The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum
We believe that “Crossways children will be confident and aspirational individuals who light up the room by living the values of the school.” This starts in The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and in the curriculum we offer. Inclusivity of provision is key for all children and school community and so meaningful and exciting activities are planned with this in mind using all areas of our beautiful environment, inside and out.
Early reading and numeracy skills underpin our curriculum with our structured phonics programme taking a key role in all learning opportunities. Our skills based activities enable our children to connect different ideas and knowledge across all areas of learning and create a solid foundation for years to come.
Our school is part of an ever growing diverse community both locally and globally and we passionately believe that it is the role of our curriculum to help develop our children’s curiosity, their awareness of, and respect for, diversity and understanding of their place within this.
From the very start children and families joining the Crossways community recognise how important our values of Respect, Resolve, Collaboration, Compassion, Creativity, Independence and Self-Belief are. These are embedded through all areas of the curriculum as is the aspiration of “Standing on Tiptoe”, reaching as far as you can and further to be the very best person you can be.
The EYFS Curriculum.
At Crossways we follow the EYFS curriculum “Development Matters.” This starts within your child’s pre-school provision and continues through until the start of Year 1.
There are three prime areas and four specific areas of learning in the Foundation Stage Framework curriculum:
Prime Areas of the EYFS curriculum.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Communication and Language
In the Prime Areas, the children learn to:
Share, take turns and develop respect for each other.
Make friends and become confident independent learners.
Behave appropriately when playing with others.
Listen to others and understand spoken language to enable children to follow instructions correctly.
Learn new words rapidly, use them in conversations and develop their own narratives and explanations.
Join in conversations with adults and children.
Develop control of their bodies using both large scale movements such as running and jumping and small scale movements such as holding pencils and using scissors.
Specific Areas of the EYFS curriculum.
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design.
In the Specific Areas, the children learn to:-
Recognise phonemes (letter sounds) and Graphemes (letter shapes) following our schools English Policy.
Enjoy sharing books and stories with adults and friends.
Begin to read simple sentences using phonic knowledge to decode regular words.
Draw, make marks, write letters, words and simple sentences. To form our letters in the cursive handwriting style when ready.
Count accurately groups of objects and recognise numerals.
Add, subtract and problem solve during practical activities.
Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, distance, time, money and shape.
Look closely at how things work, why things happen, living things and the natural world.
Use ICT equipment.
We aim to bring this to life through visitors coming to talk to the children and also through visits to local places of interest. Parents and carers play a key role in supporting their children through their learning and practice of skills at home.
Termly planning can be found on the school’s website and policies are also available for you to view.
The National Curriculum
Children in Years 1 to 6 follow the National Curriculum. This was revised and the new National Curriculum is being taught from September 2014. The only exception to this is children in Year 2 and Year 6 who will be assessed against the old curriculum using levels in English and Maths. If you require any further information please look at your child’s year group page or contact the class teacher.
To view a full copy of the national curriculum click below.
The School Curriculum
Each school is free to decide how it will organise its curriculum in order to achieve the best outcomes for its pupils. At Crossways each year group follows a different topic(s) every term around which the wider curriculum is taught. Many subjects lend themselves better than others to this approach, for example History and Geography. Other subjects like Mathematics and Science are often not taught under the ‘topic’.
On a typical day most children will be taught a full session of English and Mathematics (usually in the morning). They will then spend the remainder of the day learning other subjects which may be linked by their topic.
Each term (6 times a year) teachers publish a ‘term overview’ detailing the learning which will take place in each subject that term. Copies of these overviews are available on the ‘class pages’ of this site. Please see the current list of topics for each year group below.
A Cross-Curricular Approach
Wherever possible, teachers plan in a way that creates meaningful links between subjects. For example, if a class were learning to write persuasive letters in English and were also learning about Henry VIII in History then the teacher might ask the children to write a letter from Anne Boleyn to Henry persuading him not to have her executed. The same class may also be taught about the features of Tudor portraits and use this information to paint a portrait of a family member in the ‘Tudor Style’. Making such links enables children to apply the skills they are learning in a meaningful context and also provides depth to the curriculum.
Teachers map out the learning which will take place each term under the topic they have chosen from the list of ‘Milestones‘ for their year group. The milestones are skills from each subject area that are to be developed through activities taught in the class and are built on each year. The learning maps cover every subject except English and Maths which are planned separately. Not all subjects are taught every term, for example, teachers often alternate between History and Geography or Art and Design & Technology. This enables more time to be spent on a subject within the term it is taught and prevents children from having a ‘fragmented’ curricular experience (where they spend a small amount of time on every subject every week).
Children in Years 1 to 6 are taught regular English lessons. The curriculum enables children to express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing, and to develop a love of reading. The curriculum is organised into the following areas:
Reading words (phonics)
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
The requirements for each year group can be read below. These objectives are used to guide the English curriculum for each year group. Within each class children will be working at different levels – some will be working above and some may be working below the objectives for their year group. Teachers will adapt their lesson planning to ensure the needs of every child are met and that the curriculum enables children to make good progress over time.
English objectives for each year group
Teachers create opportunities for children to apply the skills and knowledge they have been taught, for example, having been taught about the features and form of a non-chronological report, children may be asked to write such a report about a historical figure they have been learning about.
There is a presentation about reading attached below which explains the process of reading development and how parents can support their children. There is also a book list of recommended reads for all children. We use many reading schemes within our book shelves for the children to read; the main schemes used are Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn 360 and All Aboard, Oxford Treetops, Green Bananas, Jelly and Bean, Leapfrog, Getting Started and Dandelion Launchers.
Our Phonics teaching is based on a number of schemes too: Sounds Discovery, Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics.
If you would like any more information about the way English is taught please speak with your child’s class teacher.
Children in Years 1 to 6 are taught a daily mathematics lesson. The curriculum enables children to work confidently with a range of mathematical concepts. The curriculum is organised into the following areas:
Number and place value
Addition and subtraction
Multiplication and division
Fractions (including decimals from Year 4 onwards)
Geometry (properties of shapes / position and direction)
Statistics (from Year 2 onwards)
Ratio & proportion (Year 6 only)
Algebra (Year 6 only)
The requirements for each year group can be read below. These objectives are used to guide the mathematics curriculum for each year group. Within each class children will be working at different levels – some will be working above and some may be working below the objectives for their year group. Teachers will adapt their lesson planning to ensure the needs of every child are met and that the curriculum enables children to make good progress over time.
Mathematics objectives for each year group
The mathematics curriculum does not stand in isolation and teachers seek out opportunities for children to apply their knowledge in ‘real life’ contexts. For example, cooking provides many opportunities for children to measure whilst a science investigation will allow them to record and present statistics.
The school has developed a clear policy for teaching mathematical calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) to ensure these are taught in a consistent way across the school. To find out more about this click here. We also have a document with ideas to help children in Year 2 learn their times tables. Please click here.
The vocabulary we use in our maths learning may have changed since you were at school. Please see our maths glossary.
If you would like any more information about the way mathematics is taught please speak with your child’s class teacher.