Early Years Curriculum

Early Years Curriculum
The overarching aim of the EYFS is to help young children stay safe, be healthy, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution, and achieve economic well-being by providing:
The best for every child
High quality care
A suitable, engaging, and holistic curriculum
Partnerships with parents
Children’s self-regulation and executive function
Effective assessment opportunities
A broad and collaborative pedagogy
The guiding principles which shape our practice are grouped into four distinct but complementary themes:
1. A Unique Child
2. Positive Relationships
3. Enabling Environments
4. Learning and Development
We believe that children’s early learning experiences deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. We understand that building secure relationships with children and their families at the early stage is key to understanding how we can maximise learning opportunities for every child in our setting.
We are fully committed to taking the time to understand and follow children’s interests and provide a rich curriculum that supports learning, consolidates, and deepens knowledge and ensures that children achieve their next steps.

Through planning, teachers ensure that there is a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities across the day. During child-initiated activities the adults’ role is to show an interest in the children’s ideas, build conversation, facilitate and share ideas and model different skills. Such interaction with the children is essential as this helps to build the children’s understanding and therefore guides new learning.
This is then re-fed back into the planning to ensure that the topics being covered reflect the children’s fascinations currently within the class. By being fluid in this way current topics can be readily introduced and adapted. This allows for spontaneity within our Foundation Stage and allows for unexpected occurrences, such as a butterfly in class, birthdays, new siblings, the window cleaner, to become an integral part of our learning.
Learning Through Play
At Widewell Primary Academy our curriculum is designed to: recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home, provide first hand learning experiences, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition, and integrity. Every child is recognised as a unique individual and we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts, and values.
We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that our first experiences of school should be happy and positive, enabling us to develop a lifelong love of learning. We believe it provides children with a wide range of rich, first hand learning experiences to take the curriculum beyond the classroom and develop their love of learning, independence, and creative thinking. As a team we currently follow the Early Adopter 2020 EYFS curriculum.

Assessment takes a variety of forms to gain an understanding of each child’s level of understanding. These can be through observations, photographic evidence, examples of work, parental conversations.
Assessment occurs throughout any taught session as well as during free flow times when children are embedding and extending any previous learning. These assessments will then be used to shape and adapt any future learning.
Observations are taken using Tapestry which allows staff to take photos, videos and to make notes while observing what the children are doing or saying. From such observations we can ascertain what the next steps are for the children. We are then able to share these experiences with the children’s parents daily. This is a two-way process whereby parents may input observations of their own, add comments to post and like observations they can view.
Clear monitoring and liaison across the Early Years Unit by all the very experienced -teachers at Widewell, who are part of the teaching and learning team. The Headteacher has overall responsibility of the whole early years provision at Widewell.
Teachers use their best judgement to assess where the children are developing well and where they need additional support to further their learning.
Children are challenged where possible but are encouraged to further their interests as well as their academic achievements. Informal assessments are made daily, weekly, termly, and annually. Tapestry is used to inform future planning that relates to our termly topics but also to enhance the continuous provision based on the children’s likes and interests.
The impact of our curriculum will also, in fact, be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be ready to join KS1 by the time they leave our Early Years Unit.