At Veritas Primary Academy we know that starting school is an exciting time: a time of new experiences, new friends and new places. Our school days provide a safe and secure environment where your child can learn through a range of activities and play. We also encourage children to acquire skills and knowledge through first hand experiences allowing them to understand the world around them. We know that all children learn at different rates and in different ways, we aim to give all children the best opportunity to reach their full potential.
EYFS Curriculum 2021
From September 2021 all Early Years providers must follow the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The key aims of the reforms are to:
- improve child outcomes at age 5, particularly in early language and literacy, especially for disadvantaged children; and
- reduce workload, such as unnecessary paperwork, so that practitioners can spend more time interacting with the children in their care
Here is a useful sheet for parents and carers about the new reforms:
The curriculum and how we learn in EYFS
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) covers children from birth to the age of 5. At Veritas this includes children who are in our Nursery (Little Explorers) and Reception (Earhart and Wright). The EYFS curriculum has 7 areas of learning and development; 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas. They are:-
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Here is some useful information regarding the Early Years Foundation Stage:
These seven areas are used to plan and deliver a range of approaches and activities and ensure all children are provided with a varied and balanced curriculum. We deliver these opportunities inside and outside through:
- - Planned differentiated activities with small groups of children to meet the needs of all children participating.
- - Small group teaching following our programme of Read Write Inc. phonics
- - Whole class teaching for short periods of time such as direct teaching (eg Maths), story time or circle time.
- - Opportunities for adults to work alongside children to scaffold their play and develop their interests.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
When your child is observed as they play in Nursery and Reception their learning will be assessed against the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) which focused on how your child is learning rather than what they are learning.
The Characteristics of Effective learning are divided into three areas:
- 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
Our Early Years classrooms are set up to allow children to select what they want to learn and access throughout the day through a range of activities and experiences. We support and scaffold learning through planned activities that have a specific learning intention. We believe that it is important for adults to support children’s learning through play by also getting involved in the play themselves.
Our outdoor environment is equally important and offers children the chance to develop their investigation, discovering and understanding of the world around them. Our classrooms are designed to be free flow to ensure children have regular access to the garden regardless of the weather.
Tapestry in the EYFS
We use an online journey system called Tapestry throughout the EYFS in school. All children in our Nursery and Reception classes have a personal online Journey that contains observations, photographs and videos which document their learning and progress through their time in our EYFS. All of the evidence collected is linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage. In addition to our evidence we encourage you to add to it by adding your own photographs and comments or commenting on the observations made by staff.
Here is a parent guide and some useful information for you whilst using Tapestry:Tapestry & EYFS Presentation
All staff within our EYFS aim to develop a good and strong relationship with all children, ensuring positive interactions and responses every day.
At Veritas all children in the EYFS are assigned a key person.
Your key person will:
- Help your child become familiar with the setting, so that your child feels safe and confident.
- Regularly talk to you to make sure that your child’s needs are being met appropriately.
- Record your child’s achievements with written observations and photographs.
- Monitor your child’s development and review your child’s progress at regular intervals with you.
- Plan exciting and fun activities that can help your child achieve their planned next steps in learning.
- Get to know your child that little bit better.
Your child’s key worker does not shadow your child the all the time. Other staff will also work with your child. If your child’s class teacher is not their key worker, you are still able to speak to them regarding your child and their learning at any time. They still have overall responsibility for the class.
Parents and Carers
We have an open door policy in EYFS and you are welcome into our Nursery or Reception at any time. We encourage you to attend many of our family sessions including stay and plays, reading café, workshops and much more. We value the input parents and carers give and regularly send home super star sheets to give us an insight into their child’s accomplishments.
Transition into our EYFS
We ensure that the transition process into our EYFS is happy and smooth through a supportive approach. Our EYFS staff work closely together to develop this transition process to ensure all children have a positive experience when coming to Veritas.
If your child is due to start attending our Reception class we ensure that a member of the Early Years team attends their current setting to meet the child and their current key worker. This allows staff to build up a picture of the child and understand their individual needs and interests. Children are then invited to attend a stay and play session where they can meet other children in their class and get to know the school environment.
Our EYFS regularly holds open days were children and parents can have a tour of the school and speak to the Early Years Team.
End of Year Expectations
In the final term of the year in which your child reaches age five, the EYFS profile will be completed. The profile provides parent’s carers and schools a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. Their attainment is measured against expected levels and their readiness of year one.
Each child’s level of development must be assessed against the Early Learning Goals (ELG). The profile will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (emerging).
These expectations have been identified as being the minimum requirements your child must meet in order to ensure continued progress throughout the following year.
All the objectives will be worked on throughout the year and will be the focus of direct teaching. Any extra support you can provide in helping your child to achieve these is greatly valued.
Here is some useful information about the Early Learning Goals: