Early Years Foundation Stage

At Kingsmead Primary School our Early Years Curriculum is designed to inspire curiosity and fascination through a play based approach, with rich experiences and opportunities to follow children’s interests to create engagement, investment and deep understanding. 

‘We went on bikes and scooters, we had to wear helmets and went ziggy zaggy round the cones’

Children in Reception learn through the Early Years Foundation Stage, following on from their pre-school settings towards their individual next steps. The prime curriculum areas, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development, are fundamental to young child development. Planned development in these areas supports social engagement, resilience, independence, oracy, vocabulary and movement -  the lifelong skills that provide the foundation for lifelong learning. 

The Specific Areas of the curriculum provide the broad progression in skills and knowledge in more traditional curriculum areas. Children learn to read and write through the acquisition of phonic sounds, they develop a deep understanding of number and the skills to apply this to exploration and enquiry. Through thematic planning the children learn about their place in the world and how other people’s lives differ from theirs, they notice and describe change and begin to make connections and predictions. They represent their understanding through creating with materials and develop skills in using media with confidence, representing their imagination though physical materials, drama and song.

Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are: 

• 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 with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers. 

• importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.

Our Reception classroom is  a beautiful open space that has two carpet areas for class learning times, and carefully designed provision to allow children the opportunity to play, create and explore. Children have opportunities to explore the classroom through carefully selected resources and play areas, where they are encouraged to build relationships, curiosity and resilience through play and investigation. Our quiet area provides a sensory break and time to chill out with a friend with a book. Our dedicated outside spaces, including our wild space - ‘Badger Hill’,  offers children a contrasting learning environment, where they are taught to assess and manage risk, explore materials and resources and notice change over time. 

Teachers use progression grids and knowledge of the children to plan rich thematic activities for class learning, small group work and individual enquiry led play. A multisensory curriculum  provides opportunities for children to engage in imaginative learning, use of concrete and manipulative materials, and using real life resources. 

Children access the curriculum through their own learning styles and communication methods, staff have an in depth knowledge of every child’s attainment and next steps, skilful adaptations are made to enable all children to achieve to their potential.  Our skilled staff support children with additional physical, communication or medical needs to access the curriculum and environment and provide specific support where required. 

Parents have many ways to get involved in their child’s first year of school; helping in the classroom, mystery readers, reading mentors, as well as regular read along and play along sessions. Parents are the expert in their child, we value strong relationships with families to ensure that diverse aspects of school life, such as transition, learning, relationships and wellbeing, put the child at the centre, and that parents feel a part of the Kingsmead Family.

‘At the end there were some people on a boat coming to our island, but we didn’t know who they were. We shared our food, we helped them to survive’ 

Children in our Ladybird class are deeply invested in their learning and engrossed in their play, using rich vocabulary and showing resilience and perseverance and building co-operative and collaborative friendships.

Pupils display their learning through their reading and writing, through oral and physical maths, and through respresenting their understanding through creating with materials, music or role play. They will use new vocabulary in their play and will demonstrate their understanding through their descriptions of their creations.

Achievement will be demonstrated through progression in confidence, communication and interpersonal skills, reading, writing and numeracy, through investigation, creation, discussion, prediction and explanation.

‘We made butter, we shaked the jar and the milk turned to butter’. ‘It was great, we made bread, it was amazing!’ 

If you were to walk into our Ladybirds classroom at Kingsmead you would see: