Whitchurch Primary School and Nursery welcome children from three months old, where they follow their EYFS journey until the end of Reception Year.
To provide an outstanding, nurturing and inclusive environment which gives children enriching and pertinent experiences to prepare them for their next educational phase.
Whitchurch EYFS Intent and Impact Document
Spaces which support learning
Our EYFS environments are welcoming, calming and promote a home from home feel. In every area, interesting objects and activities invite closer observation and deeper thinking. The connections between the learning areas complement each other, for example growing produce in the garden to bring to the cafe or art work in the Studio inspired by storytelling in the Story Museum. Our settings allow dynamic learning as children take their ideas from one space to another; sharing their ideas with others in a new area allowing rich possibilities for exploration. Practitioner teams review the effectiveness of continuous provision throughout the day and use carefully selected enhancements to further extend and enable learning.
Our EYFS team select authentic resources because they promote creativity, play and have multiple purposes. As such children have the opportunity to experience a range of textures, size, shape and weights. Supervised play with breakable, real-life items made of glass and ceramic materials is especially valuable because it gives children the chance to learn how to handle items with care and trust their own capabilities.
Resources in our EYFS classrooms are regularly audited and staff support this process with a progression document.
Opportunities our children benefit from:
- Sports coaching
- Talk For Writing and Talk For Reading
- Forest School sessions in our community woodland site
- Farm School
- Eco School
- School edible garden, chickens and orchard
- Early Years clubs and wrap around care
- Extra EYFS practitioners allows us to offer early intervention
- Cafe Sano
- Music specialist teaching
- Lending Library
- Woodwork provision
- Thematic curriculum that is driven by our children
- A long-term plan for trips and visitors to our setting to make learning real
- Paediatric Osteopath sessions
- EYFS mental health and ELSA Lead
- School Subject Ambassador sessions
- Family Support Practitioner
- Parental Workshops including early reading and curriculum
- Weekly Community Play and Stay
- Seesaw online learning app
- Parent meetings, reports and developmental checks
- Transition meetings and events
Parenting is rewarding and challenging. We want to support our parents in helping children to flourish in all aspects of their learning. Behaviour is communication and we can help parents have the right tools, at the right time, to ensure happiness and harmony within the home. Our Family Support Worker can support further and we can offer funded places on courses through www.inourplace.co.uk
Curriculum Key Ingredients:
Vocabulary, Experiences, Parental Involvement and Physical Development
Our EYFS curriculum is designed with our pupils and community in mind.
It enables our children to access and enhance their understanding of their home, their town and wider community. It develops their cultural capital and gives them opportunities and choices about the impact they could have as they progress through their school career and beyond.
Fundamental Learning in EYFS helps prepare children for success as they transition to their next educational phase and links to National Curriculum fundamental learning in KS1 and KS2. This helps practitioners understand the 'Why this and why now?'
As part of our curriculum evaluation, our team have woven in adaptations to ensure our curriculum caters for the needs of our youngest children who have lived through Covid lockdowns.
Inclusion and Early Identification
Safeguarding children is everyone's responsibility.
If you have any concerns regarding the safety or welfare of a child please come to speak, confidentially, to our school Designated Safeguard Lead. You can also use the NSPCC to report any concerns.
If a child is in immediate danger, please call the Police on 999 immediately.
Just as our children in EYFS are taught to keep physically safe, children are also taught how to keep safe online.
In School we use 360EarlyYears to help audit our online safety provision and ensure that we know what we are doing is effective.
Our children in EYFS learn about Consent, Visibility and Understanding Privacy.
An example of texts we use to support the EYFS keeping children safe curriculum.
Inclusion and Early Identification
Under Two Provision
Safe and Settled
We offer provision for children from 3 months old in our Birch Room; a large room with lots of natural light and separate cosy Sleep Room. As infants in Birch room progress and develop they can explore experiences including construction, imaginative play, and the exploration of materials. Practitioners work with children on their explorations of drawing, painting and working with clay and other sculptural materials.
Before babies start at nursery we offer an optional home visit so that key workers can really understand each baby’s needs. Our staff will support each child's first few days in the nursery with great sensitivity and will happily accommodate family's routines as part of settling in process. We encourage parents to spend time in the nursery, providing them with key information and support they may need.
We want our parents to know that their child is safe and secure in our care and the safety and security of our children is practitioners’ top priority.
Our EYFS settings undertake regular health and safety checks and reviews, by external agencies, to ensure the safety of our children.
Intelligent and Inquisitive Learners
Our team believe that all children are intelligent, inquisitive learners, eager to make sense of the world around them. This strong and powerful image of the child influences how we work with children, supporting them in their discoveries and sharing in their wonder and their ideas. Children are keen to explore and investigate and their work often develops into child-initiated leads. Staff support their investigations through sensitive interactions.
Practitioners teach our under two children by capturing teachable moments. For example, rather than sitting a child down to teach how to use scissors, they will wait until a child shows an interest in scissors and has a go themselves. This means that learning is purposeful and meaningful.
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
Woven throughout our EYFS curriculum are three Characteristics of Effective Learning:
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go'
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.
Communication and Language
Research shows that good interactions between adults and children make a big difference to how well communication and language skills develop. Our settings have Elklan trained practitioners who use their knowledge to skilfully develop children’s language skills through using the right strategy at the right time, facial expressions and body language. Practitioners prioritise interactions and are present in the moment - supporting play and extending children’s utterances. Our youngest children benefit from visual supports and signs as well as communication friendly enhancements, such as learning journey books, photos, play phones, planned ambitious vocabulary and texts at the heart of our curriculum.
Our children make good progress in CL development and practitioners are supported to provide programmes of support where needed.
Example of our Widget cards used to help our youngest children know more words, understand more words and say more words.
PSHE underpins all areas of our EYFS curriculum. We pride ourselves on our ‘whole child’ approach and we work to ensure that our children feel happy and safe within their environment. We acknowledge that in order to be ‘ready and able to learn’, the children need to be in a state of good and positive mental wellbeing, as without this, they will not be receptive to other areas of learning and the curriculum.
We work to create safe environments within all of our classrooms, ensuring all children feel confident to have a go at a task, even if they are not sure they will succeed. This mirrors our growth mindset approach and encouraging children to venture out of their comfort zones to develop their self-confidence and resilience.
To further support these core values, we use the Jigsaw PSHE programme; which reflects our key values and ensures a consistent approach and a progressive curriculum throughout the school.
Our aim is to help prepare our children as best as we can for the world, teaching them mutual respect, core values and an informed understanding of differences between people. In addition, they will have opportunity to discuss and reflect on events occurring to them personally and receive the guidance and support they may require to build up their resilience in order to manage any difficult or challenging situations that they face.
We help children become successful members of modern British society, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities.
Our indoor and outdoor environments are planned to ensure that children have plenty of opportunity to develop both their fine and gross motor skills; whether that be outside using our P.E. equipment, or inside developing their fine motor skills through a range of activities such as using playdough, construction equipment or mark-making. We actively seek to support children in developing their independence and develop a range of self-care skills.
Our practitioners, with the support of our Paediatric Osteopath, recognise physical delays early. Programmes of support are followed.
Children from Nursery work towards writing and use a programme called 'Squiggle Whilst You Wriggle,' to help develop key writing skills.
Early Reading and Phonics
The teaching of phonics is strongly embedded in our Nursery and Reception classes - through directly taught sessions, focus groups, interventions and regular assessments.
We begin to use elements of the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme, alongside Development Matters, and follow a prescriptive schedule with the aim of helping our children develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes needed to be ready to learn and succeed in Phonics and Literacy.
Careful monitoring, across EYFS, is undertaken regularly by our Early Reading and Phonics Lead, ensuring children access help early where barriers to learning hinder progress.
Children read individually, in small groups and as a whole class. A variety of different genres are chosen at an appropriate level of ability for each group of children. As well as being able to read the text, children are encouraged to discuss the content of the book, and their opinions about people, places and events are sought. The more able readers will be asked about the varied themes of different texts.
Tricky words and Phonics flashcards are introduced to children and families are supported to read with their children at home at least four times a week. Aids to help develop tracking skills are given to those children who need them.
Our core reading scheme is matched to children’s Phonic teaching and learning. We supplement this with a huge variety of other literature. Teachers use these resources when they feel it will result in even more progress.
Where children do not progress, extra reading support is swiftly planned and implemented to ensure that children learn to read fluently and confidently by the age of seven.
Story Telling Provision
Class Story Museums can be found in each EYFS classroom. Practitioners select and rotate a range of texts, including a variety of different genres and authors. Historic text maps can be accessed by children as well as a range of enhancements such as puppets and story stones.
As a Pie Corbett Story Telling school children are exposed to a range of different texts and have daily story-telling and sharing moments.
Find out what Talk For Writing is and why we are a Pie Corbett Story Telling school.
Mathematical thinking develops through quality experience and these can be seen throughout the day, preparing the table for snack time, cooking activities and daily registration.
Practitioners use story and picture books such as ‘One Is a Snail and Ten is a Crab’ by April Pulley-Sayre as a tool for engaging our children with mathematical concepts. Board games such as ‘Snakes and Ladders’ can be found in our provision and develop children’s understanding of numbers.
EYFS practitioners use their knowledge of developmental progression to see how children typically learn mathematical concepts.
Mathematical vocabulary is modelled by practitioners through play opportunities and direct teaching.
Manipulatives and representations are a powerful tool for supporting our children to engage with mathematical ideas. Maths provision allow children opportunities to represent problems in their own way, for example with drawings and mark-making. Staff help children to understand the links between the manipulatives in provision and the mathematical ideas they represent in order for children to progress from concrete, pictorial and lastly abstract representations.
Practitioners work together to ensure that accurate and relevant information regarding children's learning informs each child's learning journey. We do this through:
- Team Meetings each week with a focus on discussions around children and barriers to progress
- Planning and Feedback books
- Cross setting liaison
- Regular parental meetings and workshops
- Written reports and 2 year progress checks
- Pupil progress meetings with SLT and subject Leaders
-SENDco and EYFS Lead monitoring
- Cross agency work
Children achieve a Good Level of Development if they achieve at least the expected level in the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.
EYFS Good Level of Development (GLD)