Chacewater Schools Vision.Intent
At Chacewater School, we base our love of learning through a broad and balanced curriculum – fostered through the earliest stages of their academic lives, right throughout their journeys in our school. Therefore, in our Foundation Stage we strive to deliver a wide and varied learning experience, where we are fully committed to developing each child’s unique potential. Thus, we promote children to lead their own learning through a balance of children’s interests and that of the skills we want them to fulfil based through the Development Matters Strategy and those that will help them as they begin their journey through our school. These areas are then explored and deepened further by not only their surroundings, but the immediate learning opportunities nurtured by the staff. Over the years we have adapted how we teach, allowing us to experience with rotational groupings which are adult led, independent groupings where the children lead or opportunities which are based around previous learning experiences to captivate what they children have learnt over time.
The Early Years Framework, accompanied by Development Matters and Birth to 5 will then be pieced together by inspirational texts and hook books linked to the child’s interest, incorporated and filtered throughout all learning experiences – Maths, Phonics and our afternoon sessions.
What do we look out for?
The Leuven Scale
Leuven Scale of Wellbeing
Leuven Scale of Involvement
At Chacewater School our vision for success stems back from our belief that time and dedication initiated in the Early Years setting with parents, carers and agencies, builds fundamental relationships with children’s families upon arrival to our school. Practitioners in the Early Years setting make exceptional links with desirable agencies and nursery provisions, whereby children meet the class teacher long before arrival, as well as discussing their interests and attainment with appropriate adults.
Our thoughtful and thorough parent appointments, open classroom and staggered start program, allows parents to engage in the school’s ethos prior to their children starting school. These exceptional links allow the children and their families to have a smoother transition into school life, allowing the children to have an essence of self confidence and awareness immediately and their relationships with peers and staff have already been made.
What do we want to achieve?
In the Foundation Stage we believe that our children should feel safe and happy in a stimulating learning environment, which allows them to reach their best academically, but also developing their thirst for knowledge, fostering a love of learning and leave our school with exceptional independent learning skills.
From this, we expect that all children within the Early Years setting make strong progress from their accurate starting points assessed through their initial baseline assessments. Along with the statutory baseline assessments that all reception classes are required to carry out, our school undertake our very own assessments too. These baseline statements are taken from the Development Matters Framework and are used to address areas of weakness and strengths within the earliest stages of the children’s schooling experiences. These are recorded and used to plan the provision for the cohort, addressing all areas of particular focus. Practitioners in the foundation stage make professional judgements as to where they believe the children are working at. These then link and are continuously monitored through the observations recorded on Tapestry and by having termly meetings with SLT using Target Tracker to support.
Each year a curriculum overview plan is created based on the information we have received from the parents and children during the come and play sessions, parent appointments, nursery visits etc. These overviews can change overtime dependent on the cohort and children’s interest, but factor in general themes to cover (based on the expectations of those in the foundation stage using Development Matters and Birth to 5) and linking possible texts and wow moments.
Transition into Reception and engagement with parents
Starting school can be a daunting affair for both children and parents. At Chacewater School we make every effort to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible. Once we have the confirmed list of new starters (usually after the Easter holidays) we will write to everyone and invite them to a personal meeting with the Head teacher and Reception Teacher so we can begin to get to know the family.
In the summer term we plan a number of 'Come & Play' sessions for children who will be starting school with us in September. Children attending Stepping Stones Day Nursery in the village will be brought to visit for two of these sessions. If your child attends a different setting, or doesn't attend any pre-school, they are invited to come to as many of these sessions as they can to get to know their new friends.
The class teacher will also make a personal visit to children in local pre-school settings. This will give her a chance to talk to your child's key worker and find out a little more about them and see them in an environment they are comfortable in.
Parents are then invited to an Open Afternoon to meet the uniform provider, After-school club, school caterers and Friends of Chacewater School. They will also have the opportunity to meet Governors, the Acorns Class staff and visit the classroom with their child.
A 'Starting School' booklet is provided to support families with all the information they might need about our school. This booklet is updated every year to make sure it reflects the needs of our families.
Balance of child-initiated activities and adult led activities.
A thoughtful process is constructed to ensure that all children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are accessing a range of different adult led activities and child led activities.
How do we deliver this in phonics?
How do we deliver this in Maths?
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.
At Chacewater School, Phonics is delivered throughout KS1 and EYFS similarly.
In Early Years we first begin with phonological awareness, where we focus on the children’s listening and hearing skills. During the staggered start process we assess the children and begin to teach the initial set 1 sounds using Read Write Inc.
The teacher delivers a speed sound lesson to the whole class which includes the ‘sound of the day’’, rhyme and handwriting process and objects that also begin with the sound of the day. We also link early reading, oral blending and CVC recognition into these sessions as well.
At the beginning of the year, children are then rotated in their house teams (before the initial RWI assessments take place at the end of the first half term). Children focus on the sound taught with a range of different activities. These rotations include 2 adult led activities with a focus on reading and writing and a mixture of independent activities that the children can access and make links to what has been taught. These independent activities always link to the sound of the day, the formation of sounds and finger strength exercises. Once the initial RWI assessments are completed, children work in differentiated groups in a rotation of activities catered to the children’s needs.
Reading underpins our schools’ approach to learning and therefore as well as this, phonics and reading is essential to all areas of the curriculum. Continuous provision activities are set up with reading at the heart of what we teach. As well as this, hook books underpin the children’s learning and are used to encourage discussion and promote each topic which is taught across the EYFS year. Children are given enriching opportunities to delve into story telling and sequencing using story stages, story spoons and tough trays that link to the book of the week. We also visit the Library weekly to create a essence of reading for pleasure.
Approaches to building Early Mathematical skills
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. In Early Years our aim is to build a strong association with number and a deepening understanding of how numbers can be characterised using varied resources, environments and representations to help them with this.
By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
How do we deliver this at Chacewater?
A mixture of inside and outside provision is used to implement these sessions with the children, and different methods and teaching styles used throughout. These opportunities are set up for children to access across the course of the week in afternoon continuous provision opportunities,
amongst other things related to the weekly topic choice.
Timetable – an example of a weekly timetable and the use of RWI and Maths timetables and how the sessions run are addressed below:
In each subject, provisions for adult led activities and continuous provision opportunities are planned. The use of groupings is allocated and each adult working with a child/group has a specific focus which is adapted and catered to the needs of the children in their groups.
Transition from Reception in to Y1
At Chacewater School, we are committed to making the transition throughout all children’s lives as stress free as possible. Therefore, in EYFS, we prepare the children for their transition to year 1 with a progression of skills and expectations throughout their year of learning. Children are provided with transition slots to get to know their teacher before they start and buddy classes are offered to classes in order for children throughout the school to get to know each other and their teachers beforehand.
Through the delivery of a well-planned and challenging curriculum we aim that the pupils will leave the Early Years foundation stage with transferrable skills needed to start Key Stage 1. This will be measured at the end of reception as to whether the pupils have achieved a Good Level of Development. We aim that the pupils will leave the Early Years being able to read, have good personal, social and emotional skills, show a good level of listening and be resilient learners with inquisitive minds who are keen to learn.