Willow and Ash Class (EYFS)
The EYFS Unit
Our EYFS unit is made up of a Pre-School class (accepting children from 3 years old) and a Reception class. We work as a unit, to ensure that all children enjoy a range of opportunities indoors and outdoors that develop their experiences and foster a love of learning.
Whilst the children have their own classroom that they enter in the morning and use as their base for the day, they free-flow between the two classrooms and outdoors. We believe that this is a huge advantage for the children - the older children model and teach skills and knowledge whilst the younger children learn from their older peers.
There are a number of adults across the EYFS unit who work with all children, modelling, supporting and enhancing learning opportunities and developing secure, caring relationships with the children.
Mrs C. Govier Miss B. Eastham Miss E. Sullivan Mrs L. Deighton Mrs K. Dwayre
EYFS/KS1 leader Pre-School Class Reception Class Reception Class Pre-School Class
and Reception Teacher Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant
Development matters provides an outline of the end of Reception expectations nationally. These can be found by clicking the link below:
Early Learning Goals: Expectations for the End of Reception
Our bespoke curriculum has been designed by our EYFS team, to provide every possible opportunity for children to learn and develop, in order to achieve the early learning goals at the end of Reception. Please see our yearly overviews below for Pre-School and Reception.
Pre-School Curriculum Long Term Plan
Reception Curriculum Long Term Plan
Both Pre-school and Reception share an overarching topic, but focus on different high quality texts to support children's learning.
While our yearly overviews map out our learning, the needs and interests of every cohort influence our medium term planning and changes are made to ensure learning is tailored to each group of children, in our indoor and outdoor learning areas.
Talk for Writing strategies and helicopter stories inform speaking and listening, reading and writing opportunities and engage the children in fostering a love of stories. Alongside this, the Reception class develop their understanding of mathematics through the use of White Rose Hub and NCTEM mastery resources.
RE is taught discretely in classes and follows the Questful RE and Understanding Christianity schemes. Please click here for a list of RE units covered throughout the year.
Phonics is taught discretely in groups based on children's attainment, using the Read Write Inc scheme. Please click here for more information.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning underpin our pupils learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The ways in which they engage with others and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the children to remain effective and motivated learners. We look for these characteristics when observing children and plan to develop them during everything we do. More information can be found in the document below.
The Learning Environment
Our classrooms provide an exciting and engaging environment for children to learn and thrive in. Resources and equipment are available for children to access independently and labelled with photographs and words to ensure children know where things belong. In addition, we also use our outdoor space continually which has a number of different areas to learn in and resources to ensure learning takes place outdoors as well as indoors!
Please see the long term plans for each area of indoor provision below:
We value the involvement of parents and provide lots of opportunities for parents to be involved in their child's learning and celebrating their achievements.
Parents are welcomed into classrooms every morning to spend time with children exploring the learning environment, discussing their achievements and look at learning opportunities within class. The children enjoy showing their parents what they have learnt and exploring new activities with them.
There are regular opportunities for parents to join us in celebrating achievements, share learning opportunities, share information and develop learning at home. Some examples of these are:
- We held an afternoon tea party, prepared and set up by the children. Children shared story maps with parents and retold their favourite traditional tale/fairy tale.
- Our outdoor area opening celebration allowed parents to explore our newly renovated outdoor area alongside the children.
- We led an EYFS Harvest Worship, where children shared their worship time and prayers with parents, only a few weeks into the first half term!
- We have held parent workshops on reading and phonics.
- Parents evenings alongside the rest of the school provide opportunities to discuss children's learning, achievements and progress on a one-to-one basis.
- Reception children receive homework activities each week. These activities are designed to provide learning opportunities between the child and an adult and cover a range of different areas of development and skills that are vital for children to achieve the expected standards at the end of the EYFS.
- Class mascots are used to develop home-school links. Children are selected to take home Elmer (Willow class) or the Everywhere Bear (Ash class) and keep a diary alongside parents, showing what they having been doing with the Everywhere Bear that week.
- We also provide parents with WOW moments that can be filled in and brought to school to celebrate children's achievements out of school.
- EYFS newsletters are sent home every half term, sharing news, new topics and key dates with parents so they are fully aware of what will be happening in class each half term.
- Each Christmas, the EYFS unit perform their own nativity which parents are invited to.
- We held a Gardening Morning for parents to attend and help us develop our mud kitchen and nature area. We planted seeds, decorated plant pots and explored our mud kitchen together.
- Every half term, parents are invited to attend whole school reading mornings to promote a love of reading for pleasure across every year group (dependent on covid restrictions).
- We hold regular stay and play sessions for parents to attend, which are usually themed around celebrations or important times to children.
- Every year, our pre-school children hold a graduation ceremony for children who are due to start in Reception. This event is usually attended by parents and family members and celebrates children's time and achievements in pre-school.
The fundamental British Values of ‘Democracy’, ‘The Rule of Law’, ‘Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect’ and ‘Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs’ are already embedded in the EYFS curriculum and practice. We actively promote British Values in a number of different ways.
- We ensure that children know their views count and their opinions are important, e.g. we follow the children’s interests for topics and activities, we are flexible in order to address children's questions and interests.
- We encourage children to make decisions together, e.g. when sharing a group toy like a large train set, deciding focuses for key person time.
- We encourage the children to see their role in the ‘bigger picture’, e.g. they are part of a family, class, school, church family etc.
- We encourage children to value each other’s views and beliefs and to talk about their feelings. e.g. through key person times and circle times.
- We Provide opportunities for the children to vote for activity choices, e.g. choosing a book for story time or choosing a golden time activity by a show of hands.
- We encourage children to complete activities that involve turn-taking, sharing, discussion and collaboration, in both our indoor and outdoor environments.
- We value and respect each others by following our class rules; kind hands, kind feet and kind words.
- We work together to create an environment where it is ‘safe’ to make mistakes, share thoughts and ideas and to explore different options, e.g. by promoting forgiveness after an argument, by providing opportunities to retry an activity and develop a tolerance for different views, by developing a growth mindset culture where making mistakes and learning from them is celebrated and we understand that we should never give up trying.
The Rule of Law
- We encourage adults and children to work together to create class rules.
- We discuss the need for rules and how they should be administered fairly, e.g. the need for rules to keep everyone safe and happy.
- We teach children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and feelings along with their consequences.
- We work together to create an environment where actions are consistently followed through, e.g. adherence to class rules, thinking place and traffic light system to reflect on behaviour.
- We encourage and support children to learn how to distinguish right from wrong through continual discussion about right and wrong choices.
- We encourage children to take turns, share and compromise and praise these behaviours.
- We encourage children to develop a positive sense of themselves and provide opportunities to develop self-esteem and confidence. We have class celebration boards in class as well as WOW moment displays, to celebrate children's achievements and what they are proud of both in and out of school.
- We provide opportunities to take on risks, challenges and responsibilities (through helping hands monitors) and also encouraging children to explore and discuss their thoughts, feelings and ideas with others.
- We encourage children to try a range of different activities and to discuss and select their own preferences. We develop this through our key person systems, by observing children, planning next steps and working alongside children to explore areas of learning they may need support or encouragement with.
- We provide opportunities for children to follow and develop their own interests and ideas and incorporate these into our continuous provision planning.
- We provide activities for all children to engage in and actively challenge gender-specific tasks and activities, encouraging all children to explore all ways of learning in a way they are comfortable with.
Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
- We aim to create an environment that includes, values and promotes different faiths, cultures, views and races.
- We provide opportunities for the children to make links with the wider community, e.g. inviting family members or speakers to visit the class and trips out to local places such as Cuerden Valley, Clayton Green Library.
- We encourage children to learn about other faiths, cultures, traditions, families, communities and ways of life. We encourage the children to share their experiences with the group if they feel comfortable to do so. We incorporate this into class learning and through the homework packs that Reception class are issued weekly.
- We encourage children to learn about the world around them, both locally and further afield, e.g. local trips, using books, stories, posters and videos to learn about places far away, cultural days, local events and activities, national celebrations.