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Early Years

 
 

Early Years

 
 

Early Years

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20 May 2024 in Latest news

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To ensure that all children leave EYFS as resilient, confident, independent learners who have made great progress from their individual starting points and are ready for KS1.

 

At Lordswood, we aim to provide motivating, hands on memorable learning experiences that encourage children to display ambition and develop a lifelong love of learning. As part of the Griffin Schools Trust, our children are part of a school and wider community who engage in Proud Traditions, Wide Horizons and Achieve Highly in all areas of school life.

Our Nursery offers both 15 and 30 hour provision. This is free for parents who are eligible – check www.gov.uk to find out if you may be eligible.

If you only need your child to attend for 15 hours, this will be in morning or afternoon sessions.

Nursery and Reception work closely together to maximise learning opportunities for all the children.

 

Curriculum

“Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure they can become everything they can”

 Carol Ann Tomlinson

Intent

At Lordswood School we are passionate about ensuring all children achieve the very best of their potential. We place great value on the development of children as individuals and provide them with the skills, knowledge, understanding and passion to prepare them for life beyond school. Our aim in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success alongside our ‘values-based’ approach to education. As a result, our children will be successful and go forward to become active, confident, happy and curious life-long learners.

Our curriculum embeds the necessary habits for learning through the Griffin Great Characteristics: Proud Lions, Curious Dolphins, Independent Eagle, Courageous Gorilla and the Persevering Spider.  We regularly share and celebrate children’s achievements through weekly certificates (for Respect and Perseverance), the Gold Book BBQ in July, WOW work on Facebook and Twitter, Google Classroom (where children can share their achievements) and weekly assemblies, as well as our School Wide Positive Behaviour Strategy (SWPBS), which focuses on and promotes positive behaviour seen in school.

We support children, through a bespoke curriculum, which means every child, regardless of need, can have the opportunity to make progress and flourish. This enables the children to learn how to listen, speak and think in a critical way, which will support them in making links across the curriculum as they progress through their academic career. We hold Personal, Social and Emotional development in high regard to ensure our children are responsible and caring individuals. Our holistic environment meets the needs of our children and is adjusted accordingly to support their interests and needs, with a large indoor and outdoor provision that covers all of the areas of the curriculum and allows the children to take the lead in their own learning whilst being supported by adults who challenge and extend their learning further.

Our investment in the children’s extra-curricular experiences mean that children continually receive high quality teaching and experiences. Some of these include: Forest School, Visitors, School Trips, Living Eggs Project, Griffin Arts Festival, Griffin Sports Festival, Founders’ Day, Science Week, Healthy Living Week, regular Curriculum-themed days, World Book Day, Charity events, Easter Bonnet Parade, World Religion Day, Gold Book BBQ, Nativity, Graduation and Sports’ Day.

Our staff regularly receive additional training towards their Continuous Professional Development to ensure they meet the highest expectations and are up to date with current guidelines and changes in the curriculum.

Implementation

Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. Our Early Years timetable is carefully structured so that children have a balance of phonics, maths, small group literacy time, RE, Physical activities, reading and discovery time (child led learning). Termly Internet Safety sessions are included in the curriculum and the children are encouraged to discuss their learning with families.  Weekly sessions of PSED (personal, social and emotional development) are delivered through our Jigsaw programme and a short course of mindfulness is delivered to children to ensure they are calm and able to self-regulate (in addition to the use of our Zones of Regulation). Sign Along is embedded in our curriculum and children will learn the basics of this to support them to communicate their needs effectively, alongside their developing vocabulary.

During small group time, the teacher will work with a few children at a time to meet their individual needs and targets. This will be achieved through supportive and challenging activities which complement our “thinking schools” approach. These new skills will then be embedded into the provision and opportunities will be presented to the children to make secure links and practise these skills during their own learning time.  Children’s work will be marked alongside them (using verbal feedback) and misconceptions will be addressed instantly to ensure they have the opportunities to make a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.

The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development (including understanding of the world and expressive arts and design), as well as promoting sustained thinking and active learning.

Early reading is held at the heart of our curriculum. In Nursery, children follow the Letters and Sounds programme and become experts at environmental sounds, initial sounds and recognising oral blending. As children move into Reception they follow the rigorous and highly successful Read Write Inc Programme in Reception, which promotes good outcomes by structured and consistent teaching of phonics – which children can then continue to develop as they progress through Key Stage One.  Children are assessed regularly and are regrouped accordingly so that they are accessing suitable content for their ability.  We use high quality texts which are supported by the Power of Reading planning to ensure children get a deep understanding of inference of the text.  This is further supported by our use of Floor Books, which is taught daily and follows an adapted VIPERS approach to the curriculum (focusing on Vocabulary, Inference, Role Play, Sequencing and Describing characters/ setting.

Maths is delivered with an emphasis on studying of the key skills of number, calculation and shape, so that the pupils develop a deep understanding and a strong acquisition of mathematical language. Pupils will learn through songs, games and tasks and given the time to rehearse the newly acquired skills and apply their own learning during discovery time.  These early mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils rehearse and remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger contexts.

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together; however, we have a range of additional intervention and support to enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their full potential or moving on children who may need additional support.  We have regular sessions with our internal Speech and Language Support Assistant in school to assist children with their targets, when needed.  This is alongside engagement from experienced outreach practitioners to assist children further if needed. We have staff who are trained to deliver Colourful Semantics and See and Learn programmes where needed.  As a school we are quick to identify and address children’s needs so they can achieve their dreams and aspirations.

Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning ensures teachers oversee all children successfully and can narrow the gaps in the curriculum, further ensuring all children meet their potential. Weekly moderations hold our staff to account and confirm that judgements are made fairly and accurately across our Early Years Foundation Stage.

Impact

Our curriculum meets the requirements of our children to thrive, including our disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND.  Progress is evident through ongoing observational assessments to identify children’s starting points and plan experiences that ensure they succeed. We evaluate how children are learning through talking to them, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress by year group, class, groups and individuals. Evidence of children’s learning including observations, work samples, photographs and contributions from home learning are kept in paper learning journeys, which children use to reflect on their progress through pupil voice and celebrate their achievements with their peers and families.

All children make at least expected progress following Reception Baseline Assessment at the start of the year and bespoke individual planning. Our curriculum and its delivery are tailored towards every child.  During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress and our EYFS has been consistently above National Expectation for Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of the year for the last 7 years.  Pupils make good progress towards their age-related expectations before transitioning to Year One and their determination and passion for learning helps them continue to make progress as they travel through the school. We believe our high standards are due to enriched play-based exploration alongside the rigour of assessment and the high quality teaching the children experience when in our care. Our transition package ensures children are happy and ready to approach new challenges with confidence and enthusiasm. They “graduate” from Reception and Nursery happy, curious and resilient individuals, which is then built on as they journey though Lordswood School.

Regular discussions and parent sessions impact positively on them being able to support their child’s learning. Everyone is able to confidently support the children to make progress. Through these opportunities and Google classroom, home school links are strong and parents actively engage with the Early Year’s Curriculum. The school YouTube channel is live and this offers a wide range of videos to support learning further and provide parents with necessary information, when needed.  Lordswood EYFS Twitter supports families to know what children are doing and this supports engaging conversations at home about the learning taking place.

 

Phonics Scheme

Our Phonics scheme at Lordswood Primary School is Read write Inc. Read Write Inc is an interactive phonics programme that aims to get children reading and writing fast. It is designed for children aged 4 – 7 but can also be used with 8 – 9 year olds to help them catch up . The programme is rooted in synthetic phonics. Teaching synthetic phonics, in a systematic way, aims to drive up standards in reading and writing. Comprehension skills develop as the children move from learning to read, to reading to understand. The programme builds confidence in grammar, punctuation and spelling ensuring every child becomes a successful reader.

Children are taught phonics every day in small, differentiated groups and are assessed regularly. The sessions are fast paced, interactive and fun!

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Proud Traditions | Wide Horizons | High Achievement

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