EYFS Intent (taken from the School Self Evaluation)
The school recognise that we want our children to be the best they can be across all of the learning areas. Key to this is a strong ethos of outstanding personal development and behaviour. The PSHE curriculum is embedded throughout the school and the bar is set extremely high in EYFS. The school’s focus on our six values as well as the learning behaviours of ‘Resilience, Cooperation, Independence and Confidence’ begins here. As a result, the children and all stakeholders, develop the highest expectation for doing their best and working well together.
Leaders are extremely ambitious in their pursuit to build a firm foundation for learning at the start of the children’s learning at Wold Newton. Targets are set based on a secure baseline process (using Development Matters/Ages and Stages) and the systems in place for tracking pupil progress ensure that children achieve to the best of their ability, regardless of their prior attainment. Leaders recognise that the building blocks of learning are created in EYFS. As a result, the school’s curriculum is effectively planned together. This ensures there is a strong progression from EYFS and onwards through the school. Opportunities to enhance children’s self-belief, resilience and cultural capital are strong.
Planning scrutiny and observations show overall planning is thorough and ensures children are engaged in their learning. There is a thread throughout all of the EYFS curriculum that ensures the Prime Areas are regularly revisited and become a strength. In particular, staff are acutely aware of the children’s needs in phonics, early reading, communication and language, PSED and physical development and children progress well in these areas as a result. In particular, the staff are able to utilise the mixed year group make-up of the class and are able to stretch and challenge children by teaching in small groups relative to their ability and targets.
The close link with the key stage one class enables the staff to challenge the children’s learning and ensure that expectations are even higher. As a result, transition into year one is seamless and the children have little difficulty building on their well-established learning routines and high expectations.
Early reading is a strength in the school. The school provide workshops and advice to parents to ensure they understand how phonics and early reading can be taught and consolidated at home. There is a strength in the school’s reading policy of regularly reading at home/with an adult. As a result, reading is consistently a strength in EYFS and this continues throughout the school. The rich celebration of reading and systematic application of phonics and reading throughout the learning environment ensures that children love to read at Wold Newton. The school has invested heavily in ensuring that the reading scheme used supports the development of early reading linked to progress in phonics. Furthermore, the children’s love of reading across the curriculum is embedded through the use of planned ‘focus books’.
Wold Newton EYFS is a number-rich environment. Mathematics is a key focus for the development of our children’s learning. The application of maths knowledge and skills across the EYFS curriculum ensures that the children make excellent progress in the two key areas of maths.
SLT have been extremely rigorous in their support and challenge of EYFS staff. Systems, planning and quality teaching have been put in place to ensure that our children get the best start. The resources are extremely well managed. The learning environment is highly stimulating and organised into vibrant learning areas that extend the different areas of learning. The children are continually given access to a rich and varied array of imaginative learning experiences. Planning is meticulous and addresses gaps in all areas of learning. The team work extremely efficiently together with robust systems in place that allow all staff to make accurate judgements about the stages of learning and children’s next steps.
Children are taught how to keep themselves healthy and safe in a variety of situations. The PSHE curriculum is embedded throughout the school and there is explicit teaching of the British Values such as mutual respect. Children are encouraged to make good choices about their behaviour and to understand how their actions affect others. Children understand and celebrate diversity through festivals such as Diwali and engaging in school inspiration days. In Summer 2019, pupils participated in the school’s multicultural day including Chinese dance, cooking and learning about the Hindu religion.
Parental engagement is a key focus. There is an open-door policy to ensure parents feel welcome at the beginning and end of the day. At parents’ evenings, learning journeys are shared and discussed as part of the ongoing need to keep parents informed and engaged. During the Autumn term an informative reading event was organised inviting all EYFS and KS1 parents to school in order to develop understanding of how we teach reading and how parents can best support their children.
The school renewed its Quality Mark in 2019. Quality Mark Assessors noted the following:
- Dough Disco is used to support fine motor skills;
- Where pupils’ basic skills require further support, the teacher has made effective use of existing resources to assist pupils in being engaged, particularly in writing. Staff are very creative in using resources to develop pupils’ basic skills. As much independent writing as possible is provided. Writing is being developed across all areas within EYFS;
- There is a clear focus on pupils writing more in their child initiated activities as well as during teacher led activities. For the majority of pupils, they transfer the basic skills learnt with the teacher into their independent learning;
- Reading opportunities throughout the day ensure that pupils are exposed to a wide range of text and language to develop their basic skills.
- The school now identifies pupils within EYFS who have potential to fall behind age related expectations. These are carefully tracked with interventions put in place to support them in making good or better progress;
The development of clear routines and reflection on the children’s behaviour allows them to flourish, work better as a team and support the development of each other.
We use the expertise of local authority improvement advisers to ensure standards are constantly being enhanced. (See RVA files).” Amy Bowler- Improvement Ofiicer 25.09.19 “Children accessed provision outside as soon as they arrived at school. Clear routines have been established and expectations of the children are high.”
The outside area has been a key area for development with a new canopy and extended soft play area being added in summer 2019. Further to this, the SLT and Nursery Nurse have visited outstanding examples of outside provision in order to ensure pupils are able to utilise this new space to its full potential, ensuring children have access to quality reading, writing and maths provision across the learning environment. The highly stimulating learning environment supports children’s academic and social learning. The school makes excellent use of space and uses its continuous provision to build on prior learning and stimulate child-led curiosity.
Children make excellent progress across EYFS. SLT and EYFS staff closely track children’s progress at key stages of the year and ensure there are rigorous systems in place to address any gaps in learning. Not only do children make excellent progress across all learning areas, Reading, Writing and Maths show outstanding progress. As a result, children are more than ready for the expectations of key stage one and all children achieve highly regardless of their starting point.
The school is ambitious for all its pupils and the same rigour and challenge applies across all abilities and all areas of learning. Low cohort numbers can skew data and the school were acutely aware of a higher SEND cohort in 2019. The school takes full advantage of its low cohort numbers and as a result, provides focussed, personalised learning that ensures all children, regardless of their starting point, make the best progress. GLD is consistently high and the school push for the best outcomes from all children.
The school’s ambition for all of the children is obvious. A vocabulary-rich curriculum and stimulating learning environment ensure that children are engaged, curious and supportive of each other’s learning. High expectations and a personalised approach support the children’s understanding of how their actions affect others and encourage them to reflect on how they can be their best.