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Year R Curriculum

Early Years vision at Valentine Primary school

Learning value: Exploring

The Early Years at Valentine is centred around developing a love of learning for all, including being proud of personal achievements and each other. Through being inquisitive and curious, the Early Years team will create a safe, happy and stimulating learning environment in which everyone can fail and take risks, while learning through perseverance and problem solving, both independently and supported. All members will feel safe and happy, which will allow for learners to be confident and successful. Within the curriculum, learners will understand how to be respectful and empathetic to others, preparing them with life skills to take forward in their learning.

Early Years curriculum at Valentine Primary School

In Early Years, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, continuing the approach begun at home and in pre-school settings. Through three prime and four specific areas of learning, the pupils are encouraged to develop their independence and confidence while feeling secure in their interactions with each other. The seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The structure of the Early Years day enables pupils to develop their learning based on their interests and using projects as a means to hang further learning on. Adults are trained to take the learning objective to the pupils, engaging them through targeted questions and activities, where pupils learn through meaningful play. We provide the children with first hand experiences that develop their curiosity of the world around them, including handling a range of animals when zoolab and Longdown visit, and capturing their interests. This helps to provide children with a firm foundation of skills with which to build academically, socially and emotionally, and develop skills for life. There is a range of adult led activities based on specific objectives and child-initiated learning. Pupils engage with a variety of resources that embed skills and deepen learning, through use of questions.

All pupils bring to school a range of experiences, interests and abilities. Meeting the needs of individual pupils lies at the heart of the Early Years foundations stage. At Valentine we use assessment for learning (AfL) to ensure pupils are targeted to their next steps. This is celebrated with the pupils when they complete their target before sharing their next step.

We have a dedicated area of the school for the Year R pupils. Their classrooms all lead onto a stimulating and well-equipped Year R learning garden. We also have a range of corridor areas, each with a specific focus for development, which adapt with pupils needs and abilities. The pupils have access to these environments at dedicated times throughout the day. In addition to this provision, Year R pupils can also enjoy access to the school halls, music room and extensive field, which includes a play trail for climbing. The children also have their own playground at lunchtime where Year 5 and 6 play makers support the Year R children in taking part in activities and games alongside the lunchtime supervisors.

In Year R the curriculum is structured in two ways. At the beginning of the Autumn term, the project is based around getting to know the children and the children interests. After this, the projects all have a theme which incorporates their interests in different ways. The provision is developed with the children and throughout the year staff ask the children what they are interested in and learning environments adapted.