At Lower Fields, we provide a secure and stimulating environment, where our children are nurtured into becoming happy and confident members of our academy. We offer an exciting curriculum, which enables children to make progress by developing a range of knowledge and skills. This prepares them for the next step in their journey.
At Lower Fields, we strongly follow the ethos of the Early Excellence Pedagogy, which focuses on the development of learning through inspirational teaching and learning. All practitioners teach skills through offering children the opportunity to play. Practitioners follow the interests of the children and enhance learning provisions in line with this. This provides children with the opportunity, not only acquire enthusiasm for learning, but to enhance their communication and language development. Practitioners intervene and develop the children’s play in line with the ELG.
The EYFS curriculum meets the requirements set out in the revised National Curriculum at Foundation Stage. The curriculum focusses on Early Learning Goals (ELG) and Ages and Stages.
During the 3 weeks of the Autumn Term, the teacher will make a baseline assessment, to record the skills of each child on entry to school. After this the teacher will use individual and group assessments, in order to develop and implement necessary provisions. The statutory Reception Baseline Assessment is also carried out for F2 children within the first 6 weeks.
Our curriculum follows the guidance set out in the revised Development Matters document. We actively use ‘The Characteristics of Effective Learning’ to support our observations and teaching. We recognise that we want to create independent and inquisitive learners who use their own initiative to problem solve and find creative solutions to complex problems.
Our curriculum in EYFS is enhanced with ‘In the moment planning’. It is designed to follow the children’s interests using a cycle of observation, assessment, planning and teaching. This compliments a well balanced time table of adult led and child initiated sessions throughout the day.
The Foundation Unit environment is stimulating and engaging and meets the needs of the children. Children have lots of opportunities to facilitate their own learning through carefully resourced provision and skilled adults, who support children through high quality interactions and effective questioning. Children are given lots of opportunities to put into practise the skills they have learnt and extend their own learning. We aim to support the children’s development and inspire a love of learning. Our outdoor area is an extension of our indoor classroom. This is important to us, as we offer children the same opportunities to develop their learning. Children are actively encouraged to access the outdoor area throughout the school day.
We prioritise having a ‘language rich’ environment in EYFS where stories, rhymes, poems and songs provide our children with experiences. Through quality interactions with adults our children gain confidence to be confident communicators.
What is ELS?
Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words. Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers.
How do we teach phonics?
• We use a simple, consistent approach to teaching phonics.
• Your child will experience the same classroom routines within each lesson which reduces cognitive load and maximises the chances of success.
• All children are supported within the lesson to use their new phonic knowledge independently.
• In every single ELS lesson, your child will make the direct application to reading.
• Daily Phonics sessions- these start from the beginning of Reception
• Phonics throughout the day to review new sounds & graphemes taught
• Lots of opportunities for oral blending- c/oa/t
• Opportunities for writing- new grapheme, words and sentences.
From the beginning of EYFS we believe in creating strong relationships with parents, warm and positive relationships between staff and children and consistent routines. We share our children’s learning through Class Dojo and Twitter and always welcome parental contributions towards children’s learning.
As well as daily discussions with parents and carers, we use Class Dojo as a main form of communication in EYFS. Observations are posted here, and wow moments celebrated. It is used regularly to update Parents on upcoming events, workshops and key themes in our curriculum. Parents have the ability to log on to Dojo, view these observations and have a dialogue with practitioners. We feel this important, as it strengthens the communication between school and home. We also encourage parents to upload their own milestones of their children, which can be celebrated in school.