Our EYFS curriculum is inclusive of and builds upon the Early Years Statutory Framework (2021) and focuses on the overall development of our children. There are 3 characteristics of effective learning which are:
- Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things and 'have a go'
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulty, and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things
There are 7 identified areas of learning that shape the early education framework, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design
All these are important and are interconnected and divided into 2 sub areas - the prime areas and the specific areas. We understand that the prime areas underpin children’s development, acknowledging that communication is the foundation for all learning across the curriculum.
Each school’s curriculum is ambitious for our children and will be tailored to each school’s context. Key foundational knowledge such as phonics, handwriting and number sense are taught systematically in the Early Years. We teach in a way that supports all children to keep up from the start and close any learning gaps quickly. We use targeted keep-up sessions to ensure all children, especially those disadvantaged, have the key knowledge they need to access the wider curriculum. We ensure there is explicit planning and teaching of vocabulary within the provision to close the language gap. At Compass, we embrace equity and social justice, and this is key in our drive to narrow the disadvantaged gap and ensure all children thrive.
We know that phonics provides children with key skills to support the successful development of reading and writing. Phonics is taught daily in Reception and children receive repeated practice and application opportunities using matched decodable books. We identify children at risk of falling behind and implement effective keep-up support. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds a complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics Program. The link below provides support and further information for parents www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/
Children are taught to spell using the Little Wandle Phonics. Children will be taught to form letters correctly. As children’s ability to identify sounds in words develops, we use talk for writing to encourage children to rehearse their ideas before writing. Children in reception progress from writing letters, to words and then sentences by the summer term. We use contexts such as the wider curriculum, books or even as a stimulus for writing. In Reception, opportunities are provided daily for children to master writing. Within the week this will include writing within the provision, teacher focus groups and whole class writing sessions, alongside keep-up sessions. We use explicit and direct instruction during adult-led sessions throughout the week. As children develop their proficiency in writing, they will be supported to write more regularly, independently, and at greater length.
We know that enjoyment of reading is a key indicator for success in future life. High quality texts are purposefully selected and placed at the core of the curriculum so that children build their confidence and love of reading over time. Reading across the curriculum is planned for and texts are selected to deepen understanding around key vocabulary and knowledge. Our book corners are curated and contain high quality texts and recommended authors. Children will bring home a fully decodable book so that they can practice reading as well as a book to enjoy with an adult each day. Children are taught and encouraged to answer a variety of comprehension questions through carefully planned teaching sequences. Children are supported to talk about and discuss core texts using related language to ensure the texts are meaningful.