Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2021
We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage plays a crucial role in developing a love of learning for our children. Nursery and Reception at Keeble Gateway inspires our youngest learners, providing them with opportunities to follow their interests to ensure future success. We strive to ensure our children are happy, enthusiastic and confident learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need, to prepare them for future challenges.
We follow the EYFS statutory framework, facilitating opportunities for the children to play and develop in the Prime Areas of learning (Physical Development, Communication & Language and Personal, Social & Emotional Development) as well as challenge in the Specific Areas of Literacy, Maths, Expressive Art & Design and Understanding the World to ensure our children are ready and prepared for Key Stage 1 and beyond.
Our absolute priority is to develop a thirst for learning in our children, alongside confidence and self-esteem so that they know they are capable of absolutely anything!
Our EYFS establishes firm foundations on which to build future academic, enterprising, social and emotional successes focusing particularly on wellbeing and attitudes to learning.
Whilst recognising that every child is unique, we have the highest expectations that our children in EYFS will:
- Develop the confidence to be resilient and believe in themselves as learners
- Be willing to take risks in their learning and consistently try hard
- Be positive and about their learning
- Be able to self-regulate and manage their feelings
- Be effective and competent communicators
- Be creative thinkers
- Be thoughtful and kind, developing a good understanding of people and how to take care of the world around them
- Have the highest expectations of themselves and others
Child-led learning is at the heart of our approach and we develop a curriculum for EYFS that ensures children develop confidence, collaboration and a love of learning through following children’s interests and fascinations. Through our approach of play-based learning and quality adult interactions, children develop high quality vocabulary and language skills, alongside deep acquisition of knowledge.
At Keeble, we believe the adult’s role is to facilitate opportunities for children to learn through thoughtful enhancements and sensitive, nurturing interactions. This allows practitioners to respond to children’s needs and encourage them to try their best, therefore, empowering our early learners to see their play as meaningful and valued, developing their confidence to lead their own play. This approach also means that children are constantly engaged in their learning and learn in real life contexts.
Our highly effective practitioners work with the children in the environment to encourage them to explore and investigate problems, to ensure the best outcomes for each individual child. Their excellent knowledge of the Early Years Curriculum allows them to support children’s progress in the environment during play, motivating each child to have ownership of their learning.
All adults in EYFS are trained to a high standard to ensure they are skilled to further a child’s learning through questioning. They have a good knowledge of each child’s next steps so can extend their learning whilst ‘at play’, ensuring that Every Child Achieves.
Our unique approach also values the importance of acquisition of key skills, facilitated through short, fun and interactive daily Phonics and Maths inputs.
In Early Years, we have a rigorous approach to phonics teaching. At Keeble, we use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised to teach phonics across our School.
Each phonics adult-led session comprises of four parts: revisit/review; teach; practice and apply. This ensures that children make rapid progress. Each child has a decodable reading book, which is closely linked to their learned phonic knowledge, they bring home daily to support their early reading skills.
For more information about how we teach Phonics and Reading, please see our English Page.
Mathematics in Early Years is based around the Early Years Mastery approach to Mathematics. Each week our teaching is based around a number. The children will investigate and explore the meaning of a number, for example, the 'Twoness of 2.' This is through a range of planned and structured play situations, both independent, and supported by teachers as play partners, where there is plenty of scope for exploration.
Not a moment is wasted throughout the day, as Maths is emphasised in all aspects of the daily routine e.g. snack-time /lining up/tidying up etc. Maths through real-life and meaningful experiences, using practical hands-on resources is key.
Our Learning Environments
Our environments and provision are strongly immersed in stories and literature to facilitate imagination and wonder.
We facilitate a highly stimulating indoor and outdoor environment, which encompasses open ended, natural, authentic and loose parts play provision. Children have access to the outdoors at all times throughout playing and learning time so that they can learn in an environment that compliments their learning style the best and allows them to make excellent progress. Literacy and Maths are threaded through all areas of the environment.
Our exciting environment is then enhanced to support the application of key learning, so that children are constantly remembering and embedding what they have learned. In addition, high quality stories and literature are in every area of provision to encourage children to use their phonic knowledge, develop descriptive, exciting vocabulary and a love of reading.
Please click on the images below to be taken to our Nursery (Starlings) and Reception (Robins) class pages for further information on specific approaches and timetables:
- to inspire, engage and enthuse our children to be active learners every day, not just in EYFS but throughout their whole school journey.
- To support and develop our children holistically, laying solid foundations for future life
- Ignite children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning through exciting, open-ended provision areas both inside and outdoors
- Provide nurturing and high quality adult interactions, which ensure children develop the skills needed to learn, form positive relationships and thrive.
Planning in the Moment
At Keeble all of our planning, with the exception of Phonics and Mathematics, is based around our children's interests and needs.
Daily 'planning' and interaction is based around 'Planning in the Moment'. Based on what the children are already deeply involved in. This way of planning relies on skilled and well-trained practitioners using quality interactions and teachable moments to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment), so that every child can make progress.
‘Target time’ is also used to either provide extra support to individuals and small groups of children or to extend and challenge, in line with our Keep Up Not Catch Up approach. ‘Target time’ activities are planned by adults prior to the session and are based on ongoing assessments and the children’s interests.
The EYFS Curriculum at Keeble
We follow the EYFS statutory framework which sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
Children will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through the 7 areas of learning and development.
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
Characteristics of Effective Learning are a key element in the EYFS Curriculum which focus on how children learn (the process) rather than what they learn (the outcome).
The three characteristics are identified as:
- Playing and Exploring- children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
- Active Learning- children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and Thinking Critically- children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Please click here to explore our EYFS curriculum in more detail, including what we expect children to know at the end of each term or the Reception year.
The impact of our Early Years approach is that when children leave Reception, they are:
- Happy, resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals
- Strong, inquisitive and independent learners who thrive in all areas of learning and development
- Capable of developing and sustaining positive relationships within their school community and beyond.