At Boynton Primary School our reception children (age 4-5) are part of Class 1 and mix with children from years 1 and 2 to form one class.
Our EYFS intent is to work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage and support confident, independent learners who are happy in school. We want our children to thrive, from their various starting points, in a welcoming environment.
Children learn best when they are both challenged and supported and we aim to provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support their learning, and to consolidate and deepen their knowledge. We ensure children are ready to transition into Key Stage 1 as they progress through the school.
We also recognise that reading, vocabulary and building positive relationships are essential building blocks for children’s learning and allows them to access so many other areas of the curriculum.
As children make the transition from nursery to school, we recognise the importance of working with parents and carers to make this journey as smooth as possible. We offer time to talk, workshops, and parent meetings, and we take the time to find out about children’s interests and concerns.
Our curriculum is child-centred and adapts to the children’s interests and likes. We introduce relevant and timely topics across the year that engage and motivate children’s learning.
The experienced staff have developed an ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum that progressively builds on the skills and knowledge essential to learning in EYFS. This is reflected in the stimulating learning environment and engaging learning experience, which is flexible so that children’s unique needs and interests are supported.
The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum. These are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Learning activities are set up to progressively develop different areas of the EYFS curriculum. As well as focused adult-led input, many activities are accessed independently by the children. This allows children to create opportunities to engage in child-initiated play and develop their next steps in learning. Staff observe and question where appropriate, to ensure they have a deep understanding of the learning needs of each child and can plan accordingly to stimulate further progress.
It is recognised that activities should support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure that successful learning is evident. These are:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things. They ‘have a go’.
- Active learning – children focus and ‘keep on trying’, and enjoy their achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – children develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
This learning by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking takes place across the Class 1 environment, both inside and outside. Whatever the weather the children are prepared to be outside, with the outdoor environment being accessed all year round.
The staff in Class 1 make regular observations of the children’s learning. At the start of the year, simple 1:1 base-line assessments take place (alongside input from nursery teams, and conversations with parents and carers). These allow the team to understand children’s first steps, and to ensure progression across the year, working towards the end-of-year Early Learning Goals (ELGs) and a Good Level of Development (GLD) for each child. Information is collected in each child’s Learning Journey, which is accessible to children and parents.
Development of reading skills, including phonics and nurturing a love of reading is central to the EYFS ethos. The Class 1 team are really proud of the school’s new whole-school reading scheme, ‘Collins Big Cat’. It supports the ‘Letters and Sounds’ systematic phonics resources we use to teach in EYFS and later in KS1. The reading scheme develops the children’s decoding skills as well as broadening their vocabulary. We recognise the importance of parent and carer involvement with reading and encourage and support parents to help their children develop life-long reading skills.
Every day use of number across the curriculum, as well as focussed input, ensures the children make excellent progress in both developing number skills and applying newly-gained knowledge. Our children go on to KS1 as confident mathematicians.
The development of clear routines and reflection on the children’s behaviour allows children to flourish, work better as a team and support the development of each other.
With such close involvement with KS1, the transition into Year 1 is seamless, with children being very familiar with the expectations for the coming year, feeling at home in the class environment, and with routines, class behaviour, and ways of learning.
- The staff and leadership team at Boynton work hard together to ensure that wherever possible children, from all starting points, reach the ELGs at the end of Reception, and that Boynton School is closely aligned with the National expectations.
- Evidence is gathered across the year in children’s Learning Journeys, supporting all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- At specific points of the year the class teacher uses observations and 1:1 assessment to make formative assessments to inform planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills.
- Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to the age related expectations month bands in Development Matters. This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are appropriate for all children, including those with SEND or those who are disadvantaged.
- Assessment judgements are moderated both in school and in local cluster groups. Moderation is supported by staff attending Local Authority (LA) moderation sessions and training, and by the school being part of the LA statutory moderation cycle.
The school takes full advantage of its small cohort numbers. This means the staff are able to provide focused, personalised learning for all children, regardless of their starting point. Our children make the best progress and GLD is consistently high