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Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
We adhere to the Statutory Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable,   confident and self-assured;
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

As part of our practice we:

  • Provide a balanced curriculum, based on the EYFS, across the seven areas of learning, using play as the vehicle for learning;
  • Provide opportunities for children to engage in activities which are adult-initiated and child-initiated, supported by the adult. For a large part of the day, we observe the children carefully and enhance the learning whenever we spot a ‘teachable moment’. Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are then recorded;
  • Encourage high levels of well-being and  involvement in activities;
  • Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support;
  • Work in partnership with parents and within the wider context;
  • Provide an enabling, secure and safe learning environment indoors and out (both physical and emotional). Children are then able to use their natural desire to explore and learn, supported by the practitioners.
  • Encourage the development of the Characteristics of Effective Learning
At the heart of our practice in Reception is the importance we place on helping children to develop how they learn i.e. their 'Characteristics of Effective Learning' (CoEL). At Great and Little Shelford we believe that 'adults who help children to play are adults who help children to learn'. 

The shape of our day reflects the importance we place on the children learning through planned and purposeful play.

For examples of how the children at have the opportunity to play and explore, take part in active learning and create and think critically, please see the video and associated PowerPoint below.

A copy of some example questions which we may use to support the interpretation of the Characteristics of Effective Learning can be found in the document below. 

Morning Carousel

The carousel of activities which take place at the beginning of each day, enable all children to develop the skills necessary to be successful in writing. 

  • Gross motor activities, develop core strength, which in turn develops fine motor control. 
  • Craft and art activities develop fine motor skills, which help to develop an effective pencil grip and pencil control. 
  • Reading with an adult, includes phonics tracking and sight word recognition, all effective for writing. 
The timing of the walk or run is such that all children have fresh air and exercise, following focused activities.
It is designed to be 'down time' for the brain, necessary for the assimilation of skills learned.
It is deliberately a time when they can chat, but with a focus, as this is an excellent opportunity to make the most of our exploring through our senses in the school grounds and therefore contributing to 'Understanding the World'. 
Please refer to the Early Years Foundation Stage Policy Here in our Policies Section for further details.