The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception Year. At Treloar School, students enter EYFS between the ages of 4-5. The time they spend in EYFS will depend on their starting date across the year, and on occasion, this can extend to the age of 6.
We greatly value the pivotal role EYFS plays in laying secure foundations for the individual child and their future learning and development.
A Unique Child
We believe that every child is unique and needs to be recognised as an individual, valued, supported and encouraged to achieve at their own pace. We aim to help the children to develop lively enquiring minds, become aware of the world around them and give them opportunities to make choices, take decisions and become increasingly independent and socially confident with a positive self-image.
We understand that the complexity of the children’s needs, academically, physically and medically has an impact on the way children learn and access their world. By providing a happy, safe, caring, stimulating and well-organised environment, children in the EYFS thrive, learn and develop by building upon what they already know, have experienced and can do.
We have a strong ethos and place value on the importance of the unique child; because of this positive relationships are formed very quickly between class staff, wider staff teams, children and their families. Class sizes are small and on entering the EYFS the child is allocated a key worker who helps during the settling-in period. The team is caring and sensitive to the child’s needs and helps to foster and develop the child in a setting which is stimulating, well-organised and where effective learning takes place.
We value the crucial role parents/carers’ play in their child’s development, and we will engage with and support them at every opportunity. Starting school can be an extremely daunting process, and we fully understand the impact of this on parents/carers. It can be a very emotional time for everyone.
The EYFS curriculum is topic based, linked to children’s specific needs and interests and will bring together:
- core skills that are fundamental to ensure children gain the basic knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make progress against the EYFS
- opportunities to develop children’s communication skills and supports each child’s family to have more of an understanding of how their child best communicates
- a wide range of experiences, enabling children to actively explore/learn for themselves, therefore increasing their curiosity for more experiences and learning
- children’s Education, Health and Care Plan to ensure learning is personalised in line with their needs
- contexts to ensure children receives a broad and balanced curriculum
- opportunities for children to develop awareness of self through the personalised programmes to support their physical needs
- community links to ensure that children receive experiences that challenge them beyond the classroom and the school
Each child will have their own multi-disciplinary team with a named teacher, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and a progress and transition coordinator. This team will meet regularly to review the child’s achievement and progress and ensure that they are reaching their maximum potential. Priority will be given to developing their communication skills, together with developing their personal independence and physical well-being. Individualised and personalised learning will be generated through key experiences and will be built upon a foundation of seven curriculum priorities: well-being, self-awareness, communication, resilience, independence, collaboration and curiosity.
Children will be taught predominantly in their own familiar classroom setting with access to specialist PE, Music and Outdoor Learning teachers. They will be in a class of six-eight students with high staff-to-student ratio. They will have a daily timetable which is flexible to accommodate tailored learning and therapeutic activities.
A host of rich learning opportunities are delivered through sensory exploration, first-hand experiences, child-led activities and small focus sessions. Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom. There is access to an outside space daily on a differential level. Children enjoy being outside.
Within the EYFS snacks and lunch times happen in familiar identified classrooms. This allows skills to develop in relation to feeding or taster programmes. Many of our children have complex feeding needs and require a longer period of time to settle and adjust to eating with more children in a bigger space.
Once the children are settled and happy, there are opportunities to interact with the wider school community. For example, to attend whole school primary assemblies, join in with celebration days, spend time with other students, and use sensory room facilities.
During the summer term, those children transitioning into Key Stage 1 join their new class groups for an afternoon a week, familiarising themselves with their new class teacher and peers.
Learning and Development
Within the EYFS, there are seven areas of learning and development that shape our provision. Whilst we value all areas of learning and development equally, we understand that they are often interconnected. Three areas are particularly crucial for arousing children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Children also learn and develop skills in the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
We recognise that none of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are equally important and depend on each other to provide the children with a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum. Due to the complexity of need, we promote a very holistic and multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning and one that takes into account the features of effective learning:
- Playing and exploring – engagement
- Active learning – motivation
- Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Learning through play, first-hand experiences, messy exploration and discovery are at the heart of all that we deliver. The children experience and learn through a balance of adult-led sessions and child-led activities, whole class sessions go hand-in-hand with small group sessions and free-flow activities. For the children to be ‘active learners’, the activities have to be set appropriately to meet and fit their needs. Our pupils may not fully meet the Early Learning Goals that the EYFS is working towards; therefore, we take elements from the whole curriculum and adapt them.
Each child is planned for on an individual basis to develop along their own pathway of learning. We assess the children’s learning, development and well-being through formal and informal observations, photographic and digital evidence. To make sure that the children are not moved on to the next stage of their development before they are ready, we use a traffic light system to show if the learning intentions have been covered, and most importantly, to see if the child has gained that skill or needs more time. This systems allows us to plan effectively for each of our learners.
Transition from EYFS into Key Stage 1 is very effective. Understanding the need to treat every child as a unique individual ensures a smooth and efficient transition into school at a pace which suits each individual.
Safeguarding and Welfare
Treloar’s has a comprehensive portfolio of Safeguarding policies covering in particular child protection, the recruitment of staff, medical provision, health and safety, behaviour management, and complaints. All policies apply equally to the EYFS setting.
- Curriculum purpose
- Curriculum delivery
- Skills and Subjects
- Key Stages
- Early Years
- From 5-16 years
- Sixth Form