Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
At Heatherley, our children in our Early Years phase follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which consists of seven areas of learning. We teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across both the prime and specific areas of learning. We recognise that all children develop and learn at different rates and so our EYFS curriculum is designed flexibly to meet the needs of all individuals. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our curriculum and pupils learning, through an enabling and well-planned environment we ensure we provide meaningful opportunities for playing and learning, active learning and creating and thinking critically. As children utilise and develop these characteristics they become effective and motivated learners who demonstrate high levels of well-being and involvement. We are committed to partnerships with families to provide every possible opportunity for our children to become confident communicators, to be socially competent, to have high levels of well-being and to develop the necessary physical skills.
We recognise that the environment plays a significant role in supporting children’s learning and development and so our indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to promote high levels of involvement and the level of learning. Well-planned, high-quality continuous provision provides for children with familiar and consistent areas and resources that are open ended and flexible, promoting all aspects of learning and development. We provide stimulating and challenging enhancements that give children new experiences and support new learning. To enable children to participate in “risky freedoms” we ensure that both adults and children are involved in processes of assessing risk/ benefit. Our environments are created to reflect and respond to children’s predictable and specific needs and interests. Our daily routines are flexible and a key teaching strategy to embed learning. They are designed to provide sufficient time for children to become in grossed in self-initiated activity. As well as our indoor provision our outdoor provision provides varied and exciting experiences. This includes Woodland School and access to a well-planned outdoor space which offers the children those experiences only available in the natural world.
At Heatherley, we use Tapestry as one of our assessment trackers, to record our children’s knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. It is a consistent and reliable way of demonstrating progress through the EYFS. Through daily interactions we are able to build a rich and accurate understanding of each child across all aspects of learning and development. Our assessments are meaningful and impact on our children’s learning and development as we use them to inform our children’s next steps and identify potential gaps in learning which are personalised and challenging. Our observations then inform the assessments we make on Tapestry as children approach the end of each range milestone. We bring our knowledge of a child together to make a summative assessment about where they are in relation to key developmental milestones.