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There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.

These are the prime areas:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development

Providers must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:
• literacy
• mathematics
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design

Literacy

National Curriculum Statement

Communication and Language
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of
learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early
age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number
and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the
day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children
are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary
added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently
to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Literacy
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of
two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language
comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only
develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the
books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy
working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the
speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription
(spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring
them in speech, before writing).

Our Intent

The reception year is a fundamental stage in a child’s life and one in which we aim to welcome and settle our children and their families into our school community. We aim to provide children with the opportunities to develop a love of learning through positive relationships, memorable experiences and by giving them an active role in their learning by tailoring learning to the children’s interests . But, we also know the importance of the reception year to equip children with the fundamental skills as they prepare for the National Curriculum in Year 1.
We aim to equip children with a strong foundation of Early Literacy Skills on which their learning can continue to build as they move through their school years. We understand how early communication and Language and Literacy skills weave throughout the whole of the Early Years Curriculum and are the pathway for children’s success to access learning and new knowledge.
Through a range of play based and adult led approaches, we work to ensure children secure a strong foundation of reading, writing and communication skills. We work to support our families too, to enhance their understanding of the key role they play in their child’s learning journey.

Mathematics

National Curriculum Statement

Mathematics
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop
the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to
count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the
relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing
frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as
using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising
counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from
which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the
curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial
reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and
measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in
mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’,
talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make
mistakes.

Our Intent

The reception year is a fundamental stage in a child’s life and one in which we aim to welcome and settle our children and their families into our school community. We aim to provide children with the opportunities to develop a love of learning through positive relationships, memorable experiences and by giving them an active role in their learning by tailoring learning to the children’s interests . But, we also know the importance of the reception year to equip children with the fundamental skills as they prepare for the National Curriculum in Year 1.

We aim to equip children with a strong foundation of Early Mathematic Skills on which their learning can continue to build as they move through their school years. We understand how early number sense is critical to supporting children in acquiring the building blocks of number and the importance of embedding number teaching and number experiences into real life opportunities so that children understand the role and importance of numbers in everyday life.
Through a range of play based and adult led approaches, we work to ensure children secure a strong foundation of number, pattern, shape, space and measure. However, we also understand the importance of adult led teaching for developing children’s mathematical understanding. We use White Rose Maths planning alongside child led themes and opportunities to teach maths in Early Years.

We work to support our families too, to enhance their understanding of the key role they play in their child’s learning journey.

Assessment

Class teachers use assessment to track the achievements of all pupils at key milestones throughout the year across all areas of the Early Year Curriculum. This is particularly important for monitoring Early Literacy Skills because we understand that this is a thread that runs throughout the whole curriculum. We begin initially with the baseline assessment and information provided through our robust transition from pre schools. This data will influence starting points and next steps for pupils and the level of support needed.

With the new curriculum, whilst the progress of all pupils is essential, early identification of those children who are in danger of falling behind is identified as critical. Early identification allows practioners to quickly identify the needs of children and implement measures and interventions to close gaps in learning. Assessment findings link to the class provision map, identifying those steps being taken to support children in danger of falling behind.

Phonic assessments take place at the end of each phase, alongside more informal daily teacher observations, allowing teachers to ensure the provision meets the needs of all children in the class. This allows us to offer additional support and challenge where needed.

Assessment

Class teachers use assessment to track the achievements of all pupils at key milestones throughout the year across all areas of the Early Year Curriculum.  We begin initially with the baseline assessment and information provided through our robust transition from pre schools. This data will influence starting points and next steps for pupils and the level of support needed. 

As skilled practioners we use our understanding of child development and the Early Years Framework to understand the vital link between mathematics and other areas of the curriculum when assessing progress. e.g. the importance of securing those positive relationships, developing children’s self regulation, their confidence to try new things and step out of their comfort zone, the power and importance of mistakes.  Likewise, we understand the role and vital importance of children being supported to develop their speaking and listening skills so that they can adequately express their mathematical ideas, use new mathematical vocabulary and ask and answer questions to deepen their understanding.

With the new curriculum, whilst the progress of all pupils is  essential, early identification of those children who are in danger of falling behind is identified as critical.  Early identification allows practioners to quickly identify the needs of children and implement measures and interventions to close gaps in learning.  Assessment findings link to the class provision map, identifying those steps being taken to support children in danger of falling behind.

Monitoring & Evaluating

Impact of the implementation of the teaching of Early Literacy & Mathematics Skills is measured in a variety of ways.

These include:

  • Talking to children and families about their experiences
  • Time spent in the learning environments
  • Assessment data
  • Looking at samples of children’s work

PSE & Understanding the World

National Curriculum Statement

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for
children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive
development. Underpinning their personal development are the important
attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own
feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions,
develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in
their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as
necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently.
Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good
friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will
provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later
life.

Understanding the World
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

PSE in EYFS

  • Self Regulation:
  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behavior accordingly.
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate.
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions:
  • Managing Self:
  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
  • Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly.
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
  • Building relationships:
  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others.
  • Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers.
  • Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

 Expressive Arts & Design & Physical Development 

National Curriculum Statement

Expressive Arts and Design
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their
imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

Physical Development
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to
pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences
develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory
explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and
positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.

Expressive Art & Design in EYFS

Creating with materials
Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Being Imaginative and Expressive
Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.

Physical Development: Fine Motor Skills:
Use a range of small tools, including scissors.

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