(Early Years Foundation Stage)
The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven key areas of learning, made up of three Prime Areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
And four Specific Areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
None of these areas can be delivered in isolation from the others. They are all important and interconnected with each other. All areas are delivered through a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.
Throughout EYFS, children are assessed against the Development Matters Age Bands, moving towards the Early Learning Goals. Within these bands, children’s attainment is reported as either Emerging, Developing or Secure. At the end of Reception, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
Years 1 to 6
Following the introduction of a new National Curriculum Framework from September 2014, the government decided to remove level descriptors. The government’s policy of removing level descriptors from the National Curriculum is set out in terms of freeing schools from an imposed measure of pupil progress. The Department for Education has said that levels are not very good with respect to helping parents to understand how far their child is improving. In their place, from September 2014, “it will be for schools to decide how they assess pupils’ progress”.
With levels removed and the focus now on raising the achievement of every pupil, Whitgreave Primary School’s governors, leaders and teachers have developed a new system to measure pupil attainment and progress.
At Whitgreave Primary School we use Learning Ladders, which are based on the National Curriculum 2014 for Reading, Writing and Maths and the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for the end of Key Stage 1 and 2. Each Year Group has a Learning Ladder which reflects the end of year expectations.
On these Learning Ladders, pupils are assessed against the Year Group Expectations, using the following terminology: Emerging, Developing and Secure. For example, if a child is working at Age-Related Expectations at the end of Year 4, then they will be assessed as a 4S.
Maths is a core subject, thus has a high profile in school. The children enjoy this subject and speak highly of the various quality learning activities they undertake within lessons.
Children are expected to cover various mathematical concepts across the school year. The subject is broken into 2 key areas in EYFS (number and number patterns) and 5 key areas for KS1/2 (numbers and place value, calculation, geometry, measure and statistics). Each term a class will cover four of these areas totaling 12 topics in a year. As number is a more heavily weighted area, these units are covered more frequently, in particular, calculations. As a result, a Calculations Policy is followed across school, in order to ensure that calculation progression is developed throughout the school as a strategic approach. In addition to this, the children undertake a ‘Real Life Maths Project’ once per term in KS1 and KS2. This enables children to develop their mathematical skills through various day to day situations such as; planning, budgeting, surveying etc.
Teachers plan a unit of work as a learning journey. The intended purpose is to develop a set of skills over time, thus gradually building skills and confidence, in order that the children can solve problems. Individual lessons are engaging and differentiated to meet the needs of all individual children. Challenges are included for all to attempt, so that learning is never capped and more able children are suitably challenged. Work is marked constructively and where appropriate, ‘TRY’ and ‘WOW’ questions are used to remedy misconceptions, reinforce learning or to move learning on further, in a bid to challenge and extend. Children are encouraged to make corrections based on marking and in EYFS, marking is discussed and shared verbally. Any corrections are made with the support of the classroom teacher when topics are next revisited. During lessons, the children have access to a range of resources that help develop and further their understanding. A range of questioning techniques are also utilised, in order to promote and develop conceptual understanding.
Children are encouraged to self or peer-assess their learning and that of others within their classroom. Children are able to work as individuals, in pairs, as groups or with the teacher or TA. Where possible, children are encouraged to work in group sizes of their choice and are able to present their work in ways that suits them and the intended audience.
All systems that we have in place at Whitgreave Primary are monitored rigorously. Regular lesson observations, book and planning scans, pupil questionnaires and continuous, relentless monitoring and evaluation ensures that every child makes at least good progress.
Phonics is one of the ways children are taught to read. At Whitgreave, we have our own personalised Phonics programme, which links to ‘Letters and Sounds’. For more information about the Letters and Sounds programme, go to http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/
In the Infant building, the children receive 20-30 minutes separate Phonics teaching each day and practise applying their knowledge in reading and writing throughout the day. After Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2), discrete Phonics lessons are taught daily for identified children that need additional support and have not yet covered the entire Phonics programme.
The programmes of study for Reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading). Children in KS1 have Guided Reading sessions each afternoon, which includes small group work with TAs, as well as whole-class reading. Guided Reading is also incorporated into Literacy lessons at the beginning of each unit of work, which have a specific text-type focus and teachers deliver comprehension sessions twice a week.
Every child has a reading book to take home and enjoy, from the school library; these books are banded (in stages of increasing difficulty) and the teachers assess the children regularly to ensure they are taking books home they can read both independently and with an adult/sibling. Reading comprehension homework is also set every week. Leaflets are provided, every year, to support the children with reading at home, these are specific to the stage the child is at– parents are welcome to get another copy from their child’s class teacher, thorough the year.
We make reading fun at Whitgreave! On an annual basis, we celebrate World Book Week, with visits from authors, themed days, activities and dressing up competitions; we also have a reading competition to complete at home- the best entries receive prizes!
We have made a school video on how you can read with your children and help them, please take a look.