'We can all get better at what we do if we get the right support, encouragement and help.
We want to play our part in giving the children the best possible start to their learning.'
At Manor Park School and Nursery, we set realistic and challenging expectations. We give our children every opportunity to succeed and enable them to reach their full potential. Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed taking account of our children’s range of life experiences and we ensure that it is rich in memorable experiences. We want to develop children’s cultural capital, so they can succeed in life by introducing them to new experiences and knowledge and teaching them new skills.
Our EYFS curricular goals, within our bespoke curriculum, are therefore unique to Manor Park. Play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our early years curriculum.
Children learn to be independent and develop confidence from secure relationships. We have a team of skilful staff who aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with the children and their families.
The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development and learning across all 7 areas. We ensure it is stimulating and well-structured, accessible and inclusive for all children. We encourage children’s creativity and curiosity to grow, alongside the development of key skills and knowledge.
We have strong links across the 2-Year-Old Room, Nursery and Reception and view transition as key in ensuring our children feel happy, safe and secure and are ready for the next phase of learning.
We want our children to become independent and confident with a genuine love of learning and have the skills and knowledge they need to enter KS1.
We implement the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) to ensure all children are given the optimum opportunity to progress and develop, in a safe and healthy environment. They are taught the EYFS Statutory Educational Programmes within Development Matters (2021).
We use a range of teaching approaches, including adult-led and child-initiated. As adults we aim to build the foundation of the children’s learning of skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, so that the children can apply this within continuous and enhanced provision. We also provide time for quality interactions between adults and peers as we understand that when adults model, support, talk, interact with children in their play it makes the biggest difference to how well children’s communication and language skills develop. We follow the ShREC approach to ensure high quality interactions.
Each phase (Two-Year-Olds, Nursery and Reception) has eight curricular goals, which are each broken down into three milestones. These milestones are integral to our planning and assessment.
Our curricular goals are taught through a topic approach which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors, thus developing children’s cultural capital. Topics are introduced with a good quality storybook or age-appropriate non-fiction text. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's language and communication development. All planning is responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
Developing communication and language skills runs throughout our curricular goals as we understand the huge impact acquiring a wide and varied vocabulary at an early age can have on a child's future. We have created ‘language rich’ environments through songs, rhymes and the use of quality texts. Children become confident early readers through the systematic teaching of phonics using ‘Read Write Inc Phonics’.
Children develop their maths understanding and skills through a mix of direct teaching and exploration using ‘Power Maths’ and ‘NCTEM Mastery Maths’. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
Observation / Assessment
Applying the Characteristics of Effective Learning, we use ongoing observations to plan challenging activities and experiences which support or extend the children’s learning and development. The EYFS staff liaise regularly to discuss individual children, particularly those children who are not making sufficient progress and how we can support them. Learning Journey books show each child’s progress through the year and large ‘Learning Adventure’ class books showcase the learning that has taken place.
Staff in the 2-Year-Old room carry out the 2-year-check in conjunction with parents / carers and consider each child’s voice. Parents / carers are provided with a short-written summary of their child’s development in the prime areas. This identifies the child’s strengths, and importantly any areas where the child’s progress is less than expected. We also work in partnership with health professionals to identify any areas of delay and ways to support the children in our 2-Year-Old room.
In Reception, we complete school baseline data and the Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment in September. This informs future planning for the cohort and support / challenge for groups and individual children.
Children are assessed in relation to their progress within Development Matters and our termly milestones. Judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations, discussions with colleagues, assessments and an in-depth knowledge of the children. These then inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year. At the end of the final Reception term we assess the children against the Early Learning Goals.
The Learning Environment
We have created beautiful, fresh and natural environments for our children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. Our overall environment is warm, welcoming and nurturing and facilitates a sense of belonging. We support children in learning our rules and routines and engage them in activities to build their emotional resilience and social skills.
There is sufficient space in each room for the children to move and collaborate. Rooms are set up in learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. We offer a range of activities and resources, which are familiar to the children, as well as ones that are new to them. We ensure the activities and environment meet the needs of all the children.
The Reception and Nursery rooms have access to their own enclosed outdoor areas. These allow our children to explore, use their senses, be physically active and exuberant and become resilient. Activities and resources are available outdoors that help the children develop in all seven Areas of Learning.
Parents/Carers as Partners
We recognise that parents / carers are children’s first educators and we value the contribution they make. We build trust with parents / carers through effective two-way communication. We ensure that all EYFS staff are kept well informed and are able to answer questions and queries from parents / carers. We invite new parents / carers in for play sessions in our 2-Year-Old room and Nursery, Reception parents are invited to an induction meeting. We offer parents / carers regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress. We arrange events throughout the year to encourage collaboration and engagement between home and school e.g. Stay and play, sports days, concerts, trips etc. We also hold meetings / workshops to support parents at home.
We regularly evaluate our EYFS policy, practice, curriculum and the environment which enables us to consistently review and improve. During team meetings the staff team can be seen to be reflective and are able to discuss children’s progress as they know the children so well.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensures that all children, from their own starting points make good progress. Children in our early years, on average, arrive with much lower starting points than national. During their time with us children make good progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the Reception year.
Our children will be supported regularly by the staff to become active learners and encouraged to have-a-go. Children will be confident to take risks and discuss their experiences. Our children will be actively engaged in their learning and this will be apparent in their child-initiated activities where they will apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding.
Our children will have experienced a curriculum that provides exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities. They will be reflective learners and able to discuss their learning when looking through their own Learning Journey books and the ‘Learning Adventure’ class book.
Our children will be successful learners and able to make sense of the world around them, through our school values of: Respect, Pride, Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection. They will be prepared for the next stage as they transition from EYFS into KS1. We believe our children will be happy, inquisitive and confident learners and fulfil our school vision of ‘Limitless Dreams - Endless Opportunities’.