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Early Years Curriculum

Development Matters

The expectations for the Early Years Curriculum is set out in a document called Development Matters. Our Early Years Team use this document to guide their planning and to assess the children.

 

At Woodfield we recognise that our children have already begun their learning journey and that they come to us from very different starting points, with very different interests and with very different learning styles. We also recognise that the development of each child depends upon them having plentiful opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. Our Early Years curriculum builds on the starting points of each individual child, uses the varying interests of the children to guide planning and draws upon the full range of learning styles exhibited by the children in a friendly, exciting, nurturing learning environment.

 

Characteristics of Effective Learning and The 7Rs of Learning

A key aspect of the EYFS curriculum is the development of children’s characteristics of effective learning. They are detailed in the Development Matters document and they compliment the 7Rs of Learning that the whole school focuses on. The characteristics of effective learning are the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment; they underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

 

Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all areas of learning, include:

• playing and exploring - finding out and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to ‘have a go’

• active learning - being involved and concentrating, keeping trying, enjoying achieving what they set out to do

• creating and thinking critically - having their own ideas, making links and choosing ways to do things

 

Prime and Specific Areas of the Curriculum

The Early Years Curriculum is divided into two broad areas of learning: prime areas and specific areas.

 

The prime areas run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas are fundamental throughout the EYFS; they work together to support development in all other areas. They include:

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development

 

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning. Specific areas encompass essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. They include:

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

 

Each area within the prime and the specific areas includes those areas of learning detailed below.

Prime Areas

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

Specific Areas

Literacy

reading

writing

Mathematics

number

shape, space and measure

Understanding the World

people and communities

the world

technology

Expressive Arts and Design

exploring and using media and materials

being imaginative

Woodfield's EYFS Curriculum

Throughout the year, our teachers plan an exciting, hands on curriculum for the children in Early Years. In EYFS, learning follows the children's interests, therefore, though the main learning will remain the same each year, the contexts for learning will change depending on the interested of each cohort. 

 

Each half term, we send out a parents' planner. These A3 sheets take the contexts for learning and develop them, showing what children are learning in all areas of the curriculum. They also give parents ideas for family visits that link to what children are learning in school and enables parents to support their childs' learning at home. An example of the planners can be seen here:

Parents have told us that these planners are helpful to bring about discussions with their children about what they are learning at school. They also enable parents to carry out any out of school learning with their children. We don't set photocopiable sheets as homework for children as we believe that these are of extremely limited benefit in moving children's learning on. Instead, we prefer that parents discuss what their children are learning in school (using the planners as above) and extend their learning further. For example, when children are learning about dinosaurs, you could visit Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery or The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and explore what dinosaurs looked like, how dinosaurs lived, what they looked like etc. Visits such as these really promote the speaking and listening skills of the children and give them the confidence to come into school and share what they have found out.

 

Further examples of these planners can be found below:

Early Learning Goals

These early learning goals are the expected level of achievement by the end of Reception. At the end of the year we use these goals to assess your child’s level of development. If they are confident and secure within these goals they are assessed as expected. If they are working towards these goals they are emerging and if they are working above these goals they are exceeding. These assessments are based on what the child can do independently.

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