At Manor Court we understand that the Early Years and Foundation Stage underpin our children’s entire learning journey. We believe that all children should have the opportunity to develop holistically through playful learning. Learning is provided within a purposeful and engaging environment that allows children to take risks and challenge themselves. We believe that free flow access to outside learning in vital to support learning across the curriculum. It also supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination and resourcefulness.
We are committed to using personalised and aspirational teaching to support children to achieve their full potential, no matter what their starting point and believe that early identification of additional learning needs allows our children to make the progress that they are capable of.
All of our practitioners strive to develop positive and nurturing relationships with children to allow them to feel safe enough to push the boundaries of what they can achieve.
We understand that a key element of children’s progress is our partnership with parents and carers. We pride ourselves in our use of children’s electronic learning journeys to share information with parents and build a full picture of each child, encouraging parents to contribute to their child’s learning journey. Communication with parents also takes place through parents meeting and daily conversations with staff. Throughout the year we run a range of sessions encouraging parents to come into our setting and share experiences and learning with their children.
We ensure that children are equipped with the learning characteristics they need to enter Year 1, developing a gradually more structured approach throughout the Foundation stage alongside our broad and balanced curriculum.
Children in the EYFS move through the development matters with the aim of achieving the Early Learning Goals during the summer term of Foundation stage. Children also develop their Characteristics of Effective learning throughout the EYFS. Teachers and practitioners use the development matter document as a basis for our own planning mapping progression through the year. This at the starting point of children and carefully plots next steps, breaking the learning down.
Oracy and reading is a thread that runs through all areas of the curriculum and considered carefully in each lesson, for each child and during each play opportunity. Ensuring that staff understand this and put it in practice during all their interactions with children is vital to allow children to make the most progression possible.
Throughout the Early Years we cover Personal Social and Emotional development, Physical development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Arts and Design. The framework for each of these areas give children the basic skills that they need to move into the KS1 curriculum areas of Literacy, Mathematics, P.E, Art and design, DT, Science, Geography, History, RE, Computing, music and PSE. The EYFS framework gives the children the opportunity to practice these key skills and deepen their understanding in each area through both adult directed teaching and activities as well as during their play based learning. This mix of strategies ensures that children have the key early vocabulary that will both allow them to access the KS1 curriculum and to build on their current understanding. We place a high importance on ensuring that children have opportunities to demonstrate and develop their characteristics of effective learning. These not only allow children to progress through the EYFS framework but are also invaluable as the children move into the National Curriculum in Year 1. This is particularly the case with ‘Creating and Thinking Critically’ as it provides children with the opportunity to have their own ideas, make links and choose ways to do things. These then link directly with skills needed, particularly in Science, Art and design, History, RE, DT, computing and Geography.
Learning is planned through a balance of direct whole-class teaching, small group teaching and play with a range of experiences, visits and visitor to enrich the curriculum.
Children in EYC take part in two circle times per session (am and pm). These include show and tell, phonics, number songs and story time. Children who will be starting school in the following September take part in a daily school ready adult led group session from Summer term.
In Foundation Stage phonics is taught daily following the Jolly Phonics scheme. Children take part in two adult led small group English activities per week which is recorded in their English book and one adult led small group Maths activity which is recorded in Maths book. Children also take part in a daily whole class fast maths session and a daily story time. Children are also supported to extend their understanding through a range of play based activities that span the entire curriculum. Play is extremely important and is a valued part of our curriculum, which is why we have staff designated to move between play activities, listening to children, engaging in conversation, making notes of their interests and extending their play.
From Spring term in Foundation Stage children have handwriting sessions four times a week and take home sights words to practice spelling weekly.
Formative assessment is continuous throughout EYC and the Foundation stage. On a daily basis staff observe children’s learning to inform their planning and the next steps. Regular observations are completed through Eylog, our online learning journey. Observations are shared with parents and parents are encouraged to add their own observations.
Summative assessments take place at least termly, allowing practitioners to ensure that all children are making expected progress. This information is also used to identify children who are not making expected progress and therefore early intervention can be put in place. These assessments are monitored by the EYFS Phase leader, SENCO and Head Teacher.
In EYC practitioners complete a 2year check for any children aged between 24 and 36 months. This information is shared with parents and parents then use this to complete the 2year check with their Health Visitor.
Foundation stage teachers meet with the Pre-school and Nursery staff, both from Manor Court EYC and all other feeder settings, in the summer term before they start school to help inform our baseline assessment. Baseline assessment occurs in the first three weeks of Foundation Stage and completed through play based assessments of the children.
The half termly assessment in Foundation Stage also includes phonics assessments.
During the final term of Foundation Stage teachers complete and moderate the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Judgement against the 17 Early Learning Goals. This is currently a statutory requirement and is also used to support the transition of children from EYFS to Year 1.
Through careful monitoring and tracking practitioners are able to quickly identify children who are not making the expected progress and therefore need intervention to catch up. Depending on the needs of individuals, this may include additional individual or small group tutoring or referral onto other agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy.
Interventions across EYFS ensure children are progressing across the whole curriculum, focusing on any areas that children need additional support such as Personal, Social and Emotional Development or Physical Development.
EYC interventions include Talk boost for children who are identified as needing this support.
Our aim at Manor Court Community Primary School is that every child’s needs are catered for and every child is given the chance to succeed. Inclusion in the EYFS does not only apply to children who have special educational needs but to the practices, attitudes and values that enable everyone to feel that they belong and achieve. Teachers aim to include all pupils fully in their teaching. Teachers, leaders and support staff are aware of the lowest twenty percent of children in each classes. This enables staff to support these children to achieve their full potential and overcome any barriers to learning. Work appropriate to individual children’s needs is provided in the independent work during the day and also during intervention sessions. S.E.N.D pupils have Learning Passports, EHC plans and IEPs.
Ensuring a smooth transition in to EYC, from all pre-school feeder settings into FS and from FS to Year 1 is essential to give children the best opportunity to thrive. Parents of children joining EYC are encouraged to visit before their child starts and are asked to provide information about their child’s interests and abilities so that practitioners can make the induction process as smooth as possible. Children are provided with a keyworker as soon as they start at EYC to ensure both child and parents have a main point of contact and support a smooth transition. Throughout their time at EYC children become familiar with the setting of the main school. During the summer term children attending EYC also take part in weekly visits to FS as an extra support for transition and FS staff make regular visits to EYC.
FS teachers meet with practitioners from all feeder settings in the summer term to discuss each child in details and make sure the Foundation teachers know the needs, learning style and interests for each child. Each child’s learning journey and a transition form which has been standardised through the local cluster group is also shared. Children and parents attend stay and play sessions in the Summer Term as well as a transition morning where parents are provided with all the information they will need. In September children begin on a part time basis to ensure a smooth transition from preschool. During this part time period teachers meet with parents on a 1:1 basis and provide a phonics information for all parents.
Children are familiarised with Yr 1 lunchtime routines and playtimes throughout the Foundation Stage year. During the summer term children begin to prepare for the transition by visiting the new classroom and meeting staff. Parents are also invited to meet the Yr 1 teachers during the summer term and FS teachers meet with year 1 teachers to discuss each child. Children identified as needing extra support during transition will have a separate transition plan put in place.
Throughout the Foundation Stage children increase the quantity of work they are able to produce as well as the quantity of time they spend at activities in order to prepare them for Year 1.
Any child that does not achieve a good level of development in Foundation Stage is selected for a Ladybirds intervention group where extra support is given to allow these children to achieve their outcomes.
Yr 1 begins the Autumn term by including carousel activities which help to move the children from the Foundation stage framework area of Understanding the World to the separate National Curriculum areas of Computing, Geography, History, RE and Computing lessons and from Expressive Art and design to Music, Art and Design and DT.