Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed to reflect our children’s interests, the seasons of the year, nature, culture and environments around our school. It aims to teach the children how their environment compares to other places, cultures and nature in other parts of the world. It is therefore unique to East Dene Primary school. Each topic planned is included in the curriculum for very specific reasons and we want to ensure that all children leaving the EYFS are ready to start our KS1 curriculum. Each topic does not last a specific amount of time but is based on the children’s learning at the time, and so a topic can run from anything between two and seven weeks. All the topics have resources and activities ready to use in the continuous provision. Topics are introduced with a good quality storybook or an age appropriate non – fiction text. Using books in this way teaches children that books and reading form the basis of all learning.
This ambitious Early Year’s curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge in order that they reach the seventeen Early Learning Goals described in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. We teach through a range of teaching strategies including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, group teaching, investigations, enquiries and problem solving together, and independently. All activities are modelled, and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise them.
Personal Social and Emotional Development
We strive to enable children to be safe, happy, confident individuals. We also encourage self-regulation as much as possible and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour and reflection time.
Our outdoor environment and grounds is used us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to learn outside as much as possible. Our intention is that children learn how to take measured risks and they are given access to our whole playground and outdoor area. We encourage children to learn about nature and look after their environment through high quality resources. There is a well-established and comprehensive PE curriculum, which includes sessions from a qualified coach. Children are taught about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating, and are encouraged to join in with whole-school sports initiatives such as intra-school competitions, and dough gym, wake up and move, every morning.
Communication and Language
At East Dene Primary language and communication underpins all learning. Children are encouraged to listen and communicate appropriately. We enhance the classroom and outdoor area to reflect the topic learnt. Each topic encompasses enhancements to the learning environment that include role-play areas, small-world play and story-making tables to encourage the children to act out scenarios and discuss concepts being learnt. This helps children learn and use new vocabulary introduced through the topics. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussion whenever possible. Children who need support to communicate are supported within the provision and learning interventions are used when children are below the age-appropriate skills. We display new vocabulary daily through Victor Vocab displays which is then included in direct lesson planning.
We teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at East dene Primary School, and books are used to teach topics and to enhance our whole curriculum.
We follow a systematic approach to phonics teaching based on Read Write Inc. Phonics lessons are taught daily. In addition to daily phonics, children take part in guided reading daily in small groups. They read reading books are based around the phonics phase being taught. A short phonics task and reading book is taken home weekly. Children are also encouraged to take home age-appropriate picture books from the class books, these are changed each half-term to reflect the different seasons, topics taught and children’s interests. Teachers read stories to children from high quality age-appropriate texts at every available opportunity. These books are then used to enhance the learning environment and reading area. Children who need support with phonics are encouraged each morning to access a phonics activity is set up where individual children’s next steps are addressed. This is facilitated with a member of staff who delivers a short session each day.
We introduce mark making activities straight away, and teach handwriting alongside the Read Write Inc phonics programme. Each child has a RWI book where they are taught a pre-cursive style. Guided writing activities are also taught in groups. These include writing topic words, lists, captions and short narratives. Guided writing activities are based on the topic being taught and the class book is used as a basis for writing. Children are also encouraged to write in the provision in the role-play area, writing area, maths area, and outdoors. The children are provided with a range of pencils, pens, and other media to encourage them to write as much as possible. Our aim is to inspire children to write independently after they have been introduced to writing skills in their guided writing sessions.
Children are taught maths through guided group work and whole-class activities. We also use maths enhancement activities in the different areas in the classroom, including the outdoors. The main aim of the maths curriculum is to teach children to be able to subitise numbers to ten automatically as soon as possible. We begin by concentrating on one number a week , with the aim that children have a better understanding of one digit numbers before they move on to place value, calculation and arithmetic later in the year. Children also learn shape, space and measure skills and knowledge through guided work and as activities in the enhanced provision. The first term’s Magnificent Me topic introduces all the basic shapes and we feel introduces mathematical concepts to the children from the very start of their learning with us. Children who need extra help with mathematics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff. Each morning a maths activity is set up in continuous provision with certain children’s next steps in mind. Those children who need extra teaching are encouraged to the activity with a member of staff who facilitates a short teaching session.
We work hard to ensure the children are ready for the National Curriculum by the end of the Reception year.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
We strive to give children knowledge about the immediate world around them and the rest of the world. Science investigations and observations are a continuous part of our curriculum, children are encouraged to question and observe the world around them. Geography is taught, including maps and countries of the world, through our Celebrations and Wider World topics. We take a trip every year to the seaside, farm and the local park to look at a contrasting environments, we introduce the children to history learning through our Magnificent Me topic. For example, we look at old and new buildings and how buildings have changed over time. We teach RE throughout the year based on celebrations that include all our children’s beliefs, Eid, The Diwali story, The Christmas story and The Easter Story so that children are introduced to different belief systems.
Expressive Arts and Design
We want children to sing songs, make music, dance and perform. We have regular musical events.Children are given time to play imaginative games and make up stories, songs and dances.
In art, the children are taught how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. We study artists and experience workshops by real artists. Child-initiated art activities are encouraged during continuous provision as well as art and crafts being taught by the staff. We endeavour that children leave Reception with good art skills, as well as encouraging them to use their own ideas and techniques in their art and design work.
Starting school is an exciting step! At East Dene we aim to help each child to look forward to, and settle quickly into a new school routine. We develop a good partnership between home and school in the very early days – one that we hope will continue throughout your child’s learning journey through our school. We are always happy to see you either before 9.00 am or after 3.15 pm for an informal chat, please come in!
We want your child to settle in easily and to feel part of the school family – free from worry in their new surroundings. The following suggestions may help with this settling in period and enable your child to feel comfortable, safe and happy at school.
Please encourage him/her to:
- Play and share with other children
- Go to the toilet independently
- Hang up his/her own coat
- Dress and undress independently
- Use a tissue or handkerchief
- Eat with a knife and fork
- Tidy up toys and games.
To help your child’s school day run smoothly
- Please use the school book bag to carry home reading books.
- Please send reading book and diary into school every day
- Please label all school uniform, including PE kit and make sure your child brings their PE bag to school at the start of each week.
- Please arrive on time; doors open for morning jobs at 8.45
- Try to always be punctual at the end of the day too. Children worry if you are
A huge welcome to the new EYFS starters 2021-2022!
We are so pleased to hear that you have chosen our school and that your child will be joining us this year. We know that this is a very exciting time for children and parents alike and we very much look forward to meeting you all.
Next year the EYFS F2 class teachers will be:
Class F2T; Miss Rycroft
Class F2AG; Miss Gordon (3 days),and Miss Abrahams (3 days).
Support staff Miss Jobling, Mrs Wheeler, Mrs Kassim
Next year the EYFS F1 class teachers will be:
Class F1M; Mrs McMichael
Support staff Mrs Whitlestone
All are very experienced EYFS teachers and are skilled in ensuring an excellent transition into school. As I’m sure you are aware transition may have to be a little different this year, but we will not let that stop us from ensuring your child makes the perfect start to their time with us at East Dene Primary
To assist with your child transitioning into our school, we have sent links to all new families to enable you to access our school Dojo account, this will allow you and your children to become more familiar with our teachers and our school routines.
If you do have any questions, please feel free to make contact using the email address
Enquieries@eastdene.org. Or contact your child’s class teacher via the Dojo link you have received
Take care and stay safe
Mrs L Ridge Headteacher
Mrs J Vickers EYFS Lead/Deputy Head
Where to go
Tour of the school
Home learning 2021/22
Within EYFS reading is at the core of all our learning “Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home”. Each half term each F2 and F1 child will receive the gift of a high quality picture book along with an activity sheet of ideas to use at home around the book.
Autumn 1 books are…
Below are the activity sheets each child has brought home for Autumn 1.
Autumn 2 books are…
Below are the activity sheets each child has brought home for Autumn 2
Home Learning Spring 1
Home Learning Spring 2
The activities the children complete at home around the books are displayed and celebrated within the unit.
Each child will receive a reading bear to share their home school reading book with. The children will complete an adoption slip which will be attached to the bear and give it a name. The bear will be attached to their reading packet.
Upcoming Trips and Events Foundation Stage 2021/2022
- Autumnal Walk to Clifton Park
- Parents Math fun morning
- Parents Phonics fun morning
- Visit from a Superhero
- Visit from a Dragon
- Sublime Science Workshop
- Visit to the seaside
- People, Cultures and communities
- The Natural World
Weekly sessions to share with your child.
All parents and carers are welcome to join us at our weekly drop-in sessions. These sessions are held from 8.45am – 9.10am.
- ‘Name Writing’ sessions every Monday
- ‘Share a Story’ sessions every Tuesday
- ‘Pencil Skills’ sessions every Wednesday
- ‘Stay and play’ sessions every Thursday
Below you can find documents for Foundation Stage 1 & 2 that list books we recommend your children read.
Practicing Cursive Letter Formation
Top tips for reading!
Each half term we will send home and upload a newsletter with some top tips for helping your child with reading at home. This term is all about Fred talk!
One of the first steps when learning to read is oral blending. This is sounding a word out (Fred talk) and then being able to blend the sounds to say the whole word. Fred is a frog that we use in our phonics lessons at school and he can only sound words out. You could practise sounding words out when you’re out and about and at home. This will help your child with hearing the sounds in words which is a really important skill in early reading. Here are some examples of how you can practise Fred talk at home. Have fun!
Take a look on our school website under ‘Read, Write, Inc’ for a list of all sounds.