Weston-under-Penyard Primary School and Nursery welcome children from two years old, where they follow their EYFS journey until the end of Reception Year.
To provide an outstanding, nurturing and inclusive environment which gives children enriching and pertinent experiences to prepare them for their next educational phase.
Spaces which support learning
Our EYFS environments are welcoming, calming and promote a home from home feel. In every area, interesting objects and activities invite closer observation and deeper thinking. The connections between the learning areas complement each other, for example growing produce in the garden to bring to the cafe or art work in the studio inspired by storytelling in the Story Museum. Our settings allow dynamic learning as children take their ideas from one space to another; sharing their ideas with others in a new area allowing rich possibilities for exploration. Practitioner teams review the effectiveness of continuous provision throughout the day and use carefully selected enhancements to further extend and enable learning.
Our EYFS team select authentic resources because they promote creativity, play and have multiple purposes. As such children have the opportunity to experience a range of textures, size, shape and weights. Supervised play with breakable, real-life items made of glass and ceramic materials is especially valuable because it gives children the chance to learn how to handle items with care and trust their own capabilities.
Resources in our EYFS classrooms are regularly audited and staff support this process with a progression document.
Opportunities our children benefit from:
- Sports coaching
- Talk For Writing and Talk For Reading
- Forest School sessions in our community woodland site
- Farm School
- Early Years clubs and wrap around care
- Extra EYFS practitioners allows us to offer early intervention
- Cafe Sano
- Lending Library
- Woodwork provision
- Thematic curriculum that is driven by our children
- A long-term plan for trips and visitors to our setting to make learning real
- Paediatric Osteopath sessions
- Health Visiting collaboration
- SALT screening and inhouse support
- ELSA Lead
- School Subject Ambassador sessions
- Parental Workshops including early reading and curriculum
- Seesaw online learning app
- Parent meetings, reports and developmental checks
- Transition meetings and events
Curriculum Key Ingredients:
Vocabulary, Experiences, Parental Involvement and Physical Development
Our EYFS curriculum is designed with our pupils and community in mind.
It enables our children to access and enhance their understanding of their home, their town and wider community. It develops their cultural capital and gives them opportunities and choices about the impact they could have as they progress through their school career and beyond.
This will help them become successful members of modern British society, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities.
Fundamental Learning in EYFS helps prepare children for success as they transition to their next educational phase and links to National Curriculum fundamental learning in KS1 and KS2.
Inclusion and Early Identification
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
Woven throughout our EYFS curriculum are three Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go'
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.
Communication and Language
Research shows that good interactions between adults and children make a big difference to how well communication and language skills develop. Our settings have Elklan trained practitioners who use their knowledge to skilfully develop children’s language skills through using the right strategy at the right time, facial expressions and body language. Practitioners prioritise interactions and are present in the moment - supporting play and extending children’s utterances. Our youngest children benefit from visual supports and signs as well as communication friendly enhancements, such as CPD books, photos and play phones.
Our children make good progress in CL development and practitioners are supported by Speech and Language Therapy Services to screen and provide programmes of support where needed.
PSHE underpins all areas of our EYFS curriculum. We pride ourselves on our ‘whole child’ approach and we work to ensure that our children feel happy and safe within their environment. We acknowledge that in order to be ‘ready and able to learn’, the children need to be in a state of good and positive mental wellbeing, as without this, they will not be receptive to other areas of learning and the curriculum.
We work to create safe environments within all of our classrooms, ensuring all children feel confident to have a go at a task, even if they are not sure they will succeed. This mirrors our growth mindset approach and encouraging children to venture out of their comfort zones to develop their self-confidence and resilience.
To further support these core values, we use the Jigsaw PSHE programme; which reflects our key values and ensures a consistent approach and a progressive curriculum throughout the school.
Our aim is to help prepare our children as best as we can for the world, teaching them mutual respect, core values and an informed understanding of differences between people. In addition, they will have opportunity to discuss and reflect on events occurring to them personally and receive the guidance and support they may require to build up their resilience in order to manage any difficult or challenging situations that they face.
Our indoor and outdoor environments are planned to ensure that children have plenty of opportunity to develop both their fine and gross motor skills; whether that be outside using our P.E. equipment, or inside developing their fine motor skills through a range of activities such as using playdough, construction equipment or mark-making. We actively seek to support children in developing their independence and develop a range of self-care skills.
Our practitioners, with the support of our Paediatric Osteopath, recognise physical delays early. Programmes of support are followed.
Children from Nursery work towards writing and use a programme called 'Squiggle Whilst You Wriggle,' to help develop key writing skills.
Early Reading and Phonics
The teaching of phonics is strongly embedded in our Nursery and Reception classes - through directly taught sessions, focus groups, interventions and regular assessments.
We deliver Phonics through Little Wandle and follow a prescriptive schedule with the aim of helping our children develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes needed to be ready to learn and succeed in Phonics and Literacy.
Careful monitoring, across EYFS, is undertaken regularly by our Early Reading and Phonics Lead, ensuring children access help early where barriers to learning hinder progress.
Children read individually, in small groups and as a whole class. A variety of different genres are chosen at an appropriate level of ability for each group of children. As well as being able to read the text, children are encouraged to discuss the content of the book, and their opinions about people, places and events are sought. The more able readers will be asked about the varied themes of different texts.
Tricky words and Phonics flashcards are introduced to children and families are supported to read with their children at home at least four times a week. Aids to help develop tracking skills are given to those children who need them.
Our core reading scheme is matched to children’s Phonic teaching and learning. We supplement this with a huge variety of other literature. Teachers use these resources when they feel it will result in even more progress.
Where children do not progress, extra reading support is swiftly planned and implemented to ensure that children learn to read fluently and confidently by the age of seven.
Story Telling Provision
Class Story Museums can be found in each EYFS classroom. Practitioners select and rotate a range of texts, including a variety of different genres and authors. Historic text maps can be accessed by children as well as a range of enhancements such as puppets and story stones.
As a Pie Corbett Story Telling school children are exposed to a range of different texts and have daily story-telling and sharing moments.
Find out what Talk For Writing is and why we are a Pie Corbett Story Telling school.
Mathematical thinking develops through quality experience and these can be seen throughout the day, preparing the table for snack time, cooking activities and daily registration.
Practitioners use story and picture books such as ‘One Is a Snail and Ten is a Crab’ by April Pulley-Sayre as a tool for engaging our children with mathematical concepts. Board games such as ‘Snakes and Ladders’ can be found in our provision and develop children’s understanding of numbers.
EYFS practitioners use their knowledge of developmental progression to see how children typically learn mathematical concepts.
Mathematical vocabulary is modelled by practitioners through play opportunities and direct teaching.
Manipulatives and representations are a powerful tool for supporting our children to engage with mathematical ideas. Maths provision allow children opportunities to represent problems in their own way, for example with drawings and mark-making. Staff help children to understand the links between the manipulatives in provision and the mathematical ideas they represent in order for children to progress from concrete, pictorial and lastly abstract representations.
Children achieve a Good Level of Development if they achieve at least the expected level in the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.
EYFS Good Level of Development (GLD)