Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
At Crookesbroom Primary Academy, we firmly believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage plays a crucial part in setting the foundations for our pupils to build upon. It is our intent that the pupils who enter our Nursery and Reception classes experience a vast range of opportunities to strengthen and develop their physical skills, oracy skills, cognitive and emotional skills. We strongly believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual and we are passionate in allowing all pupils to achieve their full, unique potential, whilst embedding a positive attitude to our whole school community. We begin each academic year by carefully assessing the individual needs of all pupils in order to develop a quality yet flexible EYFS curriculum that is closely matched to the National Curriculum and Academy wide strategies for learning.
Within Nursery, staff focus on supporting pupils to develop their Prime Areas of learning and opportunities for children to become independent, self-regulated and confident learners are embedded within practice. Pupils are introduced to early mark making and writing skills and are encouraged to develop a love of reading. Staff have carefully chosen ‘Book Hooks’ as a stimuli to launch half termly themes and age-appropriate familiar texts are used within F1 Talk for Writing sessions. Staff and pupils engage in regular book talk sessions which contributes to the pupils’ growing love for reading and their developing oracy skills.
Our nursery pupils’ basic number skills are developed through carefully planned focus activities both indoors and outdoors, with an opportunity for them to practise independently throughout the session. Pupils’ own interests are explored in order for them to express their inquisitive nature to investigate and explore the world around them.
In Nursery, pupils are introduced to the Read Write Inc. phonics programme. Pupils learn to read by engaging in short sessions where they learn ‘Set 1’ picture cards before learning pure sounds. To find out more about Read Write Inc. at Crookesbroom, please click here.
Pupils in Reception build upon the Prime Areas and embed the learning from the previous year and extend this into explicit Talk for Writing, Mathematics and ‘BIG Question’ sessions. Pupils also receive daily Read Write Inc. sessions to extend their knowledge of sounds in order for them to build upon their love of reading. Pupils are encouraged to develop and ask their own questions around a ‘theme’, allowing them to further develop their understanding of the world, their community and the people around them. Themes and learning topics, such as The Arts and Sciences, are explored through carefully planned focus weeks that link to the National Curriculum, ensuring a smooth, seamless transition into Year 1. In Reception, pupils take part in weekly ‘Picture News’ discussions where they explore current issues linked to British Values. Picture News also supports the development of their Oracy skills and early debating skills.
Pupils in Reception also take part in weekly RE lessons where they find out more about Christians and their beliefs. This, alongside Picture News, RSHE sessions and regular circle times, supports our pupils to become a citizen in a modern and diverse world that is free from discrimination.
Within our EYFS curriculum, pupils are assessed through observations, pictures, classroom displays and recorded evidence in their learning journey books. Teaching staff use Tapestry, Seesaw and academy RAGs to assess pupils and support teacher judgments. The EYFS team moderate such evidence throughout the year in order for individuals to meet the next steps in their learning.