Intent:

Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. At Greenmount, there is a strong emphasis on the prime area of ‘Communication and Language’ as we recognise that oracy is vital in improving academic outcomes. Our enabling environments and skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link their play to their learning. We provide a curriculum that 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.

By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.

Implementation:

Each half term, EYFS staff introduce a new theme, in line with the rest of school, to provide inspiration for learning. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have periods of directed teaching and then small, focused group work. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.

English / Literacy

Reading

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In EYFS we have ‘repeated reads’ which are books that are read every day for a week or more; exploring vocabulary and themes for writing. Children are exposed to a range of storybooks and non-fiction texts that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. Through this, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories.

Phonics

We follow the ‘Floppy’s Phonics’ programme to ensure consistency across the school. In Nursery, children focus on Phase 1 which develops children’s speaking and listening skills and teaches oral segmenting and blending; ready for the work in Reception. Phases 2, 3 and the beginning of Phase 4 are taught in Reception where children will begin to decode words. Once children can do this then they are given books that match their phonic knowledge. The aim is to develop successful, confident and fluent readers.

Mathematics

Across EYFS, we use the ‘Maths Mastery’ approach when teaching early mathematical concepts. In Nursery, the NCETM guidance is used to help us deliver teaching specifically focused on the counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and the cardinal principle. All concepts are taught through hands-on activities using a range of objects as well as games, songs and rhymes. In Reception, we use the ‘White Rose Maths’ (WRM) scheme of work alongside NCETM. WRM is divided into 3-weekly units and pupils learn new concepts through games and activities using objects and pictures. There are daily lessons with small group tasks led by adults and independent tasks for children to complete alone.

The Wider Curriculum

Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas of ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design.’ EYFS staff have a good understanding of how Early learning Goals (ELGs) feed into the National Curriculum subjects and colleagues throughout school are also aware of the key ELG’s that link to each foundation subject. Whilst our learning is weaved across subjects; making links where possible, there are also times where discreet subject knowledge and skills are taught eg colour mixing in art. Building further on our oracy focus, children are encouraged to use subject-specific vocabulary that has been taught to them during lessons and in their play.

Impact:

By the end of the EYFS, all children will have reached their personal best and have achieved at least good progress across all areas of learning, aiming for a good level of development (GLD). Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. Early Years staff have a good understanding of how ELGs link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects, children leave the EYFS with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their learning journeys through school.

Baseline Assessment

Prior to children starting Greenmount, staff spend time speaking to parents/carers, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with each child to develop a baseline assessment. The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is a national statutory assessment which 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.

Phonics Assessment

These are carried out every half term to quickly identify pupils who are on track and also to identify those who may need extra support. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible.

Ongoing Observation

All ongoing observations are used to identify children’s next steps. These formative assessments take place whilst adults are playing with the children in continuous provision. Some observations and photographs are uploaded onto ‘Tapestry’ where parents/carers have access to them and can comment on them if they wish. These observations form the children’s learning journeys.

Summative Assessments

In Summer Term 2, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) is completed where teachers judge whether the child has met the expected standard in each of the 17 ELGs. They are assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected’ in each area. Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher. These assessments are made known to parents through the annual end of year report.