Early Years

Curriculum Intent

In both our Nursery and Reception classes, we want our children to become inquisitive, innovative and independent learners.  We provide our children with a curriculum that is designed to be flexible, engaging and exciting so that their unique needs, passions and interests are embraced. We have the highest expectations and believe in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development for all our children. We want our children to be excited about coming to school and look forward to the experiences they will have. 

We inspire our children to become accomplished, happy individuals, ready to reach their full potential in an ever-changing world. Our Early Years curriculum is driven to: recognise children’s prior learning and experiences (influenced by their home and community), provide first-hand learning experiences (filling the gaps from pupils’ background), allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become critical and creative thinkers.  

We take a play-based approach to learning, centred around the needs and interests of the children. We value imagination and creativity, and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision.  From the word go, we aim to foster a love of reading and language, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed learning activities that utilise imaginative stories and thought-provoking texts.

Teachers will introduce children to the school’s values: Respect, Kindness and Determination to encourage them to become socially confident, respectful and independent children, who develop resilience when faced with challenges.  We recognise how important the relationship between the school and a child’s home is at this young age so we endeavour to build good relationships with families too.

Curriculum Implementation

At South Borough, we follow the EYFS framework, which includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected:

Prime Areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Language and Physical Development

Specific Areas: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World and Expressive Arts.

To aid the early development of our children, we develop the three prime areas first. This begins with our youngest children who access our nursery provision. As children grow and progress, the prime areas will support them to develop skills in the four specific areas. Children in Early Years learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor area has been carefully designed to suit the needs of all learners and is used all year round. We encourage all children to be active and physically literate in our outside area. 

Learning in EYFS is facilitated by carefully planned activities which inspire children’s curiosity and lead to child-led learning and activity choices. Teachers will plan activities linked to books or termly themes but they will also plan activities which stem from the children’s own interests to ensure that learning is engaging at all times. In order to keep children motivated and stimulated by their learning environments, teachers will  continuously develop and adapt lessons in response to specific comments made by children about the world around them. 

During the school day, children have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff. Staff act as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills. They use high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions, and adopt a nurturing approach for those pupils who might need some reassurance to enable them to succeed. 

During the first few weeks of school we focus on developing the children's relationships with each other and the adults supporting them. Children will begin to form friendships that could last a lifetime and will start to learn the complexities of developing social skills. We work hard to ensure that children are supported with their social development through the provision of a ‘restorative approach’ which enables them to consider each other’s feelings and find solutions to disagreements. 

All children are included in learning activities and teaching sessions no matter their skill level, ability or additional needs. Teachers will identify areas of additional need and support children as necessary.

Early reading and writing is taught using the Read Write Inc scheme. This phonics based scheme will help children learn letter sounds, how to blend sounds together for reading and how to form letters and segment the sounds in words for writing. The use of pictures, rhymes and mnemonics seeks to support children by embedding knowledge of phonics to memory. Maths is taught using the White Rose Maths scheme, which aims to develop a mastery of early mathematical concepts in number, shape, space and measure.

While the children are learning, teachers will observe them carefully to ensure that progress is being made, identify potential areas where additional learning support may be required and to help children identify their own interests. In order to provide parents with regular updates about their child’s progress in school, teachers will upload information from their observations to Tapestry, an online tracker, which parents can access. Parents can also upload observations from home, which enable practitioners to build a picture of the child’s learning, progress and development as a whole while they are on their journey towards achieving the Early Learning Goals in July.