In Dundonald Early Years we have high academic ambition for all children. Our curriculum is designed to provide rich, varied and imaginative experiences that intends to enthuse, engage and motivate children to learn and achieve highly.
Dundonald Early Years values of high expectations for all, learning through high quality play and developing the whole child are shared and promoted by all. Children benefit from meaningful learning experiences across all seven areas of the Early Years curriculum, enabling them to make links in their learning and to the wider world. A topic based curriculum design allows for this cross curricular learning with topic carefully chosen to reflect the interest of the children.
In Dundonald Early Years there is a sharp focus on the prime areas of learning, including communication and language. A language rich environment and core texts used as a key stimulus for learning develops vocabulary and language skills for all children. Talk For Writing and Power of Reading is used regularly to immerse children in language and promote a love of reading and stories.
From September 2022 we will be using the Collins Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised books.
The teaching of phonics has a high priority in the Early Years. Letters and Sounds is used to ensure that phonics is taught systematically in order for children to build their knowledge and skills effectively. Jolly Phonic songs and actions are used as an effective teaching tool. Children are taught through discrete phonics lessons as well as having regular opportunity to explore phonic activities within the learning environment. As a school we are currently reviewing our teaching and phonics in line with the Department for Education's revised core criteria for effective systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) teaching programmes and new process of validated complete systematic synthetic phonics teaching programmes.
From September 2022 we will be using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised validated SSP programme.
The implementation of our Early Years curriculum and care practices in place promote and support children’s emotional security and character development. The commitment to holistic development and clear focus on the prime areas of learning enables children to develop social and emotionally, providing and strong foundation for learning later on in their schooling.
As a Rights Respecting School our ethos and approach to behaviour embeds a culture of kindness with children’s emotional security and self-confidence at the centre. The use of ‘No Outsiders’ and explicit teaching of equality means children feel valued, included and emotionally secure.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) seeks to provide a set of common principles and commitments to support practioners in delivering quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.
The framework is for all Ofsted registered early years providers in all settings, including nurseries, childminders, pre-schools and Reception.
This statutory framework was reviewed and revised for September 2021 and were made to:
- improve outcomes at stage 5, particularly in early language and literacy;
- reduce workload such as unnecessary paperwork, so more time can be spend with the children in care.
At Dundonald Primary School the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage is implemented alongside the use of Development Matters (a non-statutory curriculum guidance for EYFS).
The Early Years curriculum is centred on three prime areas of learning:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Schools must also support children's learning across the specific areas:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Educational activities relate to these seven areas which address children's physical, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development.
Please see our Early Years Foundation Stage Policy for more information about our teaching and assessment in Dundonald Early Years.