At Hillary Primary school, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full potential. We always begin by looking at the individual needs of our children and taking into account their different starting points. We then carefully develop our flexible EYFS Curriculum, which enables them to follow the path of their learning journey, at a point, that is suitable for their unique needs and stage of development.
We have five clear aims, which we want all children to achieve during their journey with us in the EYFS and beyond. They are:
At Hillary Primary School, we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. Four guiding principles shape our practice in the EYFS. These are:
There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in our setting. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected;
The Prime areas:-
The Specific Areas:-
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small group sessions and working with individuals. There is a balance of adult-led and child initiated learning. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of our EYFS Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. We strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. All of the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year, which encompasses a range of topics, which are designed with their interests in mind. We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children.
The aim of our EYFS curriculum is to develop a thirst and love for learning by:
Children demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities, developing their speaking and listening skills, enabling them to access more areas of the learning and communicate to both adults and children. Children develop skills across all areas of the curriculum including literacy, mathematics and physical development using these in different ways. A high proportion of children make good/ rapid progress where the majority have very low starting points.
A range of high quality texts are linked to the curriculum themes where children foster a ‘love of reading’ and not only develop reading skills but also tackle the vast vocabulary gap evident among the families which we serve.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
Parental Engagement positively impacts children’s learning as well as developing their own skills to enable them to support their child.
Our long-term plans are not an exhaustive list but are designed to give a brief overview of our learning. We regularly review and adapt them to reflect the children's specific interests/needs.