Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Our EYFS Curriculum
At Offham Primary School our intent is to plan and deliver a carefully considered curriculum that meets the needs of all children. Our curriculum is ambitious and designed to give children, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, self-belief, and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. It builds on what children know and can do, towards increasing knowledge and skills for their future learning.
Our Reception teachers have closely followed the National Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum in order to hone an EYFS provision that meets the needs of our children and community. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum includes three prime areas of learning and four specific areas as follows:
Prime areas: are fundamental, work together and support development in all other areas.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Specific areas: include essential knowledge and skills for children to participate successfully in society.
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
At Offham our 'Learning Questions' for adult led sessions are matched to the essential skills and knowledge that the DfE has laid out within each of these Prime and Specific Areas. Our indoor and outdoor environments are also resourced to provide opportunities for children to explore, practice, and learn the skills and knowledge the EYFS curriculum sets out.
Contexts for Learning
Within Reception, our Contexts for Learning (topics) change frequently and are reflective of the needs and interests of the children. The indoor and outdoor classroom environments are updated frequently to ensure engaging, motivational, and exciting learning opportunities are provided for your child. You will receive a curriculum newsletter each half term which will provide you with more detail about topics and subject content.
Click on our overview infographic below in order to find out more about what we learn within each 'context for learning'
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
When planning out Curriculum we used the research and guidance which can be found in 'Development Matters' (linked below) to inform our choices and decisions. The Characteristics of Effective Learning, outlined in this document, are an integral part of the Early Years and are important when carefully considering the learning environment and the opportunities that will be available.
The Characteristics of Effective Learning include;
‘Finding out and exploring’,
‘Being willing to have a go’,
‘Being involved and concentrating’ and
being a ‘creative and critical thinker’.
Our learning environment is carefully planned with these characteristics in mind and we constantly adapt to meet the needs and interests of our children. At Offham, we value the impact that getting provision right can have on a child's success and journey. The Characteristics of Effective Learning can be developed both indoors and outdoors and can be targeted through engaging activities that encourage curiosity and exploration.
Our EYFS Learning Environment
We provide an enriching, purposeful, and stimulating learning environment both indoors and outdoors which promotes exploration and curiosity. Play is an incredibly important part of our learning process; this paired with adult-led tasks ensures we provide a balanced curriculum with the same academic ambitions for almost all children. For children with particular needs, such as those with SEN and/or disabilities, their curriculum is individualised to meet all of their needs.
In Reception our resources are chosen to meet the children’s needs and promote learning. Our curriculum is taught through a wide range of topics based on our children's interests. It focuses on teaching a balance of skills and knowledge through play and is based on the needs of the current cohort. Regular assessments are carried out through observations of children's play and during adult-led group and class sessions. The knowledge of the children is then used to inform our ‘Learning question' led planning and to support any interventions that need to be put in place. Our curriculum and care practices promote and support children’s emotional security and the development of their character. We pride ourselves on putting pupil wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.
Phonics, Reading and Oracy at Offham
At Offham Primary School there is a sharp focus on language and vocabulary development, increasing opportunities for conversations and ensuring that all children can communicate effectively. By following the Essential Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics programme, We provide children with a secure knowledge of phonics, giving children the foundations for future learning and preparing them to become confident and fluent readers. Essential Letters and sounds is both systematic and cumulative, ensuring that children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception. We follow CLUSP (The Unity School's Curriculum for Literacy) which has helped us to develop a strong literature spine for Reception, providing and immersing children in a range of high-quality literature that gives every child a mirror in which to see themselves and offers a window to children to see a world beyond their own.
Reading is seen as an integral part of our EYFS environment with relevant texts in every learning area and weekly class trips to our wonderful school library. Children practise their reading both at home and in school using books that match their individual phonic knowledge and our Reception Team promote a love of reading by carefully planning adult-led Literacy lessons based around stories or books of interest which link to the topic of learning.
At Offham Primary School we believe that Oracy is the key to success. We ensure that our children are immersed in a ‘language-rich’ environment through a variety of stories, non-fiction texts, songs and nursery rhymes right from their very first day. New vocabulary is introduced regularly linking to the topic of learning, through whole class and group circle times, as well as in child-initiated play through high-quality interactions with the children. New vocabulary is modelled effectively by adults supporting the play provision which encourages the sharing of ideas and curiosity about the world around them.
White Rose Maths in Reception
Using the White Rose Scheme for Maths within our EYFS setting ensures that our Reception Team are knowledgeable and confident about the teaching of Early Mathematics. We provide regular adult-led Maths sessions where children can gain a greater understanding of a range of mathematical concepts. Following these sessions, the children are encouraged to apply their knowledge in their play; through the high-quality provision provided. We ensure that children have sufficient practice to be confident in using and understanding numbers as well as developing a strong basis for more complex problem-solving and reasoning later on. Across EYFS, the teaching is designed to help children remember long-term what they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts.
Forest School Sessions
In Reception we use the woods and the forests as a means to build independence and self-esteem in our children. We are lucky to have a fabulous Forest School base within the local Offham Woodland and we take our Reception children on a weekly welly-walk to have an hour-long session led by our Forest School-trained teacher weekly. Our Forest School curriculum is well linked with our Reception curriculum with links to the natural environment make within all of our contexts for learning. Personal skills of teamwork and problem solving are developed and the woodland environment is used to learn about more abstract concepts such as mathematics and communication. You can find out more in the Forest School section of our website.
At Offham Primary school we use 'Tapestry' a secure online learning journal to record photos, observations, and comments about the children's journey through the Reception Year, building up a meaningful record of each child’s experiences during their time with us. This system allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children’s play and learning in and outside of the classroom. We encourage parents to be actively involved in their child’s learning and welcome home observations detailing what a child has accomplished at home.
At Offham Primary School, we value working alongside parents and recognise the positive impact successful relationships have on a child’s learning and social and emotional development. Parents are the experts in their children; their first and enduring educators. We welcome parents into our setting to be partners in their child's journey, and offer regular 'stay and play' sessions. Offham children are confident and take pride in their learning and love to share this with their families.