The curriculum in EYFS is planned around the changing needs of each cohort that join Nursery or Reception. The EYFS staff team design the curriculum based on the key beliefs that it should be fun, interesting and relevant to the children’s interests and should enable the pupils to develop key skills and understanding at the right level for each individual.
On entry to Nursery, many children are working below the age related expectations in the Prime areas of learning: Communication and Language; Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development. Much of the curriculum in Nursery is planned around helping the children progress in these areas and the activities designed by the experienced Nursery staff team support children in their development of social skills, independence, speaking, listening and fine motor skills.
Many hands on experiences are provided for the children along with trips outside the Nursery. Musical activities, growing flowers and vegetables, looking after the resident chickens and spending lots of time in the outdoor area are particular strengths of the Nursery curriculum. The continuous provision in the Nursery environment enables children to access resources independently and choose from a very wide range of activities.
When children enter Reception, emphasis is placed on the rapid development of key skills for children who need support with fine motor skills and speaking and listening skills in order to enable them to access the wider curriculum, particularly Reading and Writing.
The Reception curriculum is delivered through short thematic topics designed to inspire, fire the imagination and enthuse the children. Wherever possible, these topics are derived from the children’s current interests such as an interest in building ships in the garden leading to a topic on Pirates. A week’s learning is designed around the current topic, incorporating Adult Directed sessions and enhancements to the continuous provision. The staff team work closely together to ensure planned activities closely meet the children’s needs. A key strength in the planning process is the way the children and staff work together collaboratively to come up with creative ideas for how the continuous provision and role play area can be designed for each topic.
Reading and Writing skills are taught through a daily systematic programme of Phonics lessons, carefully planned to meet children’s needs and identify any gaps in understanding as they develop.
Children’s progress is monitored closely throughout the EYFS which enables the staff to respond quickly to any gaps in skills or understanding through Adult Directed lessons that focus on particular areas of weakness. Individual and group support is provided to help children make rapid progress with key skills.