At Gislingham CE Primary School, we aim to provide a safe, nurturing environment which promotes the highest standard of education for our youngest pupils. Our Early Years team is committed to providing an environment that is rich with possibilities, develops children’s independence and puts children right at the centre of their own learning. The aims of our EYFS curriculum are to develop young pupils who are:
- Competent learners (through play)
- Curious and inquisitive
- Accepting and empathetic
Our practice is play-based, since we believe that play with all its language, physicality and social interaction is what gives children the right and appropriate grounding for their educational journey. Play is our fundamental principle but alongside this, we also incorporate direct teaching times across each day to introduce and consolidate skills in phonics, language and literacy mathematics and personal and emotional development.
Through our child-centred approach, we aim to plan exciting, enriched activity based on the children’s interests. We create a sense of awe and wonder through creative ideas which involve the children and, as much as possible, are based on real life experiences. We look to provide opportunity which aims to foster children’s preferred learning styles and demonstrate the various characteristics of effective learning. We provide children with the opportunity to be explorers, be actively involved in their learning, as well, creative and critical thinkers through the planning of open ended tasks. We aim to foster curiosity through carefully planned learning environments enabling children to demonstrate those key characteristics of effective learning. We value the importance of learning outdoors and enjoy using our early year’s outdoor area within our everyday planning.
At Gislingham we ensure that our learning environments provide:
- stimulating resources
- rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
- support for children to take risks and explore
We also know that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value being partners with them in their child’s education. We look to forge positive relationships with parents to enable us to support learning both at home and school. We share the children’s learning through a range of ways including; teacher/parent meetings, sharing profiles and workbooks, positive notes/stickers and an open-door policy.
Children are continually assessed through planned and spontaneous observations, photographs, videos and information drawn from discussions with the children and their parents. These are recorded using a digital 'learning journey' system as well as class books and displays. Parents are encouraged to contribute regularly, and at any time, to the digital learning journey. This information is used by the class teacher to assess children’s attainment against the Early Learning Goals.
Here at Gislingham, we hold high regard for the well-being of all our pupils. We ensure our pupils are ready to access learning through the assessment of their level of well-being and involvement. We then provide opportunities for children to develop this, including the notion of belonging, coping, core self and resilience.
Our EYFS curriculum provides a sustained high quality, well planned and progressive curriculum for the unique child. Because of starting points and previous experiences underpin the delivery of our curriculum within the umbrella of the areas of areas of learning, children are able to make a positive start on their educational journey. We ensure our staff have good knowledge of child development to ensure this tracked clearly and everyone has a good understanding of the progress and attainment of our youngest learners.
The positive relationships developed between staff and children ensure that the children are self-confident, with a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. In addition to this the children’s level of involvement ensures they are intensely engaged in activities which encourage deep level learning and development. This can be seen through the active learning environment which has a ‘buzz’ of learning as they ‘get busy’.
Throughout the age bands; staff regularly review pupil progress through pupil progress meetings and moderation of children’s profiles (both in school, across schools and county). This ensures that all judgments of attainment are accurate and clear. All children’s progress is tracked and attainment is closely monitored. By the end of the EYFS phase (end of Reception), all children will have had a completed Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) outlining their attainment across the phase, in line with the statutory guidelines. From this it is judged whether children are achieving at age related expectations and have achieved a ‘good level of development’ (GLD).
All children will have Quality First Teaching. Any children with identified SEND or in receipt of pupil premium funding may have work additional to and different from their peers in order to access the curriculum dependent upon their needs. As well as this, our school offers a demanding and varied curriculum, providing children with a range of opportunities in order for them to reach their full potential and consistently achieve highly from their starting points.