Curriculum Statement: Early Years
‘Excellence, Truth and Grace’
‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.’
Philippians 4: 8-9
Our Curriculum Intent
At Middleton Parish Church School, our EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise the unique child. The children’s prior knowledge and ongoing interests, both from previous settings and their experiences at home, are drawn upon to ensure that we capture their engagement and provide a smooth transition into school life. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Parish, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.
Our curriculum recognises the central role of the Prime Areas of learning: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development and Communication and Language, in ensuring that children have the necessary skills to access the wider curriculum and develop into confident, independent and resilient learners. At Parish we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill ensuring success beyond school, in life and future employment. Our enabling environments and warm, skillful adult interactions, combined with our strong focus on early identification of need, support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start.
We believe that high level engagement maximises the opportunity for high level attainment.
Therefore, we provide first hand learning experiences that allow children to develop interpersonal skills that build concentration and resilience. Our child-centred approach enables our children to make meaningful links and choose their own learning, which inspires enthusiasm.
We aim to foster a lifelong love of learning by providing opportunities for open-ended discovery and problem solving, real world experiences and purposeful play.
By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1. Our Christian values and strong personal, social and emotional development, promote positive attitudes which reflect the skills and character needed for future learning and success. Children finish their Reception year as kind, curious and independent learners.
Learning Through Play
At Parish, we understand that children learn best when they are absorbed, 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 their Early Years education should be as practical as possible and, therefore, our EYFS setting has an underlying ethos of ‘learning through play’. 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.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring: Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’. Children who actively participate in their own play develop a larger store of information and experiences to draw on which positively supports their learning.
Active learning: Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties. They are proud of their own achievements. For children to develop into self-regulating, lifelong learners they are required to take ownership, accept challenges and learn persistence.
Creating and thinking critically: Children develop their own ideas and make links between these ideas. They think flexibly and rationally, drawing on previous experiences which help them to solve problems and reach conclusions.
EYFS Guiding Principles
Unique Child: Every child is unique and has the potential to be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships: Children flourish with warm, strong and positive partnerships between all staff and parents/carers. This promotes independence across the EYFS curriculum.
Enabling environments: Children learn and develop well in safe and secure environments where routines are established and where adults respond to their individual needs and passions and help them to build upon their learning over time.
Learning and Development: Children develop and learn at different rates. We must be aware of children who need greater support than others.