The period from age three to the end of the Reception year is described as the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is a distinct stage and important both in its own right and in preparing children for later schooling.
At Two Rivers Primary School, we currently have one cohort of Early Years children. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum where learning encourages children to develop into independent, happy and confident children who have a desire to learn and play. Children have access to an indoor and outdoor environment at Two Rivers and benefit from the facilities at other schools in the WMAT such as the Forest School area at Chandag Junior School.
Our EYFS curriculum ensures we are able to meet the individual needs of every child within our school. The principles that guide the work in the EYFS are grouped into four themes:
- A unique child
- Positive relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and development
The EYFS is based on seven areas of learning:
- Communication and language
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Physical development
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
At Two Rivers, we use the EYFS curriculum to identify the Characteristics of Effective Learning. This shows us how each child engages with other people and their environment, how they play and explore, if they are active learners and if they are creating and thinking critically. We use elements of “In the moment” planning where children have the freedom to choose resources and lead their learning. We also have a balance of adult initiated and adult directed tasks as part of our curriculum offer to ensure that children make the best progress. We also use the Leuven Scale to help us to gain a deep understanding of children’s emotional wellbeing and involvement. The Leuven Scale is a five-point scale that allows childcare practitioners to measure children’s ’emotional well-being’ and ‘involvement’ – two vital components of learning, development and progress in children. This is particularly useful when children first start school but is also used throughout the year.
We make observations of children’s learning which enable us to move learning forward in a way which is appropriate to each child’s stage in their development. We carry out “Focus child” observations, where the adults in school gain a deeper understanding of children’s dispositions, attitudes and interests. This process is supported by parents who can share details about their child prior to the week-long “Focus child” observations. This provides evidence of children’s successes and achievements at home whilst also addressing any particular concerns.
We record observations using the online assessment tool Tapestry which captures these precious and valuable moments and allows the adults to link these to the stages of development in Development Matters. This non-statutory guidance material supports adults in the EYFS in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS. Parents and carers are able to access Tapestry at home to respond to learning that has been put on there and also to document home experiences.
At Two Rivers Primary School, we focus on providing opportunities for all children to develop as literate individuals with an appreciation of both the written and spoken form. We aim to equip children with the knowledge and skills to be successful communicators and believe in creating an environment where reading is celebrated and loved by all.
We teach phonics using Read, Write Inc. where children have a daily phonics lesson followed by a reading lesson. We focus on children being able to read fluently and accurately whilst developing comprehension skills. We use phonics displays and resources to enable children to consolidate their phonics and apply to other areas of English such as writing. We encourage children to learn to say their sounds in a pure way, find more information on pronunciation. We teach children to use Fred talk to equip children with the strategies to decode words confidently and accurately.
We use the Read, Write Inc story books to ensure that children read phonically decodable books that are appropriate to children’s individual reading needs. We encourage children to settle down in classroom book corners and enjoy a good book. This helps us to promote a love of reading.
We have a reading scheme which provides children with books that are matched to their comprehension and word reading skills and use a thorough assessment system to benchmark where children are placed on the scheme.
It is within these lessons that children get to respond to reading and develop their understanding of a range of texts/genres.
We encourage children to write for a purpose and promote the relationship between reading widely and writing well. The children at Two Rivers are encouraged to have a go at writing, explaining and sharing their ideas with each other. We focus on developing a “perfect pencil grip” and use muscle exercises and dough gym sessions to promote a good grip, good writing posture and most importantly good fun!
At Two Rivers Primary School, we use White Rose scheme of learning to guide our maths teaching. We encourage children to see maths and number as a part of daily life and provide opportunities for children to develop their mathematical understanding through child initiated activities throughout the day in addition to a daily maths lesson.
For children in the Early Years, we follow the Department for Education’s Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework.
We deliver our PSHE lessons using a curriculum called SCARF by Coram Life Education. This scheme is developed by teachers and centred on a values-based and growth mindset approach, promoting positive behaviour, mental health, wellbeing, resilience and achievement
At Two Rivers we help children to develop as responsible citizens and encourage them to carry out roles and responsibilities in the classroom, the community and beyond.
As a Church of England School, our RE lessons are important times when children can explore and better understand their own and other people’s experiences of Christian and other world faiths.
We teach religious education according to the agreed syllabus: awareness, mystery and value. RE is an inclusive subject with many possibilities for cross curricular learning eg. music, history, drama and art.
We use the North Somerset - awareness, mystery and values curriculum for RE.