EYFS & The Curriculum

The EYFS Curriculum is broken down into 7 areas of learning; 3 Prime areas and 4 Specific areas. These are outlined in the Early Years Outcomes document.

 

Communication and Language

Effective communication is a key life skill and a lot of importance is placed on this area of learning. We encourage the children to be good listeners through having strong classroom routines and high expectations. We closely observe children’s understanding of what is happening in class, through observing their interactions with resources and how they apply their learning. We support the children’s speaking skills through asking structured questions, encouraging the children to explain their ideas and employing ECAT (Every Child a Talker) strategies, such as staff observing how colleagues interact to see if child talk is being maximized and also ensuring that the environment is word rich through the displays in the classrooms.

 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Ensuring children settle in well to Nursery and Reception is so important to us: We have induction meetings with parents and children before they start in EYFS to get as much information as we can about likes and dislikes, areas of interest and how the settling in process may go. This is to ensure children have a smooth introduction to school life at Telferscot.

We have regular circle times about friendships and managing feelings. Developing Self-confidence and self-esteem are fundamental building blocks for children to grow into happy and successful learners for life and we focus on this by observing the children and building in games and confidence boosting activities into our curriculum.

 

Physical Development

We want the children to be able to take planned and calculated risks in our safe environment and therefore encourage them to use the climbing frame and physical equipment, with supervision and support. The children receive PE lessons from an excellent sports coach which helps them build up their confidence in playing in teams and expands their knowledge of games they can play with their friends. Children may also have a talent for a sport which can be spotted in these sessions and developed further as they move through the school.

We are aiming for healthy and independent learners and promote children taking care of their own needs as much as possible. This could be from hanging up their own coat, to knowing when to wash their hands after an activity and before lunch to using the toilet on their own and without support. We expect children to be toilet trained by the time they come to Telferscot unless there is a specific medical need which should be discussed with us at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

Literacy

Reading and Phonics

It is so important to develop a love of books and pleasure in reading at a young age. At Telferscot we have a book-rich environment for the children to access. We aspire to read individually with every child at least once a week and many of the planned activities for adult-led learning have a reading focus. In EYFS the children will start to bring books home to read and we encourage parents to fill in the reading diary that comes home. This will also help establish routines for when the children move on to Key Stage One.

Find out more about reading at home here

The children follow a structured daily phonics programme which helps the children to develop their knowledge of letters and sounds.

In Nursery the children learn about Phase One phonics which looks at environmental sounds. When the children are ready they move on to Phase Two which covers most single letter sounds and some sounds made by two letters, such as /ck/.

In Reception the children carry on with Phase Two before moving on to Phase Three which looks at more sounds made by 2 letters (digraphs) and some made by 3 letters (trigraphs), such as /igh/.

Throughout Phases Two and Three there is a focus on the core phonic skills of segmenting (taking a word apart into the individual sounds) and blending (putting sounds together into words). We also look at ‘tricky words’ which do not follow the regular sound patterns and have to be read by sight and at the 45 High Frequency Words (HFWs) which occur most frequently in English; such as ‘a’, ‘and’, ‘it’, ‘is’ and ‘on’.

To support Phonics learning at home it is really useful to play ‘make and break’ games with words from books you are reading. Start with 2 letter words such as ‘if’ and build up to 3 letter and 4 letter words.

 

Top tip

It is helpful to focus on the order that the sounds are taught in as they are taught by frequency of use rather than in alphabetical order:

s

a

t

p

 

i

n

m

d

 

g

o

c

k

 

ck

e

u

r

 

h

b

f,ff

l, ll

ss

 

Writing and Making Marks

We encourage the children to make marks with a range of materials, such as paintbrushes, pencils and pens. We value non-permanent marks, such as those made in sand and water, semi-permanent marks such as those made on a wipeboard, or permanent marks which are made on paper or in books, as all of this mark-making helps children to build up their strength for gripping tools and prepares them for writing.

When children in Reception are ready the EYFS staff will introduce the cursive script used by years 1-6 and information about this script will be given to parents.

Top tip for name writing

When learning to write their name at home it is important to start with a capital letter and do the rest of the name in lower-case letters. This gets the children into good habits at a young age.

Top tips for writing at home

Have a go at making large movements first

When children first start school they are still building up the strength in their arms and hands to write. Try big movements first, such as making marks in the garden with a stick, or attaching a paintbrush to a stick to make marks with water; when they are ready move on to small tools such as crayons and felt tips, then pens and pencils. If you have as many tools to make marks as you can your child will be able to choose the one they would like to use first.

Scrapbook making

Sitting down and writing at a table at home can be tricky after a long day at school. Try making a scrapbook together using pictures of favourite characters from catalogues and magazines. You could then try and label the pictures together. Following the interests of the children is a good way to help them start to write at home and you can begin to build on this by introducing longer words and eventually strings of words and short sentences.

 

Mathematics

Number recognition and writing are focal areas for learning; from looking at the numbers on house doors and on buses to writing shopping lists, number learning opportunities are all around us.

Towards the end of their time in EYFS the children will begin to write number sentences and focus on learning their number bonds to 10 and counting in 2s.

Shapes are all around us too. We look at shape names, go on exciting shape hunts and build our own shapes too. We search for shapes in pictures, follow patterns, add to patterns and create our own patterns.

The children do very practical maths activities and we learn a lot about measuring real objects, about money and also learn to tell the time to the hour, half hour and beyond!

 

Understanding the World

Children learn best when there is a strong context and this area of learning looks at our community; this could be the school community, the family and people important to us; people who help us too!

The children find out about the world around them and being situated by Tooting Bec Common we take advantage of this space as much as we can, going on ‘Welly walks’ and bug hunts. We find out about the lives of people who reside in different places and how their lives might be different from our own.

We promote the use of technology with the children, such as using touchscreen tablets, cameras, computers and other devices to enhance learning.

 

Expressive Arts and Design

Telferscot is a highly creative school which is in a dynamic partnership with the South Bank Centre. We take part in a range of projects and want the youngest children in the school to take an active part wherever possible; this might include making a banner or writing a song.

We know children thrive in a creative atmosphere and we actively encourage role play and support the children in developing a wide range of creative processes, including collage, painting and drawing. We display as much children’s art work as possible in the environment too; this shows what amazing artists they are and gives them pride and ownership over their classroom.

Did You Know