Early Years Foundation Stage - Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
At Ashford Oaks we strive to give our youngest children the best transition into school life that we can. We have worked hard to develop a comprehensive induction programme and ensure that children are settled into school life as quickly as possible, with children's welfare being at the centre of all we do. We ensure that relationships between staff and children are developed quickly, so children feel welcome and safe to come to school. We are proud of our EYFS environments and continually work to develop the areas further using our children's interests and current curriculum approaches and pedagogy as a stimulus. The characteristics of effective teaching and learning underpin all opportunities for the children and help develop skills for lifelong learning.
At Ashford Oaks Community Primary School, we are committed to providing a high quality early years’ education, which gives children a secure and confident start to their school life and nurtures a lifelong love of learning. Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning through their positive experiences of adult interactions and independent critical thinking within an engaging, stimulating and enabling environment. Our curriculum is child centred following the interests and fascinations of the children. We are passionate about children leading and engrossing themselves in their learning.
We aim to:
Provide a well-balanced curriculum that offers the children a wide range of opportunities that broaden their experiences, challenge and inspire them. We are a flexible team that follow the child-centred approach- the children are at the heart of all we do. We scaffold their learning according to their individual needs.
Provide a nurturing learning environment that is language rich, that helps children develop the characteristics of effective teaching and learning, embedding the 7 areas of learning, supporting those who need additional help in order to maximise their chances of achieving the Early Learning Goals.
Provide children opportunities to develop their sense of wellbeing, involvement and their ability to regulate their feelings so that they feel confident in our community and are equipped with all the tools they need to transition to Year 1 effectively.
Develop the skills and expertise of staff working in EYFS through regular and comprehensive professional development either run by the Assistant Head (Early Years) or attending courses run by other professionals.
Our Early Years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021. The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These prime areas are a major focus for each child as they enter our EYFS. Our curriculum has a sharp focus on the children’s needs, their interests and their stages of development. We aim to deliver the curriculum through a balance of play and adult directed activities. We present new concepts in meaningful contexts that enable the children to build on what they already know. Practitioners are aware of the need to be flexible and respond instantly in order to respond to unplanned events that the children are interested in to develop next steps (acting “in the moment”). Through our knowledge of each child and formative assessments the EYFS team plan exciting and engaging activities that will move the children’s learning forward.
We have developed themes that inspire and motivate the children’s learning to ensure they are on track for achieving the Early Learning Goals at the end of the EYFS. This is a progressive curriculum which begins in the Nursery and then continues into Reception. This has a large focus on key vocabulary, the love of books and providing the children with experiences and opportunities to explore our world and community.
Play features strongly in the EYFS, this is a natural way for children to learn. Planned play helps children to think independently, increase their understanding and embed their knowledge. There is a range of “continuous provision” available in the indoor and outdoor environments, that are designed to offer open-ended, practical learning opportunities. Children are supported to think creatively, imaginatively, explore how resources can be adapted and encouraged to ‘take risks’ in their discoveries, understanding we can learn from ‘mistakes’. Each week, the provision is enhanced with additional resources, based on observations and the children’s interests. Adult led activities are practical in nature and based on first hand experiences wherever possible. The children are supported to develop problem-solving skills through open-ended tasks and opportunities to share their thinking with others.
At Ashford Oak we follow the Little Wandle systematic phonic programme. This begins in Nursery through Foundations on Phonics, such as listening skills and distinguishing sounds. Once in Reception every child has access to a daily phonics session with extra keep-up sessions daily, if required. When appropriate the children will participate in a reading lesson three times a week. We use these phonics sessions to also develop children’s expertise in writing and handwriting. Little Wandle workshops are offered to parents to give them the confidence to support their child with learning at home. The Teacher will match the child’s phonic knowledge, and blending skills to decodable books and parents will have access to e-books at home. Children will also take a book a week home for pleasure to share with their family.
We provide effective and focused interventions for those children who are finding learning challenging and are not on track to meet expectations at the end of the year. This will be provided in an inclusive way and support from parents is also enlisted at an early stage to ensure that the children have every chance to achieve the Early Learning Goals.
The EYFS team collect evidence of children’s learning through observations, photos and videos which are shared with parents using the Tapestry online system. This means that parents can engage with children regularly about their learning and can contribute to the knowledge we have of the child in school. Parents are very active and love to use Tapestry to record the milestones children make at home during the year.
We love to provide children with opportunities that lots of them have not experienced before or that enhance their learning in school. We go on visits to support this for example a trip to an animal park to support their learning of animals and our world. We ensure that all of our visits are learning related and will provide the spark for further immersion in a theme or project.
We work closely with parents/carers, feeder Nurseries and professionals with getting to know the children prior to them starting with us. Ensuring we are continuing and building on the foundations in their learning. The opportunities the children are given in the Early Years support them with being prepared for the transition to the next phase in their learning journey; Reception or Year One. The skills and experiences given in Nursery are built on in Reception. We also ensure that the pedagogy in Year One reflects the independent learning skills children have gained in Reception working together as teams to develop expertise and confidence in all teaching staff. The Assistant Heads work closely together to ensure there is a smooth transition for all the children.
The Early Years team work tirelessly to ensure that children are surrounded by a kind, caring and happy environment which helps them develop the same skills in their journey through school. It is a positive place to be where resilience, perseverance and successes are celebrated and every child feels cared for, valued and respected.
The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. Children that have developed strong characteristics of effective teaching and learning and are persistent and resilient in school and life. Children that are successful with achieving the Early Learning Goals and are ready for learning in Year 1.
We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s professional knowledge of the child, their learning journey which is documented through photographs and videos recorded on Tapestry.
The teaching and pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly through weekly team meetings. These have a focus on teaching and learning, children’s progress, the next steps in their learning, development of the environment and staff professional development. We ensure that the areas we discuss and develop are reflected in changes and developments in our classroom practice.
The Early Years provision features in all areas of the School Development Plan and has a rigorous plan for development each year. This is monitored and evaluated by the Assistant Head-EYFS, SLT and designated governor Sherrie Hogg. We moderate our practise with the support of CATS (Central Ashford Town Schools) meeting and discussing good practise and focussing on the EYFS curriculum.