EYFS Statutory Framework
EYFS at Westmorland Primary School
The EYFS Statutory Framework (2021) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from Birth to 5 years old. This is a core document for all professionals, ensuring an integrated approach to Early Learning and Care.
The overarching principles of unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments, learning and development are at the heart of all EYFS practice, as set out below.
The EYFS framework that we follow at Westmorland Primary School sets out the requirement for learning and development within the EYFS and focuses on prime and specific areas.
These are broken down into seven areas of the EYFS Curriculum:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
At Westmorland Primary School we are committed to developing all children by giving MORE. Our curriculum is based around Memorable Learning, Oracy, Reading and Experiences.
When planning, teachers are skilled at sequencing children’s learning using smaller steps. We are currently trialling the EYFS for 2021 with very small, SMART targets for all children to develop our recovery curriculum.
Our topics and curriculum are built for our cohort of children. We have a deep understanding of ‘typical strengths and areas for development with past baseline assessments’ and are fully committed to meeting every child’s needs through a personalised package of provision.
Children engage in a variety of activities, in a number to ways to ensure that they develop holistically and display the characteristics of learning:
- Playing and Exploring - engagement
- Active learning - motivation
- Creating and thinking critically - thinking
We know that our children enter EYFS with limited experiences due to living in high deprivation. Our aim for EYFS is to ensure children are enveloped in a language rich environment, where they can explore and play safely, given many opportunities to use different resources than they would at home and gain more experiences through visits/visitors to school.
Our school environment is a safe, highly staffed area where children can express themselves, develop a culture of friendship and work collaboratively, independently and with members of staff.
Our INTENT is to ensure that all children develop to their potential, and leave EYFS ‘school ready’. This is in terms of enjoyment, motivation and eagerness to learn. Academic skills run alongside this, but all children develop at different rates and at Westmorland we aim to ensure that all children are given early intervention to match every need.
We aim ensure that children build up self-regulation skills, where they learn to control their emotions and thoughts and take control of their learning through metacognitive skills – to ensure that they can be in control of their learning and set themselves goals, drive their ambition forward and become a motivated learner.
At Westmorland Primary School, implementation of the 2017 EYFS curriculum is done in a variety of ways.
Alongside this, underpinning everything we do for the MORE INTENT, is to ensure children are safe.
Children only learn effectively when they are safe, healthy, in a secure and stimulating environment and have the confidence to explore, make mistakes and grow. We follow all safeguarding requirements to ensure that children are safe and staff are fully trained and have continuous professional development, keeping up to date with new guidance.
The EYFS team plan a variety of activities to engage all children, at their level, with ambitious next steps. Children learn through playing and exploring, being active and thinking critically and creatively – and utilise all the space in our purpose built EYFS area – both indoors and out.
Our highly trained and skilled professionals work hard to engage children in a unique mixture of whole class sessions, group work, one to one interventions and work, adult directed and child initiated play and guided activities that meet the needs of each child as an individual. Obviously each cohort of children are different and at Westmorland, we are skilled at adapting our practice for children, and following their interests.
We follow the Letter and Sounds phonic programme throughout the EYFS, alongside Makaton signs and symbols to develop children’s understanding of words, letters and gestures. Every child engages in daily phonics, reading and writing sessions to underpin and consolidate teaching and learning, and all children have access to a range of interventions to aid their development where appropriate, such as language link, phonological awareness, colourful semantics, phonics and SALT groups.
In order to develop our children’s handwriting, the EYFS staff are trained in our bespoke Occupational Health scheme called Happy Hands. This is designed to run alongside high quality first teaching to develop strength, control and accuracy when handling tools, forming letters and writing at length. The Nelson handwriting scheme is used alongside this, from Reception upwards, with Nursery developing pre skills.
At Westmorland, we pride ourselves on implementing our MORE INTENT, and ensuring children have opportunities to experience visits, visitors and real life experiences they may not have done before. We immerse them with as many opportunities as we can to develop metacognition and understanding.
The EYFS provision at Westmorland has shown impact through increasing results each year for the Good Level of Development.
Through the implementation of a progressive curriculum, children are showing that they are gaining a broader understanding of early skills and are becoming independent learners when applying these skills.
At Westmorland Primary School, we aim to nurture children to reach their potential and be vocal and develop their vocabulary and understanding. Children are given the opportunity to talk through their actions, discuss things with their peers and work through their understanding. The impact of this development can be seen through being immersed in our noisy EYFS, and watching the children communicate -alongside all the evidence from SALT interventions.
Through implementing memorable learning skills, children are becoming more in tune with how they learn and are happily engaged in the carefully planned activities accessible to them. They want to learn, show that they are safe and happy and on transition each year to Year 1, impress other teachers in the school with their abilities.
Reading is a whole school focus, and is no exception within the EYFS. Children are excited by whole class stories where they can develop their understanding of story language and comprehension. Word reading and phonic skills that are taught daily are evident through children’s knowledge by the time they leave Reception.
The IMPACT of what we desire to achieve at Westmorland is evident throughout children’s abilities, confidence and progress.
The EYFS area is a wonderful place to be, and our children, parents and staff are advocates of their own successes.