The EYFS curriculum follows the ‘Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage – setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.’ Our curriculum design ensures all our children (regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs) learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Four overarching principles shape the practice in our early years settings. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioner and parents/carers.
- Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The EYFS framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
At Westleigh Methodist, working in partnership with parents/carers, we promote the learning and development of all children in our care to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge for transition into Year 1 and complete the EYFS ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape our EYFS curriculum alongside the Characteristics of Effective Learning. All these areas are important and inter-connected. The seven areas are as follows:
Three prime areas which ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relations and thriving are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
Four specific areas (through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied) are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The Characteristics of effective learning which underpin our curriculum design and teaching pedagogy are:
- Playing and exploring – through investigation, exploration and problem solving, 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
The development level that children are expected to attain by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals (ELGs). The ELGS are:
Communication and Language
- ELG: Listening, attention and understanding
- ELG: Speaking
Personal, social and emotional development
- ELG: Self-Regulation
- ELG: Managing Self
- ELG: Building Relationships
- ELG: Gross Motor Skills
- ELG: Fine Motor Skills
- ELG: Comprehension
- ELG: Word Reading
- ELG: Writing
- ELG: Number
- ELG: Numerical Patterns
Understanding the World
- ELG: Past and Present
- ELG: People, Culture and Communities
- ELG: The Natural World
Expressive Arts and Design
- ELG: Creating with Materials
- ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive
To meet the needs of the context we serve, from the very start of our EYFS, a large emphasis is given to: communication and language; developing children’s love of reading, extending their range of vocabulary and language comprehension. We ensure children are exposed to language rich environments and are immersed in rich vocabulary through: exposure to high quality interactions; stories, poems, non-fiction texts, nursery rhymes, singing songs and playing games. A large emphasis is placed on teaching early reading and systematic phonics. The dominant focus is on developing children’s word recognition.