Principles of the EYFS
The four principles of the EYFS guide and shape the practice within the setting. The four principles are: A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments, and Learning and Development.
For the majority of our children, their transition into 1Cann is their first experience of school. We view the transition into school as a process rather than an event. The EYFS team work hard to build secure relationships with children and their families and to give a personalised transition to meet the needs of the child. New starters to school will receive a visit from the class teacher to their current setting (if they are attending a setting prior to school), a visit to the home to meet with parents/carers from the Family and Learner Support Advisor (FaLSA) and class teacher, and transition visits with a parent/carer into school. The transition process usually begins just after the half term holiday prior to their start date. Children then usually start school part time, building up their hours as they settle into school.
Children arriving in 1Cann are allocated a key person. Alongside the class teachers, the key person supports the child to transition into school by building strong relationships with the child and their family. A key person approach is a way to ensure that all children have a strong and nurturing relationship with at least one key member of the setting. Once settled into school all children will work with all adults in class, but they will maintain the close relationship with their key person throughout their time in 1Cann.
We recognise that parents/carers are children’s first and most enduring educators, and that they make a huge difference in children’s outcomes. Families have full involvement in the transition process and are regularly invited into school for various coffee mornings and events across the year. More information for families, including information on school dinners and school uniform, can be found in the ‘Families’ section of the website.
Teaching and Learning
Children in 1Cann are taught using a combination of play based and formally taught lessons.
Children in 1Cann follow the statutory educational programmes for EYFS covering:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
We place emphasis on the three prime areas of learning: Communication and Language, PSED and Physical Development. These prime areas support the development of children’s communication and interaction skills, social and play skills and children’s independence skills. The prime areas of learning lay vital foundations for all learning.
Staff within the EYFS value play and the opportunities for learning that it provides. The EYFS statutory framework recognises that:
“Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, 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.” (EYFS Statutory Framework 2023)
Children have opportunities across the day to access continuous provision which is enhanced using their learning needs, children’s interests, and curriculum themes.
The planning of learning is based on the school’s curriculum and is enhanced using children’s interests. We support children’s care needs and promote, plan for, and develop children’s independence in these areas. Further information on how we support children’s care needs can be found in the school’s ‘Intimate Care Guidance & Policy’ and ‘Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy’. The 1Cann classroom offers a play-based, indoor and outdoor, environment for children to explore during free-flow play, where children can develop and rehearse skills.
Termly curriculum themes in 1Cann:
- Autumn Term 1: Starting School, All About Me, and Autumn.
- Autumn Term 2: Autumn/Winter, and Christmas.
- Spring Term 1: Winter/Spring, and Easter.
- Spring Term 2: Spring.
- Summer Term 1: Summer.
- Summer Term 2: Oral Health, and Moving to my New Class.
Further information on the curriculum can be found in the schools ‘The Pathways to Independence Curriculum Policy’ and within the ‘EYFS Policy’.
Assessment and Monitoring
We recognise what each child knows, and can do, through regular observations of children participating in play and taught sessions across the day. Through the Key Person approach we build strong bonds with children and get to know them, their needs, and their interests well. As part of our ongoing observations, we use the Leuven Scales to monitor children’s levels of involvement and well being. We are keen that children become lifelong learners and use the Characteristics of Effective Learning as a guide to monitor children’s learning skills. The Characteristics of Effective Learning (CoEL) describe behaviours children use in order to learn. These include:
Playing and Exploring
- Showing engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
- Showing motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creative and Critical Thinking
- Independent thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Working with ideas
More information on the Characteristics of Effective Learning can be found in ‘Development Matters 2023’.
The EYFS department uses the observation, assessment and planning model as part of the school’s assessment and monitoring pedagogy. More information on assessment can be found within the ‘Planning, Assessment, Marking, Recording and Reporting Policy’ and the ‘EYFS Policy’.