EYFS Intent, Implementation and Impact
The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards for learning, development and care for children, birth to 5 years.
At Devoran School we promote the prime areas of communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development as the golden threads that are woven into our everyday curriculum. Through our broad and balanced curriculum, we facilitate and unlock a world full of potential for our children. Staff plan experiences and learning environments that meet the needs of all our pupils and builds upon their interest and fascinations.
Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and sustained thinking. Through focused observation and effective communication, we encourage curiosity and independence, enrich our children’s vocabulary as well as promote exploration and learning through play.
We provide a learning experience that is bespoke to Devoran School and to every unique cohort, based on their needs identified at baseline, emerging trends and our continual gap analysis that supports our planning and provision. We deliver our curriculum through a balance of adult led and child-initiated activities based on the EYFS Framework 21’ and our children’s interests.
Each child has their individual starting points which we value and recognise. Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in close partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible transition and start at Devoran School. It is our aim that learning in Foundation Stage will be fun, engaging, challenging and supportive of every child, allowing them to reach their full potential.
By the end of their foundation stage year with us, our intent is to ensure that all children make good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.
- all children to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require to access and succeed in the next stages of their education.
- all children to gain a strong foundation of learning, that delivers excellent levels of communication, early number sense and literacy.
- all children to develop a love of learning: gaining independence, awareness of themselves/others and an understanding of the culture and knowledge in the wider world around them.
- all children to grow physically, gaining skills in self-care, self-efficacy and how to live a healthy and happy life.
- all children to demonstrate confidence and resilience through playing, exploring, active learning and critical thinking.
Each half term, EYFS 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. When ready, carpet time is followed by small focused group work. This allows staff to check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback 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.
Prior to the children starting at Devoran School, we offer opportunities for families to spend time getting to know each other, staff and the setting at ‘Learning Together’ sessions. Home and pre-school visits are also key to gaining a deeper understanding of the whole child and where their starting points are. Once on role, staff use ongoing assessments, observations, conversations with the child and information gathered to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies an individual’s starting points in all 7 areas, so we can plan experiences to ensure progress.
The Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment
This assessment focuses on language, communication, literacy and mathematics. The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.
Observation of Play and Learning (OP&L)
Children in the EYFS are working to achieve their ELG (Early Learning Goal) by the end of the year. At Devoran School, we recognise that not all children will have ‘typical’ or linear development and so use an assessment tool called OP&L to track our children. OP&L works on the basis of having very simple, six-monthly child development milestones, which we use to monitor children’s progress and reflect what we believe a child, should be able to achieve. When looking at the statements, we assess if the child has met the milestones. Over the course of a month, staff make observations and assessments that we call ‘Spotlights’. We observe children’s innovation, their creativity, their ideas, their intents and feelings. As a staff, we meet weekly to feedback, the insight that we gain enables us to discuss, reflect and plan our environment to support and shape future learning. OP&L allows us to tell and celebrate each child’s story and then focus on the support they need from us. We follow this simple three step process, working in close collaboration with parents to ensure that all children are supported in reaching significant milestones for their age.
Assessment and Reporting
All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This 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 discussion, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing or making. We record the weeks learning in a floor book and update our Class Dojo blog at least twice a week to keep families and carers updated.
Formal assessments as to whether a child is either ‘on track’ or ‘not on track’ towards their ELG are made at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms. This is shared with parents during parent/teacher meetings at two points during the year. In Summer Term 2, the EYFSP is completed where practitioners judge whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s and reported to Cornwall County Council. Children will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher.
Impact is evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum and through robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation – children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.