At Disley Primary School, the EYFS curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and happy learners. We recognise children’s prior learning and various starting points, and create a holistic curriculum that maximises cross-curricular links and builds strong foundations for their future. Our EYFS curriculum is specifically designed and evolves to provide children with important foundational skills and knowledge that will later be enhanced and embedded in KS1.
Every child is recognised as a unique individual, and we acknowledge and promote children’s interests to provide them with the opportunities to follow their imagination and creativity. In Reception, we invest time into helping children to recognise their personal goals, which allow them to reflect and aim high. We celebrate the diversity in our school community, and always strive to promote a love for learning.
We recognise that children have a thirst for new experiences and knowledge, and should be provided with opportunities to engage their inquisitive minds. Therefore, we provide vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, that follow children’s interests, to support learners in investigating and developing their skills therefore supporting the development of the three characteristics of effective learning. We work in close partnership with parents and carers throughout the year to support their learning and to encourage children to reach their full potential. We also aim to promote a smooth transition from EYFS to KS1 by providing children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to succeed throughout their education.
Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges. The weekly timetables are carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, Mathematics and Phonics every day. We also ensure regular Circle Time/ PSHE sessions to focus on C&L and PSED and Topic sessions to focus UW and EAD. These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets. This focused group time enables the teacher to systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.
Children are provided with a plethora of opportunities to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout a variety of experiences, which are carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development including UW and EAD as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. Preparation and co-planning is led by the EYFS teachers each week and half termly ‘child-led’ planning sessions are conducted to ensure that the children have ownership over their environment and that the provision leads to depth of learning across all areas of the curriculum.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Children follow a new highly engaging synthetic systematic phonics programme called ‘Monster Phonics’ faithfully to support them in meeting good outcomes for reading with almost all children passing the Year One phonics screening. Topic themes in the EYFS are based on foundational ideas coming from the EYFS curriculum: from ‘All about me’ as part of PSED, to ‘Going Green’ related to UW. From this, we have chosen multiple high-quality texts to create an integrated approach to learning from which pupils can experience the full curriculum. Children also enjoy reading a variety of books inside and outside of school through quality guided reading sessions and independent reading with adults. Children are sent home with a fully decodable phonics reading book that is tailored and suited to their individual phonics level. A rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum such as Monster Phonics develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. At all stages throughout the delivery of the programme, children’s reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively.
We follow the ‘White Rose’ Maths Mastery approach in Reception with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of Mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration and in adult directed activities. These collaborative and practical mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. Teaching Mathematics in such a kinaesthetic and practical way supports our children to become logical problem solvers that can demonstrate resilience and justification when learning. This approach to teaching Maths ensures children gain progressive mathematical knowledge and skills as they continue their journey through KS1.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, however we also use a range of additional interventions to support, enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential or to help move on children who are having difficulties making progress. Some examples of this include our nurture group aimed at supporting some of our vulnerable children and additional ‘1-1 intervention’ provision in Maths, Phonics and Physical Development to promote fine motor skills. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations and assessments of children.
Class teachers record ongoing individual observations and photographs of children’s learning and play and interests. These observations are used to support teachers make to informative assessments and inform potential next steps for each child, this includes careful consideration of children with SEND or are who are disadvantaged. Formal assessments are recorded using our Whole school tracking system ‘OTrack’ linking to the Early Learning Goals. These summative assessments are completed termly to judge each child’s progress in the 7 areas of learning. Their progress against the Development Matters age related expectations is monitored. This allows us to assess the impact of our teaching and decide if sufficient intervention measures are needed to help specific children. This is reported to members of the SLT during pupil progress meetings.
Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes: coaching, lesson observations and constructive feedback from the Early Years lead. The Early Years lead and teaching staff receive relevant up to date training and keep up to date with important Government/Ofsted focuses and initiatives. We are also highly focused on frequently moderating outcomes across the year group so that every member of our team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual pupils are and what their next steps are. This is also supported by external, small group moderations with other Early Years teachers within our MAT.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. Our children are often amazing role models for others in school.
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. We aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving Good Level of Development. Most of our children make more than the expected steps progress from their starting points.
The judgements of our school are moderated with other schools and the EYFS Lead is also our school KS1 coordinator. 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 through termly team meetings with Year 1 and 2 staff. These have an agenda and actions which are then reviewed in the following meeting. 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, Assistant Head Teachers and Head Teacher.