At Springfield Primary School, pupils in our Nursery and Reception Class follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals and on developing children’s skills and experiences, as set out in this document.
Long-term planning in the Foundation Stage is based upon whole school ‘themes’. In addition, learning experiences are shaped towards children’s interests as well as considering the need to ensure coverage of the EYFS framework. Medium-term planning, based on these themes, is then produced and includes ideas for activities, visits etc. Short-term planning then specifies objectives and activities for phonics sessions, number-time, writing activities and other adult-led activities and child initiated activities.
During the Foundation Stage, all staff make continual observations to record the children’s progress. These assessments form an important part of the future curriculum planning for each child and are shared with staff and parents and carers.
In Nursery we begin to teach the building blocks of reading through early exposure to texts, language and through sound discrimination activities. We use Government guidance called Letters and Sounds to help teachers plan progression in phonic skills throughout Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. This is reinforced with ‘Jolly phonics’ songs and actions.
Our main reading scheme is ‘Bug club’ books, which is supplemented by other schemes, which children read in school and take home for further practise. Children also have access to online Bug club ebooks which they can log onto a home and at school.
Explaining the Early Years assessment Profile
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of their Reception year.
The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Within each of these areas, there are specific Early Learning Goals.
The EYFS is broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months.
For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development: for example, ‘notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures’.
Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The assessment takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities, and planned observations, where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group.
There are three separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band:
- Expected: your child is working at the level expected for their age
- Emerging: your child is working below the expected level
- Exceeding: your child is working above the expected level
Your child’s teacher will award one of these levels for each of the seven EYFS areas of learning.
On leaving the Foundation Stage at the end of Reception, a child is considered to have a ‘Good Level of Development’ if they have achieved at least the expected level in the Early Learning Goals in all aspects of PSED, Physical development, Communication and language, Literacy and Mathematics.
To ensure that EYFS levels are consistent within schools and Nationally, the Profile is subject to moderation. This happens both internally, for example with other teachers and the headteacher, and externally, with the Local Authority taking a sample of a school’s Profiles to moderate.