It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning. At Bournes Green, we place great value on the development of children as individuals and providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in Key Stage One and beyond. Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development, so that ultimately our pupils can be successful, active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners.
Woven throughout our curriculum is the cultural capital we know our pupils need to succeed. Reception at Bournes Green is a language rich environment in which children develop vocabulary which will open the doors to future success. Our children learn to recognise, understand and celebrate the fact that we are all different and that there is lots to learn from cultures which are different from their own. They can only do that if we embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning and our school Learning Powers. The eight Learning Powers are modelled, taught and celebrated as we teach our children the behaviours and habits they need to become effective lifelong learners.
Our enabling environment and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. We aim to help children develop high self-esteem and set ambitious goals for themselves. By aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number, we enhance the potential that every one of our children comes to us with. This is delivered through a curriculum which maximises the impact of learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of planned, purposeful play and sustained thinking, following children’s interests and ideas. We value imagination and curiosity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips, visits and regular outdoor learning sessions.
Through a combination of continuous provision with planned purposeful play, child-initiated activities, directed adult-led tasks, engaging topics and structured teaching, we endeavour to provide each child with a range of opportunities which stimulate their creativity and support their development based on their likes and interests.
We value the importance of the outdoor environment, ensuring that children can develop in all areas when they are engaged in outside activities.
Because we believe language development is central to cognitive development, we put a great emphasis the acquisition of vocabulary and the teaching of early reading. We deliver an ambitious program of systematic synthetic phonics (SSP), through which children learn the cumulative component knowledge they will need to become competent readers. Reading books that children take home are carefully matched to their phonic learning. Demonstrative reading occurs daily to share high quality texts with a variety of themes and structures to expose children to a diverse diet of literature.
For writing, children are taught how to create sentences, initially, orally alongside using learnt sounds to segment and write words. Letter formation in the early years is presented in print, visually and practically. Communication and language is essential foundational learning for literacy. We ensure vocabulary is woven into all our teaching. Our writing curriculum is ambitious and exposes children to new words in the context needed to expand and cement meaning.
We teach to enable children to achieve mastery in mathematics. Composite learning is broken down in to small steps to ensure all children can succeed. Teachers use representations and manipulatives to expose mathematical structures, which develops confidence, variety of approach and fluency. Children develop a strong understanding of number through subitising and are introduced to strategies and practices they will build upon in Key Stage 1.
In continuous provision we have activities and resources to support all areas of learning, e.g. role play areas (to develop personal, social and emotional understanding and communication and language), fine motor and large apparatus (for physical development) and activities and resources to encourage exploration in knowledge and understanding of the world and expressive art and design.
Learning in the EYFS is structured through themes, which guide our writing curriculum and carefully selected books, alongside activities to act as stimuli to inspire and encourage exploration.
Our curriculum provides children with the substantive and practical knowledge they will need to transition smoothly into the subject-specific study of the Key Stage 1 curriculum.
Staff observe and work closely with children to identify their interests and develop knowledge and understanding at each child’s pace. Children have a variety of opportunities to facilitate their own learning through carefully resourced provision which is designed to encompass all areas of our curriculum. All of our adults support and guide children through the use of high quality interactions that challenge thinking and extend learning.