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EYFS Statement of Intent

As the first step into education for many children, an engaging, supportive EYFS is crucial. Our curriculum encourages children to follow their own interests, and utilises ‘in-the-moment’ planning to ensure high-quality learning. Working in a child-centred way means that differences and diversity are celebrated and explored as part of daily life. We prioritise the development of the Prime Areas of the Curriculum: Personal, Social & Emotional Development, Communication & Language and Physical Development, and our timetable is specifically designed to include longer periods of free-flow playing and learning. Children learn to take managed risks and rise to challenges with resilience. They are encouraged to have a growth mind-set, and to question what they see, to develop enquiring minds and a thirst for learning. Our curriculum works on the understanding that communication, emotional understanding and social skills underpin the Specific learning areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts & Design.

At Sheringdale, we utilise the statutory Characteristics of Effective Learning (DfE) to ensure that children are empowered and motivated by their own learning journeys, and that learning is meaningful, purposeful and useful. The curriculum celebrates that every child is unique and will benefit from different learning styles, and open-ended resources. Use of Makaton, songs, clear routines and boundaries, and visual aids, ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all, particularly those with EAL and SEND. The EYFS provision is inspired by high-quality ‘Power of Reading’ texts which direct the topics of each half term. This ensures that teaching is coherently sequenced to build on the children’s previous development and knowledge. The PoR texts provide a secure foundation for confident, fluent readers who love books and language, and the PoR approach is continued into Year 1 and beyond. Classroom environments are language-rich, and the immersive nature of the exploration of texts embeds and enhances cross-curricular links. The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics builds on prior learning and inspires children to take ownership of their early reading and to be playful with it. Mathematical understanding is supported across all areas of the EYFS curriculum, from weighing scales in the ‘home corner’ to tape measures in the construction area. Children learn that Maths is useful and necessary, and they enter KS1 secure and ready for more complex mathematical concepts.

We believe that to learn, children must feel safe and happy, and their self-esteem and well-being is a focus from their first day in Nursery. High standards of behaviour for learning are established through the expectation that everyone will try their best, and a secure understanding of the reasons why this is important. Pupils are involved in discussion about class rules at the start of each new school year and create a class charter, which reflects the Sheringdale school rules. This strengthens the idea of community, and the importance of teamwork, as the children move through life.

The EYFS team are committed to working in partnership with parents and carers, as the evidence is clear that this best supports children’s progress. Connections between staff, children and parents are nurtured from the first home visit before they enter the school, and by using their ‘All About Me’ books which include photographs of their lives and family, and their likes and dislikes. We strive for our families to be as involved with their child’s education as possible, which is why we use the Tapestry app: parents can access, and contribute to, their child’s learning journey as often as they would like. As well as parent consultation meetings, parents are invited to open mornings, phonics workshops and observation lessons, curriculum meetings, and events such as the reading breakfast, class assemblies, school concerts and celebrations such as the Christmas fair.