At Anker Valley Primary Academy, we take time to get to know each individual child well and build good relationships so that we can best understand each child's needs. Our approach gives the children opportunities to learn, make choices and decisions and develop self-awareness, confidence and independence. This learning takes place in an atmosphere of caring and warmth, where each child and their individual needs and achievements are recognised, valued and praised.
We follow the 'In the Moment' approach to teaching reception, that is based around a key text or topic, thus creating a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give children, particularly the most disadvantaged, the opportunity to lead their learning with all staff, carrying out the cycle of: assessment, planning and observation on a moment by moment basis.
Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed to:
- support children’s transition to Reception (and then KS1)
- reflect our outdoor environment
- teach the children how their environment compares to other places, cultures and nature in their local community and other parts of the world
- learn about themselves, and other important people in their lives, including in the school, their family and the local community
The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in Reception incorporates the statutory requirements of the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’, which sets the standards for care and learning in the early years. Our EYFS curriculum offer ensures that pupils in Reception experience a range of learning opportunities, which best meet their developmental needs as well as taking into account their individual interests.
We utilise the EYFS Statutory Framework, Development Matters (2020) and the updated Birth to 5 Matters to ensure we are knowledgeable about how children typically develop and how we can support them further where necessary. We want children to acquire knowledge and develop skills typical for their age. We create purposeful and exciting learning experiences, well-modelled adult-led activities and build warm, genuine relationships with our youngest learners, in order to support their learning journey. The curriculum for Reception is planned to enable the children to acquire knowledge, demonstrate their understanding and learn skills through the seven areas of learning. All seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
EYFS Curriculum Implementation
In the early years of life, children learn through play. It is through play that children make discoveries about themselves and find out about the world around them. By providing a range of play-based activities in EYFS, we aim to encourage learning through excitement, fun and discovery both inside and outside the classroom.
From what we know about how children learn, we also recognise that there is a need for direct teacher-led activities to ensure that children gain essential knowledge. Adult-led learning activities are carefully modelled and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise what they have been taught. We ensure that our children experience a good balance of child-initiated and adult-directed learning activities. At Anker Valley, children in Reception will have the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways, including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, small-group teaching, investigations, problem-solving, paired talk and independent learning.
EYFS Curriculum Impact
We anticipate that our EYFS curriculum will ensure that children are equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding that provide them with an excellent start to their KS1 education. During their time in Reception, their individuality is valued and each and every child has every opportunity to achieve, building on their own personal strengths, based upon interests and values whilst learning in EYFS and beyond. Any children not making sufficient progress are identified early, so that we can adjust our provision or provide additional intervention. The overall impact of the curriculum will be to enable pupils, from their different starting points, to make good progress. From their starting point to transitioning into Year 1, they will make good progress, across all seven areas of learning, academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically.
Mrs Kerry Davies is the EYFS lead at Anker Valley Primary Academy.