EYFS at Mill View
At Mill View Primary School, we understand that children learn best when they are engaged, interested and active. We understand that active learning involves other children, adults, objects, ideas, stimuli and events that aim to engage and involve children for sustained periods. We believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible. Play is essential for children’s development across all areas. Play builds on children’s confidence as they learn to explore, to relate to others around them and develop relationships, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. We recognise that the Reception year is the beginning of a child’s school journey. So therefore, it is essential that strong foundations: academically, socially, physically and emotionally are instilled and curiosity and the love of learning is fostered.
We intend for our children to develop curiosity as an underlying skill for successful learning and the development of the unique child. We aim to foster children’s curiosity by establishing positive relationships, developing an enabling and supportive environment, by responding to their individual interests and needs and helping children build their learning over time. Every child is recognised as a unique individual; we acknowledge and promote children’s interests to provide them with the opportunities to follow their imagination and creativity. In Robins TEAM, we invest time into helping children to recognise their personal goals, which allow them to reflect and aim high. We celebrate the diversity in our school community, and always strive to promote a love for learning.
At Mill View we recognise children’s prior learning and various starting points, and create a holistic curriculum that maximises cross-curricular links and builds strong foundations for their future. Our EYFS curriculum is designed and evolves to provide children with important foundational skills and knowledge that will later be enhanced and embedded throughout KS1. We understand that children have a thirst for new experiences and knowledge, and should be provided with opportunities to engage their inquisitive minds. We provide reflective continuous indoor and outdoor provision that follows children’s interests, to support learners in investigating and developing their skills therefore supporting the development of the three characteristics of effective learning.
We strive to work in close partnership with parents and carers throughout the year to support their learning and to encourage children to reach their full potential. We also aim to promote a smooth transition from EYFS to KS1 by providing children with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to succeed throughout their education.
In our EYFS classrooms, children learn through a careful balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges. Weekly timetables are carefully structured so that children have focussed teaching inputs in Literacy, Mathematics and Phonics but also ensure children experience a balance of C&L, UtW, PD, EAD and PSED sessions. Children are provided with daily opportunities to engage in play opportunities throughout a variety of experiences, which are carefully planned to engage and challenge them in our enabling provision areas. The curriculum is planned for the learning environments inside and outside to support a cross-curricular approach to learning and to allow children to lead their own learning throughout the curriculum areas. Each day, children have the choice of the learning they engage with during their independent time, all of which aim to develop our children’s curiosity and their love of learning, the characteristics of effective learning; playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
Adult directed play opportunities carefully link to direct teaching and allow children the opportunity to reinforce and apply new knowledge and skills. Children always have access to outdoor provision as we provide purposeful learning opportunities to develop specific areas alongside the development of gross motor skills.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and our Read to Write high quality texts are the main drivers of our curriculum. Carefully selected high-quality texts create an integrated approach to learning from which pupils can experience the breadth of the full EYFS curriculum and prepare them for their journey into Key Stage One. Children follow a synthetic systematic phonics programme called ‘Floppy’s Phonics’. They enjoy reading a variety of books inside and outside of school through quality guided reading sessions and independent reading with adults. Children are sent home with a fully decodable phonics reading book that is tailored and suited to their individual phonics level. A rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum such as Floppy’s Phonics develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading. At all stages throughout the delivery of the programme, children’s reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively.
NCETM Mastering Number programme is used to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children in Reception and into Key Stage 1. The aim over time is that children will develop fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception to support success in the future. The ‘White Rose’ Maths Mastery approach is also used with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of Mathematical language. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration and in adult directed activities. These collaborative and practical mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. Teaching Mathematics in such a kinaesthetic and practical way supports our children to become logical problem solvers that can demonstrate resilience and justification when learning. This approach to teaching Maths ensures children gain progressive mathematical knowledge and skills as they continue their journey through KS1.
A wealth of assessment opportunities e.g. visual observations, conversations with the child, small group work and class discussions are used in our EYFS classrooms to ensure planning and play provision is tailored to pupil need to provide every opportunity to move learning forward. These observations are used to support teachers make to informative assessments and inform potential next steps for each child, this includes careful consideration of children with SEND or are who are disadvantaged.
We have a structured timetable in place to allow a broad curriculum to be delivered, ensuring that children have a multitude of learning opportunities in readiness for Year 1. Within our setting, children are aware of the clear and purposeful structure of the day which is designed to encourage children to apply taught skills during adult led time, within their independent learning. Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, however we also use a range of additional interventions to support, enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential or to help move on children who are having difficulties making progress. Class teachers record ongoing individual observations and photographs of children’s learning and play and interests. Formal assessments are recorded using our Whole school tracking system ‘O Track’ linking to the areas of learning. These summative assessments are completed termly to judge each child’s progress in the 7 areas of learning. This allows us to assess the impact of our teaching and decide if sufficient intervention measures are needed to help specific children. This is reported to members of the SLT during pupil progress meetings.
Children at Mill View are confident, resilient and inquisitive learners. Their love of learning is evident through their relationships with one another, their independence in the purposeful approaches to learning they adopt in the indoor and outdoor learning environments, and the valuable contributions they make to our whole school TEAM. Transitioning into Year 1, pupils are curious learners with high aspirations and continue to love learning and know its value.
Little Wrens Nursery
History and Identity of Little Wrens
We are a school that values strong links with our local community and families. In 2020 we began to explore the viability of opening a nursery class to extend and enhance our work with the families in our community as we felt we had something special to offer. After consultation and thorough research, our governing body gave approval for the considerable investment required to set up and open our Little Wrens class. We opened our doors to welcome our first cohort of Little Wrens in April 2022 following a major building project and appointment of staff who have established a warm, engaging and inspiring learning environment for our youngest pupils.
We work hard to build strong partnerships with all our families in order to keep them well informed, share the joy of the learning journey together and achieve the best outcomes for our Little Wrens.
Our Little Wrens are seen as members of our whole school TEAM, having access to every area of school and taking part in whole school activities as appropriate to their stage of development. Little Wrens make use of our Forest School, kitchen garden, outdoor classroom, trim trail, field, play areas and school hall.
Provision in Little Wrens is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework (2021). Embedded in our environment, continuous provision and enhancements is a firm intention to develop our children’s understanding of the 3 concepts of,
These concepts form vital building blocks for successful learning across the curriculum.
We recognise the importance of enabling children to follow their own interests and pathways in learning alongside adult led opportunities to develop wider experiences and understanding. We believe that children’s interests tend to fall into the following areas –
These areas of interest are reflected in the opportunities on offer and the organisation throughout our provision. We identify our environment (indoor and outdoor) as the ‘Third Teacher’ and as such ensure it is set up to engage, encourage, enhance, challenge and develop learning.
Connection is key in Little Wrens, as we support our children to develop strong relationships with peers and adults in the setting. Our staff know our children well and treat them as individuals with huge potential, their own hopes and aspirations to be fostered alongside key skills. Children are listened to and encouraged to wonder about the world they live in.
Information regarding Nursery admission arrangements and policy can be found here https://www.millviewschool.co.uk/page/little-wrens-nursery/123917