The Clare School Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage Provision at The Clare School is provided in our Nursery and Reception class. We take children from 3 years old with an EHC Plan and offer a supportive and multi-sensory learning environment in which the children thrive.
Our Early Years class follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum. Due to the needs of our learners we have made the conscious decision that teaching and learning should focus predominantly on the Prime Areas of Learning and Characteristics of Learning initially with a gradual shift to include the specific areas of learning as learners become ready.
Learning in EYFS is centred around the child with planned opportunities for focused, adult directed learning. Due to the needs of our learners a lot of the learning experiences will be adult directed, but where possible and suitable child initiated activities will be promoted.
We are committed to working in partnership with parents as we recognise that parents are the experts in their children’s care. We endeavour to create positive working partnerships based on trust and mutual respect so that our learners can be the best they can be.
Our curriculum is split into 4 core areas. Then within these 4 areas we have detailed what content will be covered for our EYFS learners. Please see the illustration below:
Our Core Curriculum Areas
EYFS Curriculum Structure
The EYFS curriculum is structured into 7 areas of learning. These 7 areas are broken down into ‘Prime Areas’ and ‘Specific Areas’. As noted earlier we predominantly focus on the Prime Areas due to the needs of our learners. But our learners will access specific areas throughout the week as detailed on their timetable. Please see the illustration below that details the Prime and Specific Areas:
- Communication & Language
During Communication and Language the learners will be encouraged to develop communication skills through participation in daily morning routines which involves, responding to their own name in appropriate ways for each pupil, exploring self-awareness, taking turns, and sharing activities with peers etc. The learners will also experience a range of other activities where communication is the focus, such as Intensive Interaction, Individual work programmes and Speech and Language sessions. Communication is embedded in all areas of the curriculum and is a fundamental part of our day.
- Personal, Social & Emotional Development
This area is embedded in all areas of the curriculum and is reflected in everything that we do. The children are encouraged to be as independent as possible in all areas, including feeding and toileting. It is also important for pupils to develop confidence and build relationships with a range of adults working within the class and to work alongside their peers, in a variety of 1:1, small group and whole class activities.
- Physical Development
During specific Physical Development sessions we will play a range of games and use a wide variety of suitable equipment, both indoor and outdoor. We also do Music and Movement and the aim of this activity is to encourage, co-active and independent movement, body awareness and co-ordination. Those in EYFS will have the opportunity to access swimming, rebound therapy, soft play, sensory rooms and a range of outdoor spaces. Alongside discrete sessions we ensure that all mobility and postural needs are met (including physio and exercise plans) and we work closely with a range of professions to support this.
Literacy focusses on phonics, reading and writing. Where appropriate learners will develop phonic knowledge and develop early reading and writing skills in accordance with individual needs. In addition to this all topics are focussed with a range of fiction and non fiction stories and books. Learners are encouraged to explore books in a multi-sensory way and to experience new situations, experiences and themes as they arise in these stories. Learners will have access to the school library which is an opportunity to share in stories and develop a love of reading and sharing books.
During this area learners will experience number, shape and space in a variety of ways. We will use number songs, rhymes and a variety of real objects to introduce children to the names and feel of a number, i.e 3 bowls etc. The learners will also explore a range of other mathematical concepts as they arise through stories as mentioned previously.
- Understanding the World
This area touches on many different ‘subjects’ such as History, Geography, Science and RE. Because of this we will again link the contents of the stories to explore and experience in a range of multi-sensory ways as possible both in school, on visits and with outside visitors where appropriate. We have weekly outdoor learning activities and access the Sensory Studio and ICT equipment to support learning. Outdoor learning enriches and extends the whole curriculum through its flexibility and openness to adapt to varied unique child interests and agendas. Research shows that outdoor learning develops confidence, physical skills and co-operative working. We also like to share things that are happening in the wider world and special occasions and events for our children outside school i.e cultural festivals etc. We love to share these experiences with all the learners so please feel free to let us know of anything upcoming that you will be celebrating that you would like to share.
- Expressive Arts & Design
During creative development we will be offering the learners a range of art, music and movement opportunities, working with a range of equipment and media to support the learners to work as independently as possible and to create a variety of pieces of work. The class also has a weekly music session with a specialist music teacher.
At The Clare School learners in EYFS will access a topic/ thematic based curriculum. A topic/thematic based curriculum involves combining a variety of curriculum subjects to allow pupils to explore learning at a greater depth and make better connections between different areas of learning. Through the topics/themes chosen we will provide learners a broad and balanced curriculum offer from entry until leaving us at The Clare School. Please see the link below for details on our recently devised Long Term Themes across EYFS.
How assessment supports our curriculum
The ongoing process of assessments ensures that every pupil is kept at the very centre. Every pupil in EYFS has got a Learning Support Plan (LSP) in place that is updated on a termly basis. LSP’s are set by the teachers in collaboration with other professionals and parents to ensure that all key stakeholders are involved in this process. Our LSP’s are linked to each learners EHCP outcomes.
Evidence of pupil learning is uploaded onto the online ‘Earwig’ learning platform. Parents can see the observations as they are uploaded by staff and can upload their own from home if they wish. We link observations to the Pre-Formal Assessment, Characteristics of Learning and the Engagement Model, as appropriate. Earwig is a safe online platform that captures achievements using multimedia evidence.
There is a statutory duty for all learners upon entry to complete the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment’ during their first half term in reception, however there is the option to disapply from this assessment if the school feel it is not relevant. This is to provide an on-entry assessment of pupil attainment. At the end of reception, we are the required to complete the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Profile’. This looks at progress against the 7 areas of learning (17 Early Learning Goals) where learners are marked as ‘Emerging’ or ‘Expected’. Alongside this we also document the progress of learners against the ‘Characteristics of Learning’. This information is sent to the Local Authority and a copy is given to parents at the end of the year alongside an annual report.
Intent, Implementation and Impact
Please see the link below for an in depth look at the ‘Intent’ for EYFS curriculum, how we ‘Implement’ it and it’s ‘Impact’.