The quality of early years education provided at Roseberry is exceptional because EYFS leadership is excellent and our bespoke, vocabulary rich, curriculum provides no limits or barriers to children’s achievements throughout Nursery and Reception, regardless of their backgrounds, circumstances or needs. The high ambition it embodies is shared by all staff and offers children the knowledge, self belief and enrichment experiences they need to succeed and is adapted to enable children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities to thrive.
Staff understand the distinct developmental needs of our youngest children and, consequently, curriculum maps have been written for two year olds, three/four year olds and four/five year olds with reference to Development Matters, school context and the fundamentals of the Power of Reading (embedding the love of reading and language gained from reading a book) - communication and language, literacy and personal and social skills are at the forefront of everything we do. Effective use is made of the Leuven scale assessment model, which is completed before children begin the curriculum in EYFS so that their readiness for learning may be measured and learning tailored accordingly.
Our approach to teaching early reading and synthetic phonics is systematic, with a clear phonics flightpath, developed by the EYFS/Phonics Leader, and ensures that all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception and that they are Year One ready. Phonics is taught exceptionally well by well-trained staff, using the Read, Write Inc scheme which is introduced in Nursery, with the aim of ensuring that no child is left behind and that all children become confident and fluent readers, regardless of their developmental starting points.
However, reading is not limited to phonics alone and the Power of Reading ensures that children have the opportunity to explore a range of high quality texts and stories throughout their time in the EYFS which supports the progressive development of language for storytelling, storytelling from memory, comprehension skills, sequencing, drama, and the love of books. Books children have read during the year are displayed in order to show the wide variety of books read and give children the opportunity to look back and re-read their favourite books.
The EYFS leader has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and research, constantly seeking, trialling and sharing best practice. Reference to educational research is made when planning learning opportunities, ie the 5 principles of counting (understanding the ways in which children learn number) and Launchpad for Literacy.
Within the teaching of Maths, there is a focus upon mastery of early number. Frequent and varied learning opportunities right across the setting allow pupils to develop an understanding of relationships and pattern. They begin to reason about number, and problem solve through practical activities.
Staff are knowledgeable about the areas of learning they teach. They manage the EYFS curriculum and pedagogy (the way in which they teach lessons) in relation to the learning needs of their children.
The impact of the curriculum on what children know, can remember and do is strong. Children demonstrate this through being deeply engaged and sustaining high levels of concentration. Children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, do well and children with SEND achieve their best possible outcomes.
Children are highly motivated and are eager to join in. They demonstrate their positive attitudes to learning through high levels of curiosity, concentration and enjoyment, listening intently and responding positively to adults and each other. Children are given a wide range of opportunities to develop their resilience to setbacks and take pride in their achievements. They are encouraged to manage their own feelings and behaviour, understanding how these have an impact on others, and develop a sense of right from wrong. They share and cooperate well, demonstrating high levels of self-control and respect for others. These attributes have been noted and commented upon by many visitors to our EYFS setting!
Adults support children's next steps in learning and build upon prior knowledge by enhancing the provision to ensure there are opportunities for reconsolidation, problem solving and sustained shared thinking. ’I am Unique’ activities ensure that children’s interests are explored and used as learning aids, supporting child led learning and deepening children’s knowledge and interests. Relationships with parents are strong (developed before children start school via telephone contact, visits and an effective transition process), and the Early Years Lead ensures that they are given the opportunities and resources to support their children’s learning.
The learning environments for our youngest children are carefully designed with reference to educational research ie Clever Classrooms, Salford University. Working walls, whilst meeting need, mirror the rest of the school so that children are supported to develop the highest expectations of learning and understand the routines of learning throughout the whole school which aids their transition into Year One. Nursery and Reception are designed effectively to offer children a calm environment in which to work, with learning being the vibrant focus.
There are clear opportunities for the development of pupil leadership in early years – children know they have a responsibility to their school family and this is seen in a number of ways, including ‘Happy Helpers’ who tidy areas of the provision, developing independence and a sense of collective responsibility.
Class Learning Journey Books are beautiful and clearly evidence our bespoke, high-quality, curriculum in action. They capture children’s exceptional outcomes which show high expectations and quality throughout each subject area. They are an excellent tool for curriculum leaders to use when monitoring their subject within EYFS - there is a collective understanding that curriculum leaders are responsible for the development and progression of their subject from Nursery to Year Six and that EYFS is not stand alone.
Children in the Early Years are confident to converse with adults and are happy to talk about their learning, which enthuses them because it is designed to meet their academic, social and emotional developmental needs. Throughout their time in Nursery and Reception, children develop detailed knowledge and skills across the 7 areas of learning in an age-appropriate way. The language-rich curriculum enables them to effectively and successfully develop their vocabulary and use it across the EYFS curriculum and into Year One.
By the end of Reception, children achieve well, particularly those children with lower starting points. They have the personal, physical and social skills they need to succeed in the next stage of their education, with the majority of children achieving the early learning goals, particularly in mathematics and literacy.
We are exceptionally proud of our Nursery and Reception provision and professionals within our Trust are often advised to visit Roseberry to observe excellent practice.
To view my Blog Archive, please use this link - https://roseberryacademy.org/blog/category/eyfs-2022-2023