Early Years Foundation Stage
At ACE Learning, we believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and to provide the environment that enables them to fulfil their potential. Our EYFS curriculum ensures that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
We ensure children are ready for their next stage in learning by giving them a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the foundation for future progress through school and life. At this early stage, ACE Learning values and threads are introduced in to all aspects of school life. Each theme is carefully linked to the seven different areas of learning and development in the EYFS.
Play-based activities are at the heart of learning in the Foundation Stage. As curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage states:
‘Learning for young children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, practice, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. During the Foundation Stage many of these aspects of learning are brought together effectively through play and talking’.
We believe that well-planned play within an enriching and stimulating continuous provision is the key to how young children learn. Providing children with opportunities to take part in a variety of play-based activities, challenging their thinking and curiosity is at the core of our teaching. Our aim is to enrich the children’s learning and executive function abilities enabling them to hold information in mind, focus their attention, regulate their behaviour and plan what to do next, ensuring they are fully prepared and able to explore all the new learning and experiences available to them.
The curriculum is planned to provide a balance between the following:
Child Initiated Activities: where the child makes choices from within the learning environment to meet his/her own outcomes for learning. Skillful adult interaction supports, scaffolds, and extends play to enable the child to make progress and think critically.
Adult Initiated Activities: experiences where the practitioner provides the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning. These experiences may not always require the direct involvement of an adult but are invitations and provocations to learn and explore.
Adult Directed Activities: experiences which are planned and supported by practitioners and which aim to meet specific learning outcomes.
The children are very much part of the Foundation team and will work with all staff and children throughout the school week. Children are encouraged to be independent, critical thinkers and keen explorers from a young age in order to promote a desire to learn through self-discovery and adult led learning experiences. The children are continuously assessed against the Early Learning Goals through the year gathered via observation, discussion, parent and child voice, and children’s work. This is very much a school, child, home partnership and you will be actively encouraged to be a part of your child’s learning experiences.
Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 follow a systematic synthetics phonics approach. This is an approach to teaching phonics in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words.
We use a combination of reading schemes which include Oxford Reading Tree and Floppy’s Phonics. These give a rich variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range and positive attitude to reading. Children learn to read at different rates. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books.
Our daily phonics sessions in Reception are fun, involving lots of speaking, listening and games. The emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and to apply these skills in their independent play.
Each term a topic is chosen which reflects the children’s interests (see roadmap below). A balance of adult initiated and adult directed activities are linked to these themes. A long-term plan has been drawn up to consider the continuous provision within the environment (indoors and outside), the routine, and the topic related activities. Each medium-term plan covers one topic and is separated into the seven areas of learning within the Foundation Stage. This specifies the Early Learning Goal targets for learning, activities, resources, key vocabulary and assessment opportunities. This has been designed to be a working document and evaluations made at the end of each block of work may result in plans being updated or modified to reflect the needs of the children.
Key Stages 1 and 2
ACE Learning values and threads continue to be developed and embedded during these learning stages. Each theme also shows direct PSHE and Science links as well as the foundation subjects that are taught within them. In addition to this, links are made to English and Maths in every theme, alongside the regular and discrete teaching time these subjects have. Such links support the deepening and transfer of knowledge and skills between previous and current learning. Separate plans are followed for the teaching of Computing, Music, MFL, PE, RE and Science.