: Letters & Sounds Revised.’
Little Wandle is designed to teach children from Foundation 2 to use the skill of decoding and blending sounds together to form words, working from simple to more complex, and taking into account the frequency of their occurrence in the most commonly encountered words.
In Foundation 1, we follow the Maths Mastery approach with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop a deeper understanding and acquisition of mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulative which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during continuous provision.
In order to improve our mastery approach and further the quality and consistency of our maths teaching, we have implemented ‘Power Maths’ – a government recommended, high quality mastery text book. Power Maths is an expert-led model that focuses on depth and breadth of mathematics through a growth mind-set approach, designed to spark curiosity and help nurture confidence in maths.
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is the best possible from their varied starting points.
Our curriculum needs to meet the needs of our children, so we spend time looking at and evaluating how the children are learning to ensure they are making good progress.
This is achieved through talking to children, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress by year group, groups and individuals. Staff use ongoing observational assessment to identify starting points, recognise gaps and learning and plan for experiences which ensure progress.
Reception Baseline Assessment
The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is an assessment undertaken during a child’s first 6 weeks in Foundation 2. The assessment provides children’s starting points. Information obtained from the RBA informs teacher’s planning and in turn, curriculum provisions to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in preparation for Key Stage 1.
Assessment is used to monitor progress and identify any children needing additional support.
Assessment for learning is used daily within class to identify children needing support and weekly in review to adult led sessions.
Summative assessments is used every 6 weeks to assess progress.