Early Years Statement of Intent
At Fagley Primary School, our Early Years curriculum is designed to provide the best possible start to a child’s learning journey, ensuring that each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.
Our engaging curriculum maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and experiences. We recognise that building positive attitudes towards school at the start of a child’s journey is crucial to grow a life- long love of learning. We believe that high level engagement ensures high level attainment.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make good or better progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills, knowledge and independence to ensure that they have a smooth transition into Year 1.
Learning through play is key! At Fagley Primary School, we value and understand the equal importance of indoor and outdoor play. The learning environment is carefully planned to provide purposeful opportunities that stimulate children and inspire learning to take place, in particular, learning through their interests and fascinations. We value all achievements as we know that children learn in different ways and at different rates.
We create a calming atmosphere throughout the setting, enabling all learners to feel comfortable and relaxed. We promote the Unique child by offering extended periods of time to play and sustained thinking. During play, children deepen their understanding, practise skills and consolidate the learning that they have been taught. Children with a greater depth of understanding are challenged further and are encouraged to act as an ‘expert’, teaching their peers.
The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching as well as free flow play. Each half term, Early Years staff introduce a new theme to inspire learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to think of their own ideas and develop interests and fascinations. From the start, we promote reading for pleasure by making story time interesting, such as introducing a story with hook to engage learners. By providing inviting reading areas and open-ended role play, we create a love of reading and storytelling. Early Years provides a language rich environment indoors and outdoors, which links to our whole school focus on developing Oracy across the curriculum.
For phonics, we follow the Little Wandle Programme to ensure consistency across the school. Children in Pre-school and Nursery focus on phase 1, which concentrates on developing speaking and listening skills. Reception recaps phase 1 and then moves on to phase 2 and 3 where they develop Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence and learn how to decode words.
Reception children have three group reading sessions a week. Their reading book and home reading book matches their phonetic knowledge allowing them to apply what they have learnt, with the aim of becoming a confident and fluent reader. In addition, the child takes home a chosen library book to encourage reading for pleasure and a word box containing the set of words that the child is learning.
Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together. For some children, we provide additional interventions to support the identified area(s) of learning. At Fagley Primary School, we have a higher than average number of children on EHCPs. These children have bespoke plans identifying that some learning may need to take place away from the classroom due to sensory needs.
Fagley Primary School works closely with their families by having an ‘Open-door’ policy and through stay and play sessions. Parents/carers are invited to join their class for Phonics, Reading and Maths sessions throughout the year, which also provides support with home learning.
The Early Years team work closely to ensure that links are made to create smooth transitions. The practitioners build strong relationships and get to know the children well in order to recognise where they are at developmentally, build on their prior knowledge and identify additional need.
At Fagley Primary School, we understand the importance of developing Cultural Capital and the whole child, therefore we provide real life experiences to help equip children to succeed in life. This is achieved by planning purposeful visits and visitors into school. In addition, the Reception children gain a range of experiences each week, such as, forest school, art, yoga and cooking.
Ongoing Observations, Assessment and Intervention:
Prior to children starting in the setting, practitioners get to know their new children and families through; home visits, speaking to the child’s previous setting, stay and play sessions in school, transition visits and by reading previous learning journey’s and reports.
During the first half term, all staff observe and interact with the child, which contributes to their baseline assessment. The baseline identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas, so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. Additional need is identified straight away, so that we can provide appropriate interventions, support and adjustments to make all learning accessible to all children.
Ongoing observations enable practitioners to inform weekly planning and identify a child’s next steps. This assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners. Interventions for Phonics, Reading, Writing and Mathematics will ensure all children make accelerated progress.
Assessments are completed termly and progress is shared with parents through consultation days. If there are any concerns with a child’s development, this is raised immediately with parents and the appropriate professionals. At the end of Reception, the class teacher will judge whether the child has met the Early Learning Goals (expected) or has not reached this level (emerging).
Phonic assessments are carried out using a phonics Tracker every half term to carefully track the children’s progress and attainment. Children in the lowest 20% receive daily interventions and are tracked and monitored closely throughout the year.
NELI (Nutfield Early Language Intervention): NELI is an evidence-based oral language intervention that we use in Reception to develop children’s oral language skills. The assessment informs us if the child is at the expected stage for their age or requires intervention from trained NELI practitioners. This intervention will support children who are at risk of experiencing difficulty with reading.
Our aim is to equip children with all of the skills they need to be successful learners and encourage children to make decisions for themselves, choosing their own learning path. Children leave the Early Years Foundation stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to start their journey in KS1 as Scientists, Mathematicians, Historians, Artists and Geographers.