Early Years and Key Stage 1 Curriculum Statement
At Henry Tyndale students in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 follow The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). The EYFS curriculum also consists of seven areas of learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Art and Design
Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development
These are identified as three prime areas of learning in EY and up to the end of Key Stage one. These are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. They also begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, which is threaded to support learning in all other areas.
Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design
These are identified as four specific areas of learning and through these, the prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.
We also focus on the following Characteristics of Effective Learning through the Early Years curriculum. These include:
Playing and exploring – engagement-motivation
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keep Trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Within the Early Years Department at Henry Tyndale School, our emphasis for learning is learning through play and exploration and we ensure all children have access to a rich learning environment where opportunities and conditions allow them to flourish in all aspects of their development to prepare them for life.
Transition into Early Years at Henry Tyndale
Due to our strong links with other settings and professionals, we are able to visit the children in their own homes during Portage sessions or in their current setting, when being visited by other professionals, prior to them starting at Henry Tyndale School.
In order to make strong relationships with the children and to discover their individual needs and interests, the children are observed by their keyworkers and the class teacher during their first half term in the Early Years Class. These observations allow us to provide each child with a personalised curriculum with carefully planned learning targets appropriate to their developmental stage.
These targets are shared with the children’s parents and carers and they are encouraged to add their own comments and suggestions. The children are then provided with one to one work sessions so that they can work on these identified targets and build on their current skills and knowledge.
We value the close links we develop with our families. Parents/Carers are kept informed of their child’s progress through termly parents’ evenings, the home/school contact book and regular meetings. Our EY coordinator works closely with professionals and families to ensure we are meeting the students’ needs and equally supporting our families. The children’s identified targets are also evaluated every term and a copy of the evaluated and new targets are sent home.
Where children continue to access other settings during their time at Henry Tyndale School, we ensure that strong links with these settings are maintained. This is achieved through continuing to visit the children when they are in these settings and offering advice and support where necessary. The staff at these settings are also encouraged to visit the children while they are attending Henry Tyndale School, so that they can observe identified strategies such as PECS, visual timetables and MOVE targets. The children’s individual targets are also shared with these settings.
We spend time on main site, supporting students with transition and accessing areas such as soft play, sensory and the hydro pool as a part of the curriculum. We want children to experience a wide range of activities, while they learn and develop.
We put great importance on ensuring students in the Early Years Foundation Stage are having fun, feel safe and are learning skills for their life.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1 the curriculum continues to build and develop on the 7 areas of the EYFS and the characteristics of learning however it starts moving towards more specific areas within the curriculum map.
As students are laying a foundation in the Early Years, in Key Stage 1 the curriculum starts to consolidate their learning, creating a little more structure in the approach to learning.
Areas such as communication, social interaction and integration and mobility and motor skills are focused areas to build skills on in each lesson. RSE is covered within the EYFS Personal and social development curriculum
Students also get access to varying activities such as horse riding, hydro swimming, and mobility with our MOVE program all focusing on putting the student at the centre of the curriculum to prepare them with the skills they need for life.
Montessori Education concentrates learning through all the senses. The Montessori classroom provides a calm but simulating environment in which the children learn at their own individual pace and/or in a mixed group covering the five areas of learning:
· Practical Life (Life Skills)
· Culture and Sciences.
Introducing Montessori to the Henry Tyndale Curriculum at Key Stage 1 has complemented and enhanced the visions and values of independence and personalised learning, together with the use of pecs, IPads and Makaton. This is in turn has helped to promote the children’s self- confidence develop their initiative and -concentration and encourage a positive attitude towards learning.
Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
- Provide a broad, balanced Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for our pupils, using a topic based approach.
- Provide a play experience which is emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially challenging.
- Enable children to learn at their own pace; to build on what children already know and can do.
- Provide well planned, purposeful activities
- Provide high quality care and education
- Support cognitive and communication needs
- Support physical and medical needs
- Set the foundation for close and lasting partnership with parents as the children move through school