Early Years Foundation Stage
At Bourn, we work together to plan a well-balanced, exciting curriculum that incorporates all seven areas of learning and development. Our curriculum planning outlines half-termly themes which are accompanied by high-quality texts to engage the children in focused conversation, story-telling and role play activities. The themes offer structure; however, our plans are open and responsive to the needs and interests of the children.
We plan daily directed teaching sessions of phonics, maths and literacy which are differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. The White Rose Maths Schemes guide our maths planning which takes a mastery approach and is focused upon using manipulatives and pictorial representations. Phonics lessons follow the systematic approach set out in the ‘Storytime Phonics’ programme. Storytime Phonics plans are based around books and offer memorable experiences which connect learning to read with pleasure.
Our plans are led by our professional judgement of each child’s achievements, interests and next steps for learning. The indoor and outdoor learning environment is carefully planned to offer children meaningful firsthand, play-based experiences, in which they can apply the knowledge they already have to enable them to explore new possibilities. To ensure our continuous provision activities and resources reflect the interests and needs of the current cohort, we regularly audit our environment and make changes where necessary.
Our planning reflects a mix of adult led and child-initiated learning. In addition to providing focused learning groups around maths, literacy and phonics, adults take focused learning into continuous provision and work alongside the children.
Where possible, we plan to incorporate natural play into our provision. Children have access to stones, shells, sticks, pine cones, conkers as well as having opportunity to interact with everyday objects such as dustpans, buckets, pegs and kitchen utensils. We provide resources for construction inside and out to enable children to build and change their environment, such as blocks, crates, tarpaulins, boxes, tyres and blankets.
We incorporate a natural approach to learning by using a grassy outdoor space which includes a mud kitchen, large climbing tyres, mud pits for digging, sand pit, large construction with tyres, crates and sticks, growing beds and a stage area. Children’s wellies are stored in this area for easy access and to support independent skills when changing footwear.
To enhance children’s learning in an outdoor environment, we visit the school’s enclosed Nature Reserve on a weekly basis. Here, we provide opportunities for the children to engage with nature, learn new skills, develop fine and gross motor skills, build confidence and self-esteem, take risks, explore and discover the world.
Adults and children are involved in assessing risks whilst using our outdoor areas. Our teachers regularly check the sites to monitor any changes that have occurred to the sites. Additionally, the children are involved in the risk assessment process which makes them more aware of how to stay safe.