Welcome to Early Years at Pennyhill
Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Pennyhill School. We offer a caring, nurturing and stimulating environment where, through liaison with parents and other agencies, we provide the best start to each individual child’s education.
Our Early Years team are committed to providing a broad, balanced and appropriately differentiated curriculum in line with the new statutory framework requirements for EYFS. From our initial transition meeting to regular conversations and consultations, we aim to work with parents to review and set targets for our children. This ensures that they achieve their full potential in all areas of development.
We value parents/carers as important partners in our children’s learning and therefore believe that it is vitally important to develop and maintain positive partnerships with parents/carers throughout the children’s time in school. We believe that good communication between home and school is vital for the pupils’ learning and emotional well-being. Each child starts school with a unique set of experiences, gained from home, nursery and in their communities. These experiences are highly valued and enable us to identify next steps in each child’s individual learning journey. As parents/carers, you are the children’s first educators and as such have unique knowledge and understanding of the children’s learning and development. We aspire to combine this with our professional expertise to ensure the children reach their full potential during their time with us. At Pennyhill, we hold weekly achievement assemblies where children’s ‘WOW’ moments at home can be shared with the class. This helps us to gain a valuable insight into the children’s interests and helps to inform our future planning.
The EYFS curriculum is delivered in a range of ways to best support individual pupil progress. Learning opportunities are planned and structured to enable the children to develop skills and demonstrate their understanding, whilst also allowing for creative play, exploration and critical thinking.
We follow the statutory EYFS curriculum, which is broken into seven areas:
The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. In addition, there are four specific areas of learning. The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.
We follow a thematic way of teaching and learning in the early years; each week we have a shared text around which other areas of learning are planned. Throughout the day, children have opportunities to learn in both the outdoor provision and inside the classroom and have opportunities to work, learn and play as part of small groups, in pairs and 1:1 with an adult.
Here is a link to our overview of our curriculum themes, however this is flexible and may change according to children’s growing interests.
Through play partnering and back and forth interactions with children, skill development and characteristics of effective learning are observed. The new EYFS framework has removed the need for unnecessary recording of written observations by staff, however ongoing evidence is still collected and recorded in children’s Learning Journeys. This evidence is collated to support a holistic view of each child and the progress that they are making.
For further information on child development in the early years, please see the following non-statutory guidance: