Early Years Curriculum

Curriculum Intent

In the Early Years at Farndon Primary School we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. All members of the Foundation Stage team share the same values and practices, placing high importance on creating a calm and caring environment for the children to be in, therefore enabling them to feel happy, safe, respected and confident to enjoy their learning. We intend that our curriculum educates all children in knowledge, skills and understanding to be effective, resilient, curious, independent learners that believe in themselves and their abilities.

At Farndon our curriculum in Early Years ensures that all 7 areas of learning (the 3 prime areas and the 4 specific areas) within the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile are covered and children learn by engaging in well-planned, play based learning activities that meet the developmental needs of all our children. The EYFS provision provides opportunities for our children to independently explore learning opportunities based on their own fascinations as well as structured adult led activities both indoors and outdoors to enable every child to achieve their next steps in learning.

We understand that each child is unique and work in partnership with parents and carers; our open door policy means we are always available to speak to parents and encourage them to share information about their child. This ensures our pupils thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.

The EYFS provision underpins our school’s mission statement; Unlocking the Potential by providing a rich learning environment which develops our children’s experiences, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and vocabulary to prepare our children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundations Stage, achieve a good level of development and be school ready, supporting transition into KS1.


Curriculum Implementation

Across our EYFS, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This Framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.

Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language Development

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment that meets the developmental needs of all our children. Our EYFS curriculum is delivered using an integrated themed approach, however objectives are taught discretely where this is more appropriate and we allow flexibility within our planning so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported.

Daily guided activities are set up and planned for that cover different aspects of the EYFS curriculum and support children to achieve their next steps in learning. A vital aspect in the development of skills and knowledge is the use of the continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis.

Our continuous provision offers our pupils stimulating and engaging activities that can be accessed independently, encouraging child initiated play that builds on our pupils’ prior knowledge, taught skills, fascinations and support children in acquiring key life skills, such as independence, innovation, creativity and problem solving.

By planning this way Farndon EYFS provision ensures that our indoor and outdoor learning environments promote the characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • 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. 

Staff in EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their achievements are celebrated and next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s Learning Journey.  Observations are noted using the child’s speech as we feel this not only reflects the development of their vocabulary and communication skills but encourages children to understand that their ideas and knowledge is valued, creating confident and articulate learners.

Early Years staff regularly assess, using observations, formative and summative assessment using Development Matters objectives and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are more able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater enrichment and application and those who present with a barrier to learning are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.

We recognise that reading is a key to all other learning and ensure quality phonics sessions are being taught using the whole school approach of RWI. Both Nursery and Reception are taught phonics. Nursery have adult led sessions weekly, with phase 1 activities incorporated into classroom practise and the continuous provision. Reception put pupils into ability groupings and each group have a daily adult led session, which initially focuses on the phonemes and is then followed with paired reading. In the afternoon, phonics interventions are used to support pupils learning when required.

In Reception, children’s reading books are matched to their phonics and reading records are sent home to encourage parents to read with their child. Class stories are read on a daily basis to promote an enjoyment and love of reading and adult questioning relates to the school’s DERIC the APE programme.

Throughout the year there are special enrichment weeks that have a clear focus for example STEM week; Discovery week and Creative week. These enrichment events enable the children to put their learning into practice in a variety of other situations and developing our pupils’ sense of belonging as the themes are approached as a whole school.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s learning through shared topic plans, home learning activities, WOW moments, curriculum workshops, parent consultation evenings and end of year reports. The school’s Twitter page is used to celebrate children’s achievements and provides a regular insight into activities and learning opportunities in the EYFS provision on a daily/weekly basis.

In EYFS staff support transition from Nursery to Reception and Reception to KS1 by ensuring the activities we offer in Early Years are the building blocks to achieving their next steps and national Curriculum objectives in Year 1.  We work closely with colleagues, holding transition meetings to discuss our pupils’ abilities and learning needs, pass on tracking information and pupil progress reports. Children have the opportunity to meet their teacher and visit their new class for two days during transition, ensuring they are familiar with their new learning environments.

Early Years Statutory Framework: Click here

Development Matters: Click here

Curriculum Impact

The EYFS provision at Farndon enables all our pupils from their varied starting points to unlock their full potential, all children will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically.

Children in the Nursery and Reception classes benefit from a well-planned and creative curriculum. They have strong calculation skills, love books and are highly communicative and cooperative. Children also have good comprehension, speaking and listening skills. Their exemplary behaviour supports their learning well. This was observed during story time, as children discussed the characters in a story and talked to each other about their favourite nursery rhymes.” Ofsted 2020.

Our varied curriculum, well thought-out planning that builds on prior learning and our creative approach to activities (both adult led and in the continuous provision) encourage children to be reflective, engaged and enquiring learners.

We strive to ensure our children reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and are committed to supporting our children to achieve a good level of development in all areas of learning.  Our results at the end of Reception compare favourably to national averages and support transition into Year 1, year on year.

Measuring and monitoring the impact of our curriculum at Farndon takes on many strands. Early years staff reflect on activities, direct teaching and children’s engagement in the provision. As a result of this subsequent opportunities are adapted according to needs. Observations in each child’s Learning Journey feed into an online tracking tool to track pupil progress and identify any specific needs. This information is used in regular pupil progress meetings to plan next steps and create targeted interventions where appropriate.

We are committed to a cycle of CPD and training, regularly attending LA cluster meetings and moderation sessions as well as consulting with EYFS advisors in the Local Authority to ensure we offer the best possible practise within our EYFS provision. Feedback and initiatives from this cycle of CPD feed into our yearly school improvement action plan which drives areas for development. It is drawn up and agreed in an annual meeting with all staff and governors when the years achievements are celebrated and next steps are planned.

Files to Download

‘Unlocking the Potential’