Early Years Curriculum
Fern House Curriculum Intent Statement
At Fern House School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that the children who enter our EY develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We believe that all children deserve to be valued as an individual, and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential. With all of this in mind, we look at the individual needs of our children and, taking into account their different starting points, we then carefully plan a curriculum which enables them to follow the path of their learning journey at a point that is suitable for their unique needs and stage of development.
Pupils at Fern House follow the EY curriculum, which has seven main areas of learning.
The Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
The Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The teaching of these areas of learning is practical and playful with support and challenge from adults in; whole class sessions, small group sessions, focus groups and working with individuals. Our vision is for our children to grow to become confident, capable children with a love of learning. We believe that play is central to a child’s learning and that high level engagement leads to high level attainment. At the heart of the EY Curriculum are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”. At Fern House School, we strive to develop these key characteristics of “Playing and Learning”, “Active Learning” and “Thinking Critically” in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development. All the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year through a balance of teacher led and child directed learning (supported by adults). A vital part of the curriculum design is therefore the transition period before the children enter our classrooms and where we get to know more about them and their interests.
Our EY curriculum is designed to recognise childrens’ prior learning, both from previous settings and from their home life experiences. We work in partnership with parents in order to provide the best possible start at Fern House School. We have designed our curriculum to enable our children to succeed through the development of communication and collaboration. We place a strong emphasis on the prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development).
At Fern House School we recognise that many of our children arrive at our school with low levels of English language acquisition, and therefore the area of communication and language development is at the top of our priority list. Oracy is a key driver for our school, and we recognise that it is fundamental to the acquisition of academic skills and that it is also an essential life skill to ensure success beyond the school years. Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to make sense of the world around them.
Our learning environments, both inside and outside are also adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of the children. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, importantly, they are accessible to all children, regardless of where they are on their learning journey. The environments are developed to promote independence within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge.
Within our EY Curriculum, children are assessed continuously through accurate and important observations. These provide us with information for future planning, not only for our individual classes but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning. They enable us, as EY practitioners, to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make outstanding progress within our EY setting.
Our Fern House School EY strongly believes that the beginning of our children’s educational journey is imperative to igniting the flame for learning.
Our intent by the end of Reception is that all children make at least good progress from their starting points and are equipped with the skills and knowledge to ensure a successful transition into their next phase of life at Fern House.