Early Years Foundation Stage 

EYFS Curriculum at Rowan Park and Rowan Tree School 

At Rowan Park School and the Rowan Tree, we recognise that our children learn in different ways and develop at different rates and are each unique in their learning styles and interests. We have taken the four themes that underpin the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and adapted these to suit the needs of the pupils that attend Rowan Park and Rowan Tree School.  

Characteristics of Effective Learning: 

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and development are all interconnected. Again we adapt them to meet the diverse needs of each of our pupils. The Characteristics encourage development of the different ways in which our pupils engage with others and their environment. They support a readiness to learn which underpins the learning and development across both the Prime and Specific areas of learning and also support our pupils to become effective and motivated learners. 

The Characteristics are as follows: 

Playing and Exploring: 

  • Finding out and exploring 
  • Playing with what they know 
  • Be willing to ‘have a go’ 

To support this we aim to provide a safe and stimulating environment, which encourages free exploration of resources, including current fascinations and interests. We also provide first –hand experiences and a range of textures, smells and sounds. 

Active Learning: 

  • Being involved and concentrating. 
  • Keep on trying 
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

To support this we aim to provide resources that are stimulating, inventive, imaginative, varied, open-ended, freely available and related to the children’s interests. We also plan activities that are on the edge of children’s understanding without being overwhelming, and provide a reason for the children to become engaged. 

Creating and thinking critically: 

  • Having their own ideas. 
  • Making links 
  • Choosing ways to do things 

To support this we aim to provide visual supports and prompts around the classroom environment. We also provide new and inspiring resources and giving children the opportunity to explore them freely. 

Total Communication: 

  • Developing new communication skills 
  • Learning to communicate needs to adults 
  • Use different strategies.

Enabling Environments: 

We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is fundamental in instilling positive outlook and readiness for learning.  In our early year’s classes, children will have opportunities to play and explore; learn to make choices and to have a go and persevere; be creative and solve problems; form good relationships; be safe, secure and happy. 

We provide a stimulating environment (both indoors and outdoors) that is created to support and challenge our pupils. We provide sharply matched activities and resources that incorporate pupil’s interests and half termly topics. 

We plan for quality learning experiences that meet the individual needs of each pupil through practical first hand experiences, investigations, play and adult led group activities. The children will also access our outdoor play area to continue all aspects of their learning. 

The children have a daily timetable for activities with flexibility built in to allow us ‘to respond to the needs and interests of the children’. 

Visual support (which may include Objects of Reference, Photographs, Symbols, PECS, Communication aids) is at the heart of meeting the communication needs of our pupils within their environment. Total Communication is adapted to suit the varying needs of the children. We are also supported a Speech and Language team within school, who will complement, support and extend our pupils Total Communication. 

How we assess Learning and Development

We recognise that children develop at different rates and may need differentiated support in their learning. 

Formative Assessment: 

When your child starts in our classes we will carry out a range of observations and assessments to help us plan for the next stage of learning for your child. We will assess at the beginning of the school year and then again at the end of each term using our adapted EYFS Development Matters Outcomes. This gives us information about their progress and again helps us to plan and support your child at their individual levels and rates of progress. 

We assess through: 

  • Photos – taken every day of adult directed, planned and child initiated learning 
  • Evisense – Observations and Photos linked to the individual learning outcomes for each child. 
  • Next Steps and short term planning – outcome that ensure our children’s needs are consistently met. 
  • Post-it notes – To record WOW moments throughout the day. 
  • Annotation and Feedback (when appropriate and at the individual pupils levels)

Summative Assessment: 

  • Annual assessment and yearly progress reports are carried out in line with the Government and School Policy. 
  • We baseline using B Squared Assessment (engagement steps and progression steps) at the beginning of their academic year and then again at the end. This will also give us an excellent view of your child’s progress. 
  • Annual Reviews 
  • End of Year progress reports. 

Reporting Progress to Families: 

We recognise that family’s play a vital role in their child’s learning. To ensure correlation between school and home, we use a variety of ways to report on their child’s progress as well as enabling them to work and play with their child at home. 

  • Class Dojo 
  • Individual Education Plans – which are sent home to families with suggested activities to support the child’s targets at home. 
  • Families Evening throughout the year with a termly report on progress. 
  • Formal and informal meetings. 
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