EYFS

Intent

We at Fishponds Church of England Academy recognise that our school is a diverse community, which welcomes children and staff from all over the world. We take great pride in celebrating the vast range of cultures, ethnicity and beliefs, whilst upholding our Christian values that are at the core of everything we do.   

Our Vision statement ‘Loving to Learn, Learning to Love’ is based on the Bible text 1 Corinthians 13: 

’ Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love never ends. ‘ 

We want all of our children to find a love of learning whilst learning to love themselves and others. We understand that everyone is different and work tirelessly to find the most appropriate ways to ensure that all children are able to access the learning opportunities on offer.  

In EYFS at Fishponds CE Academy we want to ensure: 

  • That Early Years children learn to love their learning and develop the skills to love each other. Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. 
  • That children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the broad range of knowledge and “learning to learn” behaviours needed for good progress through school and life. 
  • Quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind. 
  • Close partnership working between the school team and with parents and/or carers. 
  • We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling the children to develop a lifelong love of learning.  
  • Community involvement as an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year 
  • Throughout their time in EYFS, the children develop a sense of belonging to our school community, ready to transition to year 1 the following academic year.  
  • They have the confidence and skills to make decisions and self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.  
  • To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.  
  • To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning. To prepare children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make good progress from their starting points.  

Implementation

 Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2017 statutory framework of the EYFS. 

The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. Each of the 7 areas are broken up into strands. 

The prime areas are: 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Making Relationships, Self-confidence and self-awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour 
  • Physical Development: Moving and Handling, Health and Self-Care 
  • Communication and Language: Listening and Attention, Understanding, Speaking 

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas: 

  • Literacy: Reading, Writing 
  • Maths: Number, Shape, Space and Measures 
  • Understanding the World: People and Communities, The World, Technology 
  • Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media 

Characteristics of learning are outlines to support the children’s learning in each area of learning. 

  • Play and Exploring – Engagement 

Finding out and exploring 

Playing with what they know  

Being willing to ‘have a go’ 

  • Active Learning – Motivation 

Being involved and concentrating  

Keeping trying  

Enjoying achieving what they set out to do 

  • Creating and Thinking Critically – Thinking 

Having their own ideas  

Making links  

Choosing ways to do things 

Our curriculum works to develop love and understanding of others regardless of differences.  

We teach PSHE, British Values and SMSC to all children, regardless of their ability, culture, or beliefs. As a school we will actively challenge behaviours or beliefs which do not align with our policies.  Our adopted PSHE scheme of work (Jigsaw) allows teachers to adapt and differentiate work where necessary. We found the rich use of visual resources throughout the scheme of work has been of great benefit to our children where English is an additional language. Additionally, the Jigsaw scheme allows for relevant issues around the world to be discussed. In a  recent update to the Jigsaw scheme of workthere is now coverage of developing a positive mental health and resilience. 

Our RE curriculum allows for all children to study the belief system of all the major faiths through ‘Discovery RE’ as well as deepen their understanding of Christianity through the scheme ‘Understanding Christianity’.  

Through RE teaching, children learn about religious traditions and learn to reflect on what the religious ideas and concepts mean to them. Our teaching enables children to extend their own sense of values and promotes their spiritual growth and development. We use their experiences at religious festivals such as Harvest, Easter, etc. to develop their religious thinking. We organise visits to local places of worship and invite representatives of local religious groups to come into school and talk to the children.  

The school day consists of a combination of carpet inputs, teaching groups, interventions and continuous provision.  Our children have access to a balance of adult led learning and child led learning.  

Adult led learning 

Adult led learning takes the form of carpet time led by the class teacher. There are 4 sessions a day, that are focussed on teaching children specific skills linked to the curriculum, e.g. Phonics, Maths, circle time (personal, social, emotional development). These sessions are designed to be active to ensure children also develop their understanding of behaviours that are helpful for learning (e.g. resilience, collaboration, creativity, reflection, communication and taking risks). For further information on these “learning to learn” behaviours please visit (https://www.fishpondschurchacademy.bristol.sch.uk/our-learning/our-learning-1) 

It can also take the form of focus tasks, which take place in small groups led by the class teacher. These tasks are designed to develop children’s English and Mathematics skills based on assessment and an analysis of children’s gaps to enable children to meet their next steps. For further information on assessment, please see the assessment section of this policy 

Child led learning 

Child led learning takes the form of play, making use of the activities in the classroom, creative and outdoor areas. This is called continuous provision. Children have access to child led learning for 4 learning sessions a day.  

 

Continuous Provision 

At Fishponds Academy, our Early Years environments are zoned into the following areas:  

Continuous Provision Areas 

Outdoor 

  • Sand play 
  • Water play 
  • Physical play 
  • Large construction 
  • Deconstructed role play  
  • Stage – expressive arts 

Indoor 

  • Creative Space –  expressive arts  
  • Writing Zone 
  • Maths Zone 
  • Small World 
  • Home Corner 
  • Small Construction 
  • Fine and Gross Motor 
  • Reading Zone 
  • Story Zone 
  • Understanding the World – awe and wonder 

Planning for Continuous and Enhanced Provision 

Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, practitioners working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas. Staff also take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.  

All planning is underpinned by assessment to identify children’s strengths and gaps. Adults then use this information to structure their learning environments and activities to meet areas of need. Once these areas for development have been identified, the skills are then broken down into levels of development: emergent, middle and high. Provision must be challenging and have open-ended resources to always enable children to access learning at their own level. Activities will be organised in such a way that children will quickly develop skills over a period of weeks, (e.g. joining skills may begin with a child learning how to sue basic joins such as using glue moving towards mid-level joins, such as folding and taping and then progressing to high level joins such as hole punches, split pins etc.) Questions asked by adults will be planned in order to ensure every adult supporting children knows how to challenge children appropriately to enhance learning.  

At Fishponds we recognise that historically our context children begin their Early Years experience with very low language skills. Therefore, we ensure language is at the heart of our planning to enable children to develop language skills and build a rich vocabulary.  

Linked Provision 

Continuous provision will be planned to support the application of skills learnt during adult led learning time, e.g. applying phonics skills by making labels in the construction area).  

Early Years Environment 

At Fishponds Academy, we recognise that the environment has the potential to have a significant impact on children’s learning, progress and engagement. Therefore, our learning environments must be fully focussed on the learning taking place, resources must be well organised, accessible and labelled with words and pictures. All areas of the environment must be well organised and tidy, clear of adult’s belongings in order to allow space for children’s learning. We believe this will encourage our children to respect and care for their learning environment and resources. The process of children’s learning should be celebrated in a way that is accessible to them. Displays should be calm and focussed, with all items displayed being for the purpose of boosting children’s self-esteem or allowing children to learn from them. All provision should be engaging and inviting, being monitored and adjustment according to children’s engagement and interests. Questions are a key tool used to moving children’s learning forward, so all activities will have a key question displayed so all adults can support learning accordingly. Adults use these questions to guiding children’s development through warm, positive interaction. 

Curriculum Overview

 If you would more information regarding the EYFS curriculum, please visit: https://foundationyears.org.uk/files/2012/03/Development-Matters-FINAL-PRINT-AMENDED.pdf