Children learn from every aspect of life around them. The most valuable resource any child can have at their disposal is a familiar, attuned, sensitive and knowledgeable adult. This means that whether children prefer to be indoors or out, our highly skilled staff can take learning to where they are and meet their interests.
Children can learn from the environment, the atmosphere, the routines, the activities and learning experiences presented to them. It is impossible to separate aspects of learning and development in young children, but the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum helps us as educators, to track and plan for children’s next steps in learning as they aim towards the Early Learning Goals, which are the expectation for the end of the Reception year.
Here at Balby Central we deliver the EYFS Curriculum. We plan activities for children to help them develop their skills and take their learning forward. The curriculum itself is divided into 7 areas of learning and development:
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are the prime areas of learning, which are:
We then support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
All teaching is delivered through teacher led learning and structured play however children are able to consolidate this and learn for themselves during independent child initiated activities in a stimulating learning environment that is steered by quality adult interactions. The balance of teacher led and child initiated activities is appropriately balanced for our children to ensure and enable them to understand, make links and rule out misconceptions. Observations are key to identifying what children can actually do for themselves. These are taken by all EYFS staff during child initiated play and form the basis of our assessments. (Evidence that children are capable as independent learners) and feed directly into our assessments.
At Balby Central we have experienced a growing upward trend in the number of children achieving Good Levels of Development in the past three years. We believe that this is direct result of the balance between teacher led and child led activities and the quality of provision we make available for the children to apply skills and consolidate their learning independently. The quality of interactions and observation recording has also significantly improved which effectively enables teachers in the EYFS to triangulate evidence, assessment and use this to inform planning and meet the needs of individual children.
Parents are closely involved and are asked to inform staff about their child’s interests. Following interests are the key to homing into learning that is both memorable and internalised by the children. Parents are invited to join us in Reception on a Friday morning for reading time. In Nursery this is much harder as the children need to learn and comply to routines and boundaries set.
Our observations feed directly into our assessment package ‘Tapestry. Everything a child does and can do independently is captured as an observation and links directly into Tapestry. This enables staff to target pupils effectively and tailor support to meet their individual needs. Tracking and monitoring pupil’s capabilities are therefore evident and next steps are clearly identified for an individual. Intervention groups to further support children’s individual needs can consequently be efficiently organised to enhance progression for target children and effectively move their learning on. A system called Insight is the portal for every Class teacher in the EYFS to identify those children who are falling behind, those who need a push and for those who need extra challenge and provide appropriate learning activities effectively. Progression is evident in the children’s Learning journals.