Miss Sullivan, EYFS subject lead
Our intention is that all children leave our Foundation Stage setting with the learning skills and behaviours ready to embrace the challenges of the National Curriculum. Our children will have high levels of well-being and involvement, feel safe and secure and will have accessed a fulfilling and enriching curriculum designed to nurture their characteristics of effective learning. Playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically will underpin the Areas of Learning. We know that how children learn will form their early attitudes to learning – they are learning their place in the school, what a teacher is and more importantly who they are as learners. A strong focus on early language and talk ensures that all children leave our Foundation Stage able to communicate their needs effectively. Running alongside the Areas of Learning are the three school values of community, aspiration, respect and equity. We intend for our children to be members of the whole school community.
The unique child is at the heart of our curriculum. Each child’s experience is central to the thinking of all adults. Adults understand that starting school is a big step for young children and their families. All adults communicate with all children/families warmly and with care. Our classroom environment reflects each child and our curriculum is designed to be developmentally sensitive and strength based. Children are given extended times to play and follow their own interests in a well-planned and well-resourced environment to develop their ability to self-regulate. Each child is given sustained moments of play to hold information in mind, think flexibly, inhibit impulsive behaviours, plan, monitor and adapt thinking.
Our curriculum is designed to guide practitioners in providing the framework from which we can give children the best possible start to their education. It is not a ceiling of our expectations but merely the floor level from which to plan interesting and engaging experiences. The curriculum has depth and breadth across the seven areas of learning. Children are given interesting and demanding experiences that meet the needs of all. Learning opportunities are well planned and based on regular and accurate assessments of children’s achievement so that every child is suitably challenged and there are no gaps in their learning. There is a particular emphasis on the benefits of learning outdoors.
At Kingsbridge Primary School, we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy which support the child’s well-being.
Quality, consistency and equal opportunities
We are passionate that teaching for mastery starts in Early Years. We believe in giving all pupils access to equitable classrooms; classrooms where pupils can all participate and be influential, and classrooms where pupils are encouraged and supported to develop a deep connected and sustained understanding of the learning and development being explored. This practice ensures that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
Our enabling environments and warm, high quality adult interactions support our children to learn. We believe that high level engagement ensures high level attainment. We provide an engaging curriculum that maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences, as well as promoting the unique child by offering periods of sustained shared thinking. Our curriculum does not dictate the learning that happens in the class. Teachers are able to follow children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school. By the end of the Foundation year all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
We are fortunate at Kingsbridge Primary School to be part of the South Hams Federation. This allows us to work closely with other practitioners to plan for the best learning environment for our youngest children and develop best practice. We also work closely alongside parents and/or carers as we know a positive and prosperous relationship between school and parents helps to provide a supportive basis for lifelong learning. Tapestry is a well-established, immediate tool for communicating with parents. Home-school links are given a high priority with useful assessment shared with parents. Our Unit is a community of learners. It is hoped that by learning alongside each other, parents and practitioners develop a close relationship that supports each child to achieve the best possible outcomes. Parents are regularly invited to be actively involved in their child’s learning, making strong and meaningful links between home and school.