Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday. At Rosehill, Our Early Years Curriculum follows the statutory framework and guidance detailed under the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (1 September 2021) and the SEND Code of Practice to ensure all requirements outlined are incorporated into all aspects of our provision. We also conduct our own research regarding children’s learning and development.
Children in the EYFS will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through the 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan a child’s learning and activities. At Rosehill, we ensure that the activities are designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow each child’s unique needs and interests. Our plans and activities take into account how each child develops, their strengths, challenges, ways of learning and what we can do to address the barriers around physical, emotional, sensory, communication, health and medical needs. We work closely with colleagues in the health and therapy teams in order to achieve progress.
We continue each child’s journey through the EYFS into Key Stage One as this enables us to show progress against each child’s individual next steps. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. We provide planned and purposeful opportunities which help build their resilience and ability to follow a routine and develop their engagement with adult led and group activities, where appropriate.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Rosehill is an exciting place to visit and an even more fascinating place to learn!
As with our whole school curriculum, the intent of the EYFS Curriculum is to enable all children to be active learners, moving towards independence, autonomy, control and choice. We aspire for our pupils to effectively communicate as confident individuals, stay safe and healthy and become responsible citizens, ultimately fulfilling their aspirations and preparing them for adulthood.
In the EYFS the curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We recognise that children’s Personal, Social and Emotional development underpins all subsequent learning and work hard to ensure children develop high levels of confidence, independence and self-awareness. Children respond well to our routines designed to enhance their social skills and life skills and are supported in developing understanding of the rules we have and why they are important, both in school and within the wider community as it becomes appropriate to their understanding. This includes who can help us if we are experiencing difficulties or problems and how they help us.
We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Rosehill School, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.
We follow the statutory framework and guidance detailed in the EYFS and provide a broad and balanced Early Years curriculum:
- Based on first hand experiences, purposeful interactions and functional opportunities
- Through carefully planned adult and child-initiated activities, both indoors and outdoors
- Which develop the skills and attitudes children will need as they move through the school, during transitions and in life
- We aim to effectively develop our pupils’ health and wellbeing, communication skills and their ability to self-regulate through the support of our total communication approach, enabling environments and therapeutic interventions
- We aim to promote a love for learning and ensure all of our pupil’s enjoy attending school by making each day fun, happy, positive, meaningful and memorable
- We aim to instil the Characteristics of Effective Learning such as playing and exploring, active learning, creating and thinking critically
- We aim to build positive relationships and work in partnership with our families to support every child to develop, learn and enjoy life
- Our staff will be knowledgeable in relevant law and policy and know how to apply it in their practice. This will ensure children's needs are identified early, appropriate support is given, and children are referred onto external agencies if their learning and development becomes a concern.
At Rosehill, we recognise that building children’s confidence and promoting their emotional wellbeing and resilience, not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school, in life and future employment. Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start.
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 extended periods of play and creative thinking. We following children’s interests and ideas to foster a lifelong love of learning both in and outside of school.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
At Rosehill, we have designed the EYFS curriculum to be broad, balanced, challenging, relevant and personalised to the needs of Autistic children, reflecting the world they live in today. Every individual has their own strengths, differences and needs, their own life journey and their own unique story. For many children, they may also have a wide range of complex and co-occurring differences. We therefore place equal emphasis on core academic learning, therapeutic support, and development of life skills that promote learners to achieve the best possible outcomes.
At Rosehill, our planning always takes into account children’s unique needs and our carefully planned individual and small group activities enable the children to make progress across all areas of learning. We regularly consult with our Occupational Therapist to ensure the children are being provided with appropriate challenge within their physical development based on their individual requirements. At a level appropriate to their stage of understanding, the children are also offered opportunities to develop their comprehension of the world around them and the different communities we see in Britain today. Exploring events and celebrations that are important to different communities, how events are celebrated, why and how they link to the child’s own beliefs are investigated in ways that help children learn acceptance and understanding of our world.
Each half term, staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching during the day. The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. These sessions are followed by small focused group work. This means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide feedback and support which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside learning and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.
We believe play is a powerful tool for learning, through this we ensure our Characteristics of Effective Learning are at the heart of our plans and provision. Through play, children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. We ensure a multi-sensory approach to learning is tailored to suit each individual based on their developmental journey, ensuring opportunities for developing communication skills and self-regulation using our Communication targets and Sensory Journals, to help each child to achieve the ‘just right’ regulated state, in turn, enabling them to successfully engage in learning and social activities. We work closely with our speech and language team and sensory occupational therapist to ensure maximum progress for each individual. Children also have access to communication aids, where appropriate.
At Rosehill School, we ensure learning opportunities extend to many aspects of a child’s life, including but not limited to; when they go for their lunch trying new foods; when they access activities, promoting them to play alongside and with others; when they take part in personal and hygiene care routines, developing their independence. Also, using their senses to explore and investigate. This holistic approach to learning enables staff to use a range of strategies, which help children deepen their understanding and apply their learning to different aspects of their life.
We follow the EYFS Framework and use Development Matters to inform our planning alongside each pupils’ individual interests and next steps. Each pupil has a ‘IPLJ’ with individual targets (often a break-down of annual EHCP targets). These are reviewed termly along with their families and ensure opportunities to develop these targets are provided within the environment and through adult led activities.
In the EYFS, we provide an environment where spoken language is clear and precise and written communication, signs, symbols, objects, gestures, intensive interaction and music interaction are used to reinforce expressive and receptive language. This ‘total communication approach’ reinforces and strengthens meaning; helps form connections, ensures successful interactions and supports information exchange and conversations. Staff take pride in getting to know pupils well, and forming good relationships in order to find and use the right combination of strategies to maximise their speech, language and communication.
English / Literacy
In EYFS, we follow the Rosehill English Scheme of Work. Children take part in a range of opportunities designed to develop their English skills such as regular sensory stories, singing, music time and regular trips out in the local community such as walking to the park.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to encourage a love of reading right from the start. In the EYFS we have favourite stories each half term. The aim is to expose children to a range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but have been chosen specifically to develop their communication, oracy, vocabulary and comprehension. These books will be embedded in our provision through activities, story sessions, interactive displays and resources (for example, use of augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) devices/ symbolised resources/ sensory stories), and on display for children to access independently. Through this, children begin to build their interest and love of reading.
We use the systematic synthetic phonics program, (SSP) “No Nonsense Phonics” to ensure consistency across the school. This SSP was carefully selected from the vast array of government validated schemes, as the programme provides a comprehensive step-by-step method for teaching reading, handwriting and spelling. Over learning through repetition using the many resources from No Nonsense Phonics and Phonics International means that phonic learning is embedded.
In EYFS, we follow the Rosehill Maths Scheme of Work. We spend time with the children developing their early mathematical skills through play such as sorting and categorising, early counting and using number names as well as exploring concepts such as pattern, capacity and shape.
Children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play. There is a strong focus on practical, exploratory and sensory learning opportunities to develop early maths skills, for example during play and lunch times counting and recognising numbers are incorporated into discussions and activities. These functional ‘real-life’ experiences help the children to apply their early maths skills and concepts in context. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and problem solving.
Our wider curriculum is taught through the learning areas; ‘Understanding of the World’ and ‘Expressive Arts and Design’. Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned to build on children’s natural curiosity. For example, building a boat for their favourite toy enables them to explore new concept and a range of materials and test out their own ideas. Building further on their communication skills, children are encouraged to engage in a wide range of intensive interactions, where vocabulary will be modelled, both verbally and orally, by supporting practitioners. Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional intervention and support for children who may not be reaching their potential, or are showing a greater depth of understanding and need further challenge. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, social skills, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics. Regular monitoring of teaching and learning by SLT and the EYFS leader ensure staff develop good subject knowledge. The EYFS leader ensures staff receive CPD specific to Early Years to develop their practice. For example, we offer CPD on speech language and communication, in order to understand where pupils are, and their ‘next steps,’ for learning.
Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in school, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child and family to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments are also carried out:
- Assessments on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics’
- Sensory Journals
- The AET Progression Framework
Formative assessment in EYFS/KS1 is continuous and takes the form of observations, examples of child-initiated work and samples of adult led activities and interventions. We use ‘Earwig’ to keep observational records and create a ‘Learning Journey’. All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paperwork. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing/ making. Some observations are uploaded using Earwig and shared with the supporting parents and carers and examples kept in individual files. All records and information are passed onto new teachers to ensure a smooth transition each year.
Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the KS1 curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their learning journey.
Working with Parents
We recognise that parents are the experts on their own children and as such we take the parental voice very seriously. Parent partnership is very important at Rosehill School and we encourage parents to support their child’s initial transition into Early Years education by attending with their child, where possible at the beginning, to help them to settle in. Parents will be able to help the staff team get to know their child by sharing information through conversations with both their child’s class teacher and key staff who will ensure children build positive and warm relationships within the school environment, that their individual care needs are met and they have a smooth transition and successful relationships between home and school.
The class teacher will usually make a home visit or detailed phone call prior to a child starting school to provide parents with opportunities to get to know us and to ask any questions they may have. Seeing a child in their home environment provides us with the opportunity to see how they interacts with their family at home and enables us to get to know them a little more.
We keep in touch with parents through our daily home/school diaries and encourage parents to regularly share their news through this too. We love to share special or important experiences that happen at school and hope parents and carers will share things with us too. There are also many opportunities for parents to come to school and to take part in special events or activities, including parents coffee mornings and information sharing workshops.
EYFS Long-Term Plans
Further Information and Evidence of Impact