Our Bespoke Curriculum
At Billesdon, our Early Years curriculum is designed to be meaningful and relevant to each child, meeting them at the level they are at when they join us and developing progressively throughout the year. We tweak our activities to encompass children’s individual interests, and we open their eyes to new learning, helping them to make sense of the world around them. We aim to ignite each child’s thirst for knowledge through first-hand experiences and learning through play, building firm foundations for all pupils regardless of educational needs and background. We facilitate a language-rich environment, enabling children to build up a wide a varied vocabulary to communicate in a range of contexts. Stories, rhymes, and music are given high priority, as are discrete phonics sessions taught through the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, enabling children to begin to access print around them.
Our curriculum is carefully planned to provide exploration within all seven areas of learning of the Early Years Foundation Stage :
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding The World
- Expressive Arts and Design
How we learn in EYFS
Our Early Years teachers are very experiences in working with children aged five and under, and they use their knowledge of child development and how children learn alongside the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which are:
- Playing and exploring- investigating and having a go at new experiences using sensory exploration.
- Active learning- being given time and space to concentrate on challenging activities, and persevering when they encounter difficulties.
- Creating and thinking critically-developing their own ideas with adult encouragement and support, often working with other children, and making links between prior knowledge and new learning.
At Billesdon, we aim to provide inspiring, first-hand experiences across all the areas of learning, encouraging children to build resilience, independence, and respect for one another as well as a love of learning. We aim to build on their prior knowledge, increase their independence, ensuring that they have a love for learning and feel safe in the school environment. We work with them to develop the foundations of their personal and social skills that that they will continue to develop over their time at the school. We recognise that each child is an individual and we aim to follow the children interests and teach them about the wider world. In EYFS we will:
- Provide a curriculum that covers the seven areas of learning and follows the educational programmes in the statutory framework, giving the children a wide range of opportunities and experiences.
- We support all children to achieve their very best in all areas of learning, and have high expectations of every child.
- Provide a rich learning environment that enables children to learn through play and reach their potential through challenges and support.
- Help children to develop an awareness of their own sense of wellbeing, and to be able to regulate their emotions.
Our curriculum follows the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This document specifies the requirements for learning and development in the EYFS and provide the prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum. We offer a bespoke curriculum that is relevant to our own children and builds on their prior experiences.
Children in EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, thinking critically and creatively, and this takes place both indoors and outdoors. Our outdoor area is open all year round and in all but the most challenging weather conditions, this is further enabled by the fact that we have a covered outdoor space. We have our own secure playground exclusively for EYFS children to use as part of their continuous provision, and to use until they are ready to use the extensive school grounds to play with the rest of the school. We also use the whole school grounds, including our beautiful woodland, to enrich our learning about the natural world. Children make their own decisions about where they learn best and teachers ensure that there are opportunities for all areas of learning both inside and outside.
Evidence of children’s learning is collected via the online learning journey platform Tapestry, where observations, photos and videos of each child’s learning are recorded and shared with parents and other members for the EYFS staff team. We plan a range of visits to support children’s learning and invite visitors into school to provide the spark for further immersion in a theme or project.
The impact of our EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well-rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child and their learning journeys. Each year, we aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving a Good Level of Development. In our most recent profile assessments (2022) our results in EYFS were above the Local Authority average.
EYFS National Curriculum Links - click here
EYFS Policy - click here
Link to EYFS Development Matters Guidance - click here