The provision for the very youngest children at Unity is built on our belief that wellbeing is central to children’s success. Working in a trauma informed way, with a strong focus on nurture, we put children’s personal, social and emotional development at the heart of everything that we do.
We believe that all children deserve the right to an engaging education which ignites excitement and curiosity, and inspires them to want to learn. We continually strive to provide the exploration, awe and wonder that we know many of our children might not otherwise experience. We want to offer new opportunities and experiences whilst building on, and celebrating, our children’s known interests and skills.
Our curriculum follows the Early years foundation stage statutory framework (2021) and is purposefully designed to ensure that our children access all of the essential knowledge that they need to prepare them for their future learning. It celebrates diversity and supports the children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This is further supported by our Big Life values and our UNICEF Gold Rights Respecting status.
Implementation and Inclusion
At Unity Community Primary we are passionately determined that children with particular needs, including SEND, are supported appropriately and successful, and that all of our children become well rounded, confident and happy individuals who fulfil their potential.
All of our EYFS classrooms are designed to provide a neutral, calming learning environment which supports all of our children. We use plants to build connections with nature and further support wellbeing. Wherever possible our resources are natural and open ended. This supports cognitive development and allows children to make choices, express their creativity and develop independence in their thinking.
Our staff have an excellent understanding of the areas of learning and of the potential barriers to learning for each individual child. Next steps are communicated verbally with children every day. We work closely with safeguarding leads and our Family Support Worker to ensure we know our children’s circumstances well.
Our curriculum has a strong focus on understanding the world. It provides a balance of child-initiated, play-based learning and deliberate teaching. We offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We follow the Early Years statutory framework using topic themes as a starting point. Each topic begins with a ‘Big Question’ to help hook the children in and inspire them to want to learn. The aim of our curriculum is to develop curiosity, a love for learning and memorable experiences by:
- Carefully planning sequences of activities that scaffold understanding and provide meaningful learning.
- Providing child-initiated activities in line with children’s starting points which enhance their learning and impacts on progress.
- Providing high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children.
- Staff acting as role models to the children they teach in order for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills.
- Allowing children to be successful in their attempts at an activity and using effective verbal support and feedback to help facilitate next steps in learning but providing enough challenge to develop resilience.
In addition to the curriculum, we have 6 key experiences that we want the children to access during their time in EYFS. These activities have been carefully chosen as we know they are things that most of our children would not otherwise experience. Those experiences are: watching a theatre show, climbing a tree, stroking and interacting with an animal, growing a plant from a seed, going on a minibeast hunt and making a den.
Impact and assessment
We use the Development Matters (2021) and Birth to Five Matters (2021) documents to assess children’s progress. We carefully monitor through daily, meaningful interactions, where children are and where they need to go. These informal observations are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs.
Working with parents
We understand that an effective parent partnership is essential in Early Years and we know that nobody knows our children better than their parents and carers. By working together we know that there is no limit to what our youngest children can achieve.
We use Class Dojo to keep parents up to date with learning across EYFS.
We run an open-door policy in Early Years. Parents and carers are welcomed into school for any support that they might need. We aim to run regular coffee mornings to inform parents and support with home learning.