Holy Trinity C of E Infant School

Holy Trinity Church of England Junior School

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Early Years

Intent 

Our Early Years curriculum provides stimulating learning opportunities which engage, challenge and inspire our children to become resilient, confident and self-assured learners. Language development is central to the curriculum and the foundation of children’s thinking and learning. New language is ambitious and planned for to ensure appropriate progression, challenge and development. 

The learning environments, including the adults working in them, ensure children are safe and happy through the quality and consistency they provide. Enabling environments and adept provocations extend children’s vocabulary, broaden their learning experiences and deepen their acquisition of language, knowledge and skills. 

Implementation 

Half termly themes are planned for Reception and Nursery, EYFS staff introduce a new theme to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.  

The timetable is structured so that children have a careful balance of directed teaching, including phonics, small group work and independent play. This means that adults can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a deepening of knowledge and skills including the acquisition of new learning and vocabulary.  

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision areas. Core resources are provided in each of the provision areas and these are supplemented by enhancements which are directly linked to the theme.  The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. 

Impact 

Through a strong curriculum offer linked to enabling environments and effective partnerships between staff and parents, we provide a strong foundation for children’s learning which ensures their readiness for the next phase of their education.  

A well-planned, sequenced and balanced combination of directed teaching and exploration through play ensures children develop the foundations of the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to become life-long learners.   

Language Acquisition and Development 

As shared above, language development is a key part of our Early Years Curriculum and across Nursery and Reception we have a range of practical strategies we use to promote and develop this. Below are a few examples of the approaches we use. 

Phonics

Phonics is a key part of children's journey to reading. In Nursery and Reception it also supports the articulation and pronunciation of sounds which gives children greater clarity in their speech as they acquire new language. For more information visit our phonics page - click here

Talk for Writing

Children learn to explore and retell stories through a range of creative approaches. They explore the language used and develop the language of ordering and sequencing as they explain the plot. We also use this to support children's explanations of their own feelings and emotions through the understanding they gain from characters. 

Helicopter Stories

Children create and retell their own stories in front of the class. They add drama and acting by instructing members of their class to act out events. Children are encouraged to apply some of the language they have gained in their talk for writing sessions. 

Quality Texts

Each half term there are key texts linked to the theme and talk for writing (Reception). From these, children gain new vocabulary which is used and explored across provision areas. 

Word of the Week 

Word of the week is taken from one of the texts the children are learning and is explored throughout the week. 

Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI)

For children who require extra support and development with their speech, language and understanding, we use NELI. Assessments are undertaken in the Autumn Term of Reception and the intervention runs throughout the Spring and Summer terms. 

Vocabulary rich environment 

Vocabulary is visible throughout the setting and this acts as a prompt for children to enquire about the words and for adults to use with the children. Many of these words are linked to the theme to provide a context and support understanding.