Early Years

Our Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum provides the knowledge, skills and learning experiences to prepare all children to become positive global citizens.

Our Curriculum Goals

The EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) is based on four principles:

A unique child– developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals.
Positive relationships– supporting the children in becoming independent learners with strong social skills.
Enabling environments– where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child.
Learning and development– An acknowledgment that children learn in different ways and at different rates.

The EYFS curriculum is split into 7 areas of learning 

The prime areas of learning & development​

  • Communication and language​
  • Physical development​
  • Personal, social and emotional development​

 The specific areas of learning & development​

  • Literacy & mathematics ​
  • Expressive arts and design & understanding the world

The specific areas of learning are underpinned by the prime areas. It is essential for our children to become confident and secure within their learning environment and develop their listening and attention skills before they are able to develop the skills of reading, writing, and mathematics. The skills the children acquire in Reception are essential for successful learning throughout school and in later life.

We have high expectations for all of our children and recognize that children have different starting points to their learning.

A child-centered approach is at the heart of our EYFS provision. The EYFS curriculum is planned around cohort needs and interests to motivate, inspire, and promote cross-curricular, independent learning.

Implementation

In the Early Years at Greenholm our children are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first-hand experiences.

We aim to provide as many enriching practical experiences for the children as possible. We do this through trips and ‘special days’ throughout the year, in line with our curriculum. The children particularly enjoy the ‘Superhero Day’ and ‘Animal Man’ visit.

The Early Years classrooms are organized to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, quiet and creative. Each classroom has defined learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. 

We value parental contributions to their child’s development and we encourage strong home-school links. We create this partnership through:

  • home visits
  • story sessions
  • reading breakfasts
  • classroom workshops
  • Marvellous Me app updates
  • Termly Parents evenings
  • Weekly Newsletters
  • Regular communication and updates with parents

Phonics

Phonics teaching and learning are a fundamental part of the Foundation Stage and support children to develop early reading and writing skills. 

Early reading skills are rehearsed through whole-class teaching, small intervention groups, child-initiated activities as well as small teacher focus groups.

At Greenholm we follow the letters and sounds phonics scheme, which is a systematic synthetic approach to teaching phonics. 

Phonics consists of:

  • Identifying sounds in spoken words
  • Recognizing the common spellings of each phoneme (sound)
  • Blending phonemes into sounds for reading
  • Segmenting words into phonemes for spelling

We have extremely high expectations of all our children and aim for them to be able to read and write by the end of the Reception year. In line with the Ofsted expectations.

Outdoor Learning

Our indoor and outdoor learning environments facilitate child-initiated play and provide children with carefully planned opportunities that allow them to explore, create and learn through stimulating, interactive and accessible resources.

Our outdoor learning environment provides opportunities for children to use and apply skills acquired across all areas of the curriculum in a practical, exploratory environment. We encourage children to develop their creative and imaginative skills in a spacious outdoor area.

All children have the opportunity to take part in forest schools and visit the school farm regularly. Forest school is an approach to learning that takes children into the great outdoors whatever the weather to explore the natural environment. Forest school is a long-term, nature-based outdoor learning program that focuses on holistic development and growth in children. Children will use natural resources and take part in exciting projects linked to their learning within the classroom, the dinosaur fossil hunting is always a big hit with the children!

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