We recognise the importance of Early Years education in preparing children for future learning and life experiences and in building on what children already know and can do. Each child is unique and all staff have high aspirations for each child’s development. We offer a curriculum that is ambitious, that ensures no child is excluded or disadvantaged. It is based on the EYFS framework and the four themes of the EYFS inform practice – A Unique Child, Positive Relationships, Enabling Environments and Learning and Development.
Learners follow the EYFS curriculum throughout Early Years and Year 1. This is a developmental curriculum, which plays a diagnostic role in establishing which currciulum pathway the pupil will go onto follow.
We have a strong focus on learning and developing through play and playfulness. We provide opportunities for children to take part in activities that build on and extend their interests and develop their social, intellectual and emotional abilities. We provide opportunities for learning in different environments, both indoors and outdoors, using a wide range of resources and equipment including specialised equipment to support children’s complex needs. We include motivators within the learning environment to promote active learning and engagement.
‘Effective pedagogy is a mix of different approaches. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching’
Communication and Language
Development of communication skills is at the core of our curriculum offer within Early Years.
Key work based upon the development of receptive and expressive language enables us to develop a personalised approach tailored to the needs and abilities of our pupils.
Understanding the World
We provide opportunities for pupils to make sense of their physical world and community.
We endeavour to enhance pupils’ learning opportunities offering a rich and diverse curriculum.
We use a range of assistive technology to help pupils achieve to the best of their ability.
Communication and Language is essential to the development of early literacy skills.
Our practice is based upon current research around early communication skills.
We draw upon the expertise of external professionals, ensuring needs are met holistically.
A focus on language comprehension and communication will build a good foundation on which to build future skills.
We promote and foster a love of reading through sensory stories, shared reading, rhymes and songs
The importance of physical development is key to our pupils’ health and wellbeing. The curriculum we offer is based around current research in relation to sensory integration. Pupils experience a wide range of activities including Rebound, Swimming, Sensology and individualised physiotherapy programmes.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
PSED is integral to all aspects of the school day. We seek to develop trusting and nurturing connections with each and every pupil, ensuring there is a safe and secure environment in which they can flourish.
Expressive Arts and Design
Creativity and the arts are an integral part of school life providing motivational opportunities for engagement, exploration and purposeful learning opportunities.
Children in Early Years achieve the best possible outcomes. The opportunities that are provided to develop their knowledge and skills are carefully tailored to individual needs. Each child is therefore able to achieve excellence in their own learning and is well prepared to move on to the next stage of education.
Impact is measured in a variety of different ways. We ensure that all our assessment methods are purposeful and directly impact the pupils.
Seesaw is a secure online portfolio that allows teachers to document and reflect on pupils’ engagement within school whilst also sharing these with families. Each student has their own individual journal where pictures, videos and messages can be shared between school and home. This also allows practitioners to reflect on learning and plan accordingly. Development in the areas of the EYFS curriculum are incorporated into our assessment.
Learning Intentions/Next Steps
Each pupil has individualised learning intentions set within the four areas of need; practitioners update and documentation is regularly shared with parents. Parents views are taken into consideration when setting and reviewing intentions. These intentions are imbedded in a cross-curricular way throughout the school day. Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) targets are incorporated within these as well as long-term next steps.
The Engagement Model
“Effective use of the engagement model is based on regular observational assessment and reflective pedagogy. Observational assessment is central to understanding what the pupil knows and what they can do. It is the most reliable way of building up an accurate picture of pupil’s progress” (The Engagement Model, 2020)
Practitioners are continually encouraged to reflect on observations using the 5 areas of engagement which are- exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence and initiation. We use our reflective feedback to inform and personalise planning and to make sure our core curriculum offer is engaging for all.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
We measure the impact of our curriculum offer by ensuring that characteristics of effective learning are being observed. We adapt planning accordingly to ensure we are enhancing learning opportunities.
St Francis Special School, Wickenby Crescent, Lincoln, LN1 3TJ
email@example.com - 01522 526498
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