Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Early Years Foundation Stage Vision and Aims

Our EYFS Curriculum

The Statutory framework for the early year’s foundation stage states four guiding principles which should shape practice in the early years. These are:

The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment underpin learning and development across all areas. Adults and the considered use of the environment support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.

Our EYFS curriculum incorporates the importance of the adult, other children and the environment working in a triangulation of practice to allow a child to reach their full potential and develop at their own level.

Curriculum Design – Cornerstones:

In both EYFS and Key Stage One and Two, our curriculum design is built upon ‘Curriculum Cornerstones’.

To support our children in building strong knowledge within and across subjects, we distinguish between two types of connections being made in the planning process; Vertical links (links within a particular subject from year to year) and Bridging links (those links between different subjects). We often teach through overarching themes to draw connections between related subjects and concepts. These have been designed to build upon one another year on year so that children explore concepts deeper, applying their knowledge in different contexts.

Each year group’s curriculum content is structured to build progressively over time; we aim to teach content that is fundamental to future learning at the beginning of the year and build on this knowledge as the year progresses. We refer to this as a ‘curriculum narrative’. The aim of this approach is for learning that has taken place in the earlier stages of the year stays warm in the memory so that it forms part of the understanding, to be used and applied in the later stages.

We plan and deliver longer units on a theme, rather than short blocks of teaching. We have based this on a ‘mastery approach,’ which means that children spend more time studying a subject or particular concept in depth, opposed to simply ‘covering’ the objectives they should know. Every new unit of learning incorporates elements from the previous unit. This means earlier stages of learning stay ‘warm in memory’. Learning is also retained by revisiting content using deliberate spaced retrieval through low stakes questioning and subject based retrieval which is incorporated into every lesson.

At Bluecoat Primary Academy, we further support children’s learning through planning for purposeful provision, and deciding when child-initiated or adult-led play learning would provide the most effective learning opportunities. We believe that it is important for adults to support children’s learning through play and purposeful provision by getting involved in the play themselves. We therefore use a ‘sustain, shared, thinking’ approach, using the EEF ‘ShREC Model’, in order our EYFS Practitioners to engage in high quality interactions that develop the children’s skills, knowledge and vocabulary. All achieved through purposefully planned provision and enabling learning landscapes.

EYFS Curriculum Model

Our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum is underpinned by the same broad aims and principles as KS1 & 2. Here, we recognise vertical and bridging links can still be made. However, whereas the web model of KS1 & 2 emphasises the importance of individual subject identity, the EYFS curriculum model demonstrates the interwoven nature of the planning, teaching and learning within the Early Years. Whilst we recognise that children’s learning within the Early Years lays the foundation for future subject specific learning, children learn best from a thematic approach to teaching and learning at the early stages of their education. Opportunities to independently practice and apply learning are always provided across the curriculum and within the environment. Each area of leaning provides children with core knowledge and experiences that can later be developed into subject specific study in KS1 & KS2.

Please read our Curriculum Subject Progression Documents, which demonstrate how the EYFS’s Prime and Specific areas link to (and are the first building blocks to) the Key Stage One and Key Stage Two National Curriculum subjects.

For further information and details regarding our Bluecoat Primary Academy approach to teaching and learning within the Early Years, please read out ‘The BPA Way: Approach to teaching and learning in EYFS Framework’ below. Here, you will find further information regarding what underpins each cornerstone of our EYFS Curriculum.

Contact Us

Bluecoat Academy Primary
Harvey Road

E-mail: primary@bluecoat.uk.com
Tel: 0115 900 7200

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