George Hastwell School

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum Phase

The EYFS curriculum phase provides child-centred, individualised learning opportunities for our youngest pupils as they embark on their learning journey at School. Pupils are provided with a structured and stimulating curriculum in a caring and secure environment where they can feel safe to explore, investigate and learn through first hand experiences.

We use the Early Years Foundation Stage framework to inform and guide our provision. Our focus as pupils first join our school centres on the three prime areas of Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development which is widened and enriched by the specific areas of Understanding of the World and Creative Development.  The teaching of Literacy and Numeracy is introduced when a pupil is developmentally ready.

Our early years curriculum provision and practice is underpinned by the four guiding principles of the EYFS:

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

Three ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ are identified:

  • Playing and exploring - pupils investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • Active learning - pupils concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically - pupils have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Our schemes of work inform and guide our delivery of an adapted EYFS curriculum following 6 areas of learning:

  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical/ Cognition Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding of the World
  • Creative Development

The delivery of the curriculum is based around learning through play to engage pupils with active learning, exploration and becoming a critical thinker. We base pupils’ learning intentions around the outcomes in their EHCP to ensure that learning is relevant and personalised. It builds on their individual strengths and interests, enabling progress through the vehicles of sensory learning, play, and discrete specialist teaching. This ensures the holistic curriculum (people, environment, activities and events) considers each pupil’s individual needs or barriers to learning, how these can impact on their ability to learn, and how best to overcome them.

Pupils are assessed using an assessment system linked to Tapestry. Records and observations provide evidence of leaning and support the decision making process as to which of the pathways will ensure continued progression.

By the time pupils leave the Early Years pathway and move to either the Pre-formal , Informal, Semi-formal or Formal pathways we aim that they will:​

  • feel settled, safe and secure
  • be ready to access wider areas of the building and school site with less anxiety around transitions.​
  • accept and enjoy the company of other people​
  • be developing their ability to communicate
  • be developing their cognition, physical, self regulation and self help skills
  • enjoy a range of learning opportunities​

It is recognised that each pupil is an individual who will develop in different ways at varying rates. In the EYFS at George Hastwell we lay the foundations for each individual child to build on as they progress through their learning journey.