Early Years Foundation Stage
At Murdishaw West Community Primary School, we aim to provide motivating, first hand experiences which encourage independence, resilience and a love of learning. Our EYFS curriculum is designed to enhance prior learning and build upon knowledge so that children cultivate their skills that will later be enhanced and embedded ready for year 1. We recognise and build upon children’s experiences both at home and in previous settings and recognise that all children are unique individuals. We welcome and support these differences and implement a broad and varied learning environment and curriculum based on the interests and needs of the children. We aim to provide a holistic approach and set high expectations where children are encouraged to relish new challenges and develop self-belief.
Through a love of learning, play and many fun and creative activities; we support the children’s natural curiosity and exploration skills. Through play and a well designed learning environment, we enable the children to become problem solvers and equip them with the skills to achieve their early learning goals and fulfil their potential. Our experienced staff fully support and advocate the underpinning principles of EYFS practice:
The best for every child
High quality care
The curriculum - what we want children to learn
Helping children to learn
Assessment - ongoing assessment informs our next steps for children’s learning and development
Self regulation and executive function
Partnership with parents
By the end of Foundation we ensure that children have a sense of self belief and are equipped with the skills to become confident learners through their transition into year 1.
At Murdishaw West we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and use Development Matters. We use these documents to create our own personalised curriculum, which uses high quality texts and high quality learning. Together with making good connections between home and school we provide the children with the opportunities to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow and become ready for year 1.
Within this framework there are four guiding principles which shape are practice.
Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.
Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
EYFS learning and development requirements
Our curriculum encompasses seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships, and thriving.These are called the prime areas:
communication and language
personal, social, and emotional development.
Four areas help children to strengthen and apply the prime areas.
These are called the specific areas:
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Throughout their time in the Reception Year our children partake in an ambitious curriculum which is designed in a sequential way to ensure progress towards the end of reception goals. These goals are defined as Early Learning Goals (ELGs) The descriptors for these can be found in the appendix.
As previously outlined our curriculum incorporates learning through play, learning by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching. It is also important to highlight that our plans are flexible to allow us to respond quickly to children’s new interests and/or needs.
Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum at Murdishaw West are three Characteristics of Effective Learning.
playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1.
We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their online Tapestry learning journeys, photographs and videos on recorded Tapestry.
Each child will complete a baseline assessment at the beginning of the year. It is a short assessment, taken in the first 6 weeks of a child starting in Reception. In the final term of the year in which the child reaches age five, the EYFS profile will be completed for each child. Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the early learning goals, indicating if they have met the emerging or expected level. This will then be shared with parents and Year 1 staff.
The judgements of our school are moderated with other schools and the EYFS Lead. This supports us in providing clear, consistent and linear progression of knowledge and skills for children as they progress through to KS1.
The teaching and pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly. We ensure that the areas we discuss and develop are reflected in changes and developments in our classroom practice.
The Early Years provision features in all areas of the School Development Plan and has a rigorous plan for development each year. This is monitored and evaluated by the EYFS Lead, and Senior Leadership Team.