Kader Academy embraces all children as individuals. We are a family and creating a nurturing and loving environment is at the forefront of our school aims. By recognising and valuing children’s particular strengths and talents, we seek to encourage their full potential. In EYFS, staff work together towards a shared of vision of ” One family, little people, big dreams”. Our aim is to create a nurturing, caring and stimulating Early Years environment where children are:
Happy, secure and feel safe
Independent, self-assured risk takers
Confident and Resilient
Excited and Motivated to learn
Imaginative and kind
Socially strong and able to make positive relationships
At Kader Academy we believe our school values underpin everything that we do.
We have linked our values to a month of the year to give it pertinence – focussing on the core value within assemblies and our learning. Children take ‘ownership’ of these throughout the school.
At Kader Academy, we want our children to be excited, engaged and curious to learn. We aim to provide a curriculum that has been designed to suit the needs of our children and our community. It is an aspirational curriculum, a curriculum which gives the children the broad and captivating learning opportunities that we want for them. We pride ourselves on knowing our children well, and use this knowledge to shape a curriculum that adds breadth, enrichment and embodies cultural capital.
We draw upon our well-established local and school community, and promote mutual respect and a strong moral compass in every child. We recognise that diversity is our strength and it is wonderful to start the journey of our diverse school community in EYFS and watch how our children grow up to be proud of our multicultural school family, they do not see the differences between one another, they recognise and treasure the similarities.
Our EYFS curriculum is reflective to the needs and interests of our children, supported by current guidance such as Development Matters 2021 and Birth to Five Matters 2021. In order for our children to meet age related expectations, the EYFS curriculum at Kader is a progressive curriculum. The experiences, knowledge and skills gained in EYFS are built upon in later years, and evidence of this is seen in our whole school progression documents for each subject taught. This allows the children to embed and deepen their knowledge and skills; making progress in their learning by knowing more and remembering more. We love to log exciting learning on SEESAW and have created folders to create a link to the KS1 and 2 curriculum, creating starting points for staff to refer to. We are the start of their journey and feel proud of our EYFS quote – If you want a child’s mind to grow… you must first plant the seed.
At Kader Academy, our pedagogical approach allows the children to thrive by experiencing an enriched learning environment where they can learn through play, both indoors and outdoors. We have worked with local advisors and have been pro-active in exciting CPD such as ‘In the moment planning’ and ‘How to achieve outstanding EYFS’ to name a few. The EYFS lead has been a local authority moderator and has networked with many schools, also providing advice and support for other settings. We believe in the power of research and findings and passion for Early Years and early years development is continually shared with staff. In 2021 we developed a new 30-hour provision for Nursery and undertook a refurb and re-design in an existing building. We are continually changing our environments to suit the needs of our children across the whole of the EYFS. We believe we have created the best indoor and outdoor learning environment possible with a variety of learning opportunities and good quality, open ended resources. We are currently Quality mark holders and are undergoing a renewal in March 2022.
Our classrooms have been designed to promote the importance of the unique child and understand that every child learns in different ways. They aim to capture the interests of all our pupils through designated areas for construction, small world imaginary play, dry and wet sand trays, water play, playdough area, a home Corner, open ended role play, maths areas, literacy areas, ICT, and creation stations to name just a few! Our outdoor area is huge and we also frequently access our school grounds and woodland area. We have created an outdoor environment where children can access it all weathers to play and investigate. Here they form relationships with others, assess risks for themselves and have the confidence and resilience to attempt challenges, having a go and trying again. The natural environment is home to a variety of wildlife and a host of different natural materials, plants and trees. We are also lucky to have a fantastic range of large scale play equipment for the children to explore. This helps build children’s gross motor skills and physical development to aid the practical skills of writing and poses challenges to build confidence and self-esteem. Sharing equipment and space and negotiating turn taking are important skills for our children to acquire and helps to develop children’s communication. We value this outdoor space tremendously as many of our children on entry have recently been limited in their experiences outside of their homes.
In EYFS Pupils learn through a balance of both adult led and child initiated learning opportunities. The timetable is structured carefully to provide a rich and varied creative curriculum, and changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. We are proactive and make changes whenever we feel the need arises. In
EYFS we aim to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Kader, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points. We do this by placing a strong emphasis on the Prime Areas of learning which include, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. These are all fundamental areas which allow children to start their learning journey at Kader Academy.
All members of EYFS staff at Kader Academy understand the importance of child development and recognise the factors below are crucial for children to progress and succeed during their time here. Parent voice is hugely important to us and therefor our use of SEESAW as a communicative tool is vital. We share videos and experiences and parents also add to their child’s profiles. We believe this creates a well-rounded picture- alongside valuable verbal discussions of the child’s true range of abilities.
The impact of our EYFS curriculum is measured by how effectively it helps our children develop into well rounded individuals who embody our school values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. Our children have varied and diverse starting points. At Kader Academy we have high expectations to ensure that all children make ‘strong progress’ across all of the areas of the EYFS curriculum.
At Kader Academy our aim is to ignite a lifelong love of reading. Reading for pleasure is a key feature of our Early Years practice, as it is within our whole school, with staff regularly sharing their love of books and stories, bringing them to life and inspiring imagination.
Within each Literacy lesson we use books as hooks into learning. These books are carefully selected to develop vocabulary and comprehension skills and are embedded in our provision through a range of supplementing, engaging activities. Through these activities, children begin to internalise new vocabulary, language patterns and begin to retell stories. We believe imagination begins in stories and it is our role to ignite this imagination in play.
In addition to this the following reading sessions are planned regularly throughout the week:
- Shared Reading
- Let’s share a book
- Story Time
These are reflected upon during our team chat sessions and changes are made to suit the needs of the children.
We follow the Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme to ensure consistency in the teaching of phonics across the school. Supplementary reading books and resources are also used by EYFS and KS1 staff to ensure the approach to teaching Phonics is both consistent and multisensory, as well as regular monitoring of the teaching of phonics and reading. Early reading activities are fundamental for children’s speaking and listening skills and lay the foundations for the phonics work which will follow. Carefully planned activities and strategies are interwoven seamlessly within our practise to ensure children’s listening skills are developed from the very start. Interventions are implemented when needs arise.
Staff are aware that each child may vary in the rates and ways they progress in Phonics. The reading leader who is an integral part of our senior leadership team, works alongside the Early Years senior leader and the deputy head to regularly assess the children and create homogeneous groups to ensure pertinent teaching and maximise potential.
Children are encouraged to read at home regularly and parents are encouraged to record this in their child’s reading diary. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of becoming successful, confident and fluent readers. New and exciting activities are created to continually promote a love of reading in the home setting.
As a school we have a careful progressive English curriculum that creates confident and motivated, purposeful writers. In EYFS we embody the whole school writing vision and aim to begin the journey of writing. We use many strategies including- Talk for write, drama and Shakespeare. We also recognise the huge importance of the prime areas to underpin the skills needed to write. Fine and Gross motor development are also planned for carefully and our environment is a treasure trove for children to make progress in these areas. Our books as hooks approach helps children to explore text and examine meaningful opportunities for writing. For example, after reading ‘The Little Red Hen’, it becomes obvious how important team work is. Adults then carefully scaffold children’s learning to create role play team building activities and modelling writing shopping lists of the ingredients Little Hen needs to make the bread, such inspiring independent writing for themselves. Additionally adult directed activities in Literacy are provided to help children focus on all other important aspects of writing such as fine motor activities, speaking and listening, role play, mark making as well as deeply exploring vocabulary.
Children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. In addition to these opportunities adult led time is given to the teaching of a wide range of maths skills using White Rose Maths and NCETM maths mastery programme. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults help develop mathematical thinking. Children develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions in meaningful ways. For example, checking we have the correct amount of chairs for each child to sit at, or investigating whether tangerines all have the same amount of pieces. Maths learning is an integral part of our natural daily discussions and practise.
In the moment planning is at the heart of our EYFS setting and this paves the way for deep learning across the wider curriculum. Exciting, purposeful and contextual activities are planned in the moment to build on children’s natural curiosity. For example, building a ship for their favourite toy enables them to think like a ‘Scientist’ and an ‘Engineer’ as they explore a range of materials and test out their own ideas. Building further on our vocabulary and communication focus, children will be encouraged to employ subject specific language and terminology in foundation subjects, and such vocabulary will be modelled by supportive practitioners through inputs and during play. Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, with further support and challenge for some children through a range of additional interventions groups. This includes, for example, sessions for developing speech and language, ‘BLAST’, social skills, nurture, fine motor skills, phonics, and mathematics.
At Kader Academy, we pride ourselves on really knowing our children. Our vision tag line of ‘One family, little people, big dreams’ embodies the family ethos we strive for. Our children grow to love the staff and see them as safe, interesting adults who they gravitate towards. Significant time is given to interacting and engaging with our pupils, and we use our professional expertise to plan engaging learning opportunities. This interaction is natural and powerful, staff enjoy spending time with the children. Through a reflective cycle of observation, planning and assessment staff are able to ensure all children are developing. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Children do have work books for recording their learning for Phonics, Literacy and Maths, where appropriate and staff make notes in these books if necessary to record pupil voice. A ‘Busy Bee’ book is used to record key assessment pieces for adults to refer to. Other observations are recorded on Seesaw (online learning journals) to record children’s achievements in other subjects as well as providing parents with a window into their child’s learning. This allows parents to feel involved in their child’s learning and to supplement learning at home in other meaningful ways. Children also create wonderful independent pieces of work that they treasure and can’t wait to show off.
Throughout the year a range of assessments are carried out to record progress in children’s learning. At Kader Academy we use the whole school assessment system ‘Target Tracker’ which allows teachers to use their professional judgement to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Assessments are completed three times per year whereby the Class Teacher updates the attainment and progress children have made. In Summer Term 2 in Reception, the EYFSP is completed, where teachers judge whether the child has met each of the 17 ELG’s. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher. Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation – children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.