The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.
Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home and takes on board the interests of the children. We work in partnership with parents and carers to provide the best possible start at Bellfield Infant School, ensuring each pupil reaches their full potential from their individual starting points.
Our curriculum has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. At Bellfield Infant School, we place a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language, including Oracy. We recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and in future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy which support a child’s well-being.
We provide our children with an enabling environment and warm, skilful adult interactions. Both elements support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. We believe that high level engagement ensures high level attainment. If a pupil’s well-being is low, their involvement will also be low. Therefore, we provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
The children are taught the skills required in the EYFS through half-termly topics which are coherently planned to build upon the children’s current knowledge and understanding by a cumulative sequence of lessons. The pupils are encouraged to wonder and ask questions about what they are learning and this information is used to plan subsequent lessons. Staff also provide the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas.
Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small, focused group work. This means the teacher can 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 plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision both indoors and outdoors.
At Bellfield Infant School, our EYFS curriculum is also designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
- Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
We use a Growth Mindset approach to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.
Several key resources are used to support the development of the curriculum including Development Matters, Read Write Inc, Maths No Problem, mastering Number and WellComm.
During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations, and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies every child’s unique starting point in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. We also use the statutory Reception Baseline Assessments (RBA) and all children are screened using WellComm.
We want each child to get the best possible start in life and to be ready to thrive in KS1. At Bellfield Infant School, we do this by ensuring ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Formative and summative assessments, based on teacher’s knowledge of the child, are used to identify next steps, measure progress and inform planning.
All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making.
Phonic assessments are carried out every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible.
At the end of EYFS, staff complete the EYFSP profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 early learning goals. Teacher judge whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher.
Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
I will be developing my confidence and self-esteem, my ability to be assertive and stand up for my own rights or ask for adult support. I will be learning about relationships with both adults and children, making friends and learning to share, to take turns and to negotiate with others. I will begin to understand rules, to empathise with others and to learn about differences I may see in others.
I will develop the ability to express my feelings, to control them where appropriate and to express any anxieties to others. I will develop my independence in looking after myself and my things, choosing what I would like to do, finding what I need, planning my time, thinking of and acting on my own ideas and asking for help if I need it.
I will be able to take responsibility for tidying up, helping other children, taking messages and carrying out a task. I will learn to be pleased with and be proud of what I can do.
Through handling books and sharing them with others, I will recognise that words tell stories and that the words I see in the world around me tell people something.
I will get the chance to see letters and words written down and to try and write them myself and use them when I play. I will learn the alphabetical sounds and through a mixture of speaking and listening I will start to hear the different sounds that make up a word. I will apply this knowledge when looking at words in books and will begin to read and write sentences and captions.
I will have the chance to read on my own, with the support of my teacher and in small groups on a regular basis. I will have fun using words to talk, read and write.
I will be able to talk about stories I have listened to using new words I have learnt and will be able to use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play. I will enjoy writing a range of different things for different purposes using my knowledge of letter sounds to spell words and forming my letters correctly.
Expressive Arts and Design
I will have the opportunity to express my own thoughts, ideas and feelings through drawing, painting, model making and by using playdough. I will use lots of tools to see how they work and what they can do and will use natural and manmade materials to design and make my own creations, models and structures.
I will be able to explore colours, shapes and textures of flat and solid shapes using all of my senses. I will get the opportunity to see interesting objects, pictures and people, feel different moods, taste a variety of flavours, smell an assortment of things and hold or touch things to see how they feel.
I will be able to listen to and make my own music, dance, sing songs and take part in imaginative role play with my friends. It will be nice to find the right means of expression and choose the words to share these times with my friends, my teachers and my family as I play and explore the world around me.
Communication and Language
I will be able to talk about what I want and how I feel and will have opportunities to express this through role play. I will be able to enjoy stories, poems, songs and rhymes, and will develop the ability to use language to describe past and present experiences and a sequence of events. I will develop my ability to question experiences and events and supply logical explanations or predict what might happen next.
I will have the chance to talk imaginatively and retell stories in my own words. I will learn to speak to others in small and large groups and share my ideas and thoughts with them. I will learn to listen to others and ask interesting and appropriate questions.
I will learn to follow a set of instructions and be able to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about my experiences.
Understanding the World
Having plenty of time indoors and out I will be able to look at and talk about objects, materials, living creatures and plant life, noticing lots of details and things that are the same or different. I will be able to take part in explorations and investigations at all different times of the year in the classroom and in the outdoor environment giving me the chance to notice changes as time passes.
I will have the chance to make predictions, try things out and come to some conclusions and even give some reasons as to why I think things happen. I can share these discoveries with friends and sometimes I will record what I see and find out by drawing, writing or using a camera or computer.
I can also find out about things we use every day in the home and at school as well as places and buildings in the area I live.
I will be able to talk about special moments and events I have shared with my family and things I am looking forward to. I will begin to know more about different people and their cultures, traditions and places in my community and learn about things which have happened in the past.
I will have the chance to sort and group objects or materials and explain why I have done this. I will be able to play with lots of resources indoors and outdoors and make comparisons in things like height, weight, size and texture. I will be able to use words like under, on top, between and in front to tell where things are and to put things in order when I play. I will have opportunities to build and make things with shapes and talk about what these shapes look like.
I will be able to use numbers when I play to count and match things to each other. I will begin to learn about adding things together or taking them away. I will learn to recognise numbers all around me and use them confidently in play and games. I will start to be able to put events in order and think about what happens next during the day. I will get the chance to notice patterns in lots of situations and have a go at making patterns myself. I will get to use all I know about maths to solve practical problems when doubling, halving and sharing.
I will learn how to say how many objects I can see in a set without counting them, know my addition facts for 5 and 10, and number doubles. I will count beyond 20 and know what odd and even number are.
There will be lots of time for me to play and learn inside and outside the school. I will get the chance to become good at moving, climbing, controlling and coordinating as I play. I will have fun with my friends and teachers learning to use my body, my feet and my hands with more and more skill. I will get to use lots of outdoor toys to ride on, throw, catch, climb on and build with. I will be able to chase, race, jump, balance, play on my own and begin to play with a partner or a group or team.
When I am busy and active I will be able to feel the changes that take place in my body. I will be able to find out and talk about what helps to keep me fit and healthy and what food is good for me. I will learn to get my coat on or fasten my shoes so that I can look after myself.
I will use lots of tools for drawing, painting, cutting, woodwork, sewing, cooking, joining and dismantling as well as other equipment for building, threading, dressing dolls, creating tents, dens and structures and playing sport.