The EYFS is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun, safe and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
We have designed our curriculum to celebrate that every child is unique and will follow their own personalised learning journey whilst they are at Tenterfield.
This is how we implement our curriculum:
Prior to starting at Tenterfield
We understand that starting nursery is a big step for both the children and their parents, therefore we have a solid transition programme prior to children beginning their Tenterfield learning journey with us. This includes:
- Admissions paperwork includes key information about the child, their family and any medical, allergy or dietary requirements.
- If a child has attended a previous setting we gather information via Herts for Learning transition Level of Need. Once we have received this information we contact their previous setting and have a conversation with the child’s key person. This gives us the opportunity to get a picture of the child in Early Years provision and we can put any measures in place to support transition if needed.
- We complete home visits prior to your child starting. This is crucial in seeing the child in their own environment, meeting their family, seeing their toys and meeting any pets! This visit is the first step in creating a strong bond and attachment with their key person, which is a fundamental part of our curriculum intent. Covid19 has meant we have had to make changes to our visits this year so staff have completed ‘door step visits’ to meet the family in a covid secure environment.
- Just before a child starts at Tenterfield, the child and their parents come for settling visits. These consist of a short first visit with their parent, following a second visit without their parent. This gives us a good insight of the child and their confidence in an unfamiliar environment. If we feel individual children may need a further bespoke transition plan we will organise this with the parent. We believe that having the best positive start to joining the Tenterfield family is crucial for children’s wellbeing.
- The parents attend a ‘new parents meeting’ led by the headteacher and the senior leadership team. This is a warm and friendly opportunity to share key information about every child’s Tenterfield journey.
When children start at Tenterfield
When children first start at Tenterfield we begin an induction programme with them to allow us the opportunity to get to know every unique child. This includes:
- An initial focus on the prime areas, predominately children personal social and emotional development because we are creating strong bonds with each individual child through their relationship and attachment with their key person.
- A 6 week environment induction plan which allows children to familiarise themselves with our workshop style learning environment. It allows us the opportunity to teach children our expectations within the nursery, and how to use resources appropriately.
- The role of the key person is crucial in identifying children’s individual fascinations and interests. The high quality interactions between the staff and the children ensure every teachable moment is maximising deeper level learning and thinking.
- We timetable ‘tuning in’ times across the first half term. This gives each keyperson dedicated, uninterrupted time to play with every child in their key group. They follow their lead in the play and get a deeper level bond with the children which allows them to assess their stage of development and baseline every child to begin their unique, individualised learning journey.
- We have a very structured routine across the nursery day. Routine is crucial for young children, especially when they are settling into nursery life. Our daily routine is shared using our total communication approach within our welcome times from the first day the children start.
- Every child’s nursery day starts with a welcome time with their key person & colour group peers. We ensure every child has a strong sense of belonging in the nursery so we use every opportunity to talk about family, share photographs, display their work and celebrate special moments in every child’s life.
- We like to involve the parents are the very first opportunity. We organise a coffee morning early on in the term to create relationships and welcome the parents into the Tenterfield family. We then begin our parent workshop programme which includes learning about the EYFS, how to support reading & phonics, and how we teach early Maths.
- We have a very nurturing approach to managing behaviour and feelings. Very early on we embed our ethos in terms of behavioural expectations and the ability to self-regulate emotions. Care, kindness, respect and cooperation is embedded throughout all relationships including staff, parents and children.
- Within the first term of a child starting we complete a Welcomm assessment with them. This will identify any areas of concern in language, communication, and interaction development in order to ensure early targeted intervention. Staff will then use ‘The Big Book of Ideas’ to provide focused teaching and intervention activities to meet individual needs.
- Wellbeing is a high priority therefore we use the Leuven Scales alongside our assessments. This is a five-point scale that allows the key person to measure individual children’s ’emotional well-being’ and ‘involvement’ which are two vital components of learning, development and progress in children.
Progression throughout the year
Children will have an individualised learning journey whilst at Tenterfield. Our nursery is structured to allow children prolonged opportunities to immerse themselves in uninterrupted periods of play to facilitate higher levels of involvement. This is how children learn at Tenterfield:
- Staff plan in the moment. Each adult will sensitively join children’s play and act upon teachable moments to move children forward in their play and discovery.
- We have created building blocks for learning, which ensure the foundations for each area of learning are secure before moving their learning to the next level.
- Our curriculum values the importance of outdoor learning and exploring the awe and wonder of our natural world. Children are actively encouraged to learn in the environment that best suits their learning style, whether this be indoor or outdoors. Hands on learning is often considered a more fun and engaging approach with real, lasting impacts in early childhood education. It allows children to develop their own love and appreciation for learning and to direct their own experiences.
- Our biggest teaching resource is our environment. Staff have ownership of certain areas that they feel passionate about developing. We believe that inspirational teaching comes from igniting passions and interests therefore staff feel driven by their own expertise, excitement and enthusiasm to maintain & enhance the learning environment.
- The learning environment is organised into workshop areas that can be independently accessed by children, with a range of resources that encourage skill development and progression. The environment is enhanced by provocations and invitations to play.
- As children progress and refine their range of skills, the workshop areas are adapted and enhanced to enable next level learning to take place independently. Staff will introduce more complex resources and challenging learning opportunities.
- Through a project style approach adults will skilfully scaffold and support children’s learning and thinking. We start with their individual passions, and plant seeds of interest and challenge to motivate children to learn. Children are given the opportunity to further explore, revisit and embed their skills and learning in a range of contexts across all areas of learning
- Staff support sustained shared thinking through sensitive involvement, scaffolding and support. Therefore children quickly become independent learners and lead their own learning.
- Through observations staff skilfully assess when children are ready to be challenged to deepen their thinking or progress their skill set.
- We keep parents informed of their child’s progress through an online journal called Tapestry which allows us to record all the learning and fun activities that happen every day at Tenterfield. Parents can also record and document their children’s learning at home too. This gives us a holistic picture of every child.
- Children in our Pink group will receive a short written summary of the child’s development in the prime areas; the summary identifies the child’s strengths and areas for improvement. This is shared with the parents prior to their two year old developmental check with the health visitor. This can support early identification of any developmental needs or support a child may require.
Interventions & Enhancements
- Teacher assessment is used to notice gaps in learning and identify children who may benefit from additional intervention. Appropriate activities and learning experiences will be provided to ensure sequencing and progression is matched to individual’s needs. Our interventions include our nurture provision, Speech & Language groups and attention & listening groups.
- Our Nurture group is a small, special group for between to 6-8 children that provides a safe and predictable, structured environment in which children are given opportunities to develop their social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. It is also a space where children can explore their feelings and learn how to manage them in appropriate ways, in a place where they feel valued and accepted. Children are supported in the group by two specially trained members of staff. They model positive relationships and there is an emphasis on the development of language and communication skills.
- Children are identified for our Attention & Listening and Speech & Language groups via there Welcomm assessment which takes place in the first half term of a child joining us. They consist of short, fun activities with a trained practitioner who individualises support that is identified on their individual assessment.
- When children demonstrate a solid foundation in Literacy and Mathematics, they will participate in small group focussed activities to provide stretch and challenge.
- Our forest school programme allows children the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature . The nature area at St Mary’s Primary School provides a unique environment for children to explore risk taking, problem solving and the natural world first hand.
- We provide many opportunities for first hand learning including Living Eggs, Visiting farm, the life cycle of a butterfly, visits to the church etc. The quality and variety of first-hand experiences and interactions a child is exposed to in the early years can create a lasting impact in the child’s life.
- Tenterfield develops strong links with our local schools, library and village community. It helps them to learn about themselves, their locality and build on their cultural capital.
When children leave Tenterfield, they have experienced an enriched, ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum in a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors.
- All children have experienced an individualised curriculum that provides, exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities for children to learn through first hand experiences.
- Children learn about the world around them, experiencing and appreciating different cultures, music, dance, art and history.
- Children are inquisitive and actively ask questions about their world and what is important to them. They recognise taking risks and learning from mistakes are learning opportunities.
- Children are skilful problem solvers and they have effectively developed their personal levels of resilience and independent learning skills.
- Children make excellent progress from their starting points allowing them to become successful learners and well prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from us. We have helped children to make sense of the world around them, to develop tolerance, resilience, compassion and an understanding of their rights and the rights of others in an ever-evolving world.
- Children at Tenterfield are treated as individuals and leave as happy, inquisitive and successful learners, ready for the next stage in their learning journey.
When your child joins the Tenterfield Family we will invite you to our ‘EYFS Curriculum Session’ to find out more about how your child will learn and develop.