Early Years at Keeble
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 and develops characteristics of effective learning. 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, art & design and understanding the world to ensure our children are ready and prepared for Key Stage 1. 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!
The following documents detail our aims for what children can achieve the end of Nursery and Reception, here at Keeble:
Our intent for EYFS is to inspire, engage and enthuse our children to be active learners every day, not just in EYFS but throughout their whole school journey. Children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning is ignited through exciting, open-ended provision areas both inside and outdoors, alongside nurturing and high quality adult interactions, which ensure that children develop the skills needed to learn, form positive relationships and thrive.
Child-led learning is at the heart of our approach and we develop a curriculum for EYFS that ensures children develop their vocabulary and language, alongside deep acquisition of knowledge through play-based learning and excellent modelling from all adults. Our environments and provision are strongly immersed in stories and literature to facilitate imagination and wonder.
Ensuring thoughtfully planned, smooth and nurturing transitions for all children, whether they are coming into Nursery, going from Nursery to Reception or Reception to Year 1 is a key part of our intent for Early Years. We value our relationships with parents and carers, as the people who know their child best, to secure a smooth transition for our children. Our learning is well-sequenced to ensure that all children have the knowledge and experience necessary to help them succeed, no matter which stage of their learning they are at.
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
Our approach is implemented through following the children’s interests on a daily basis through our play-based curriculum.
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. Forest School is a key part of our curriculum for EYFS children, encouraging children to appreciate the world around them. Literacy and Maths are threaded through all areas of the environment.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Our curriculum for EYFS is underpinned by excellent relationships with children, but also with our parents. We ensure that children have the best possible opportunities to achieve by communicating openly and effectively with parents on a regular basis, through newsletters, Tapestry, termly reports and verbal communication to ensure children receive valuable and targeted support at home.
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.
- All children, except children with significant SEND, achieve Good Level of Development.
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.
It is important that the practitioner takes note of the child’s perspective and is skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe, capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to support children to achieve their next steps..
‘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.