Early Years Curriculum
EARLY YEARS AT CAMBRAI
“The first 5 years, have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out.”
At Cambrai, we recognise and value the unique opportunities and benefits that an excellent Early Years curriculum can bring. In response to the OFSTED ‘Bold Beginnings’ report from 2017, we have taken the opportunity to revisit, reflect upon and share our expectations for a quality reception year, encompassing our Trust values, and collective experience – along with a realignment of the core principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage:
These principles are:
every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured,
children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships,
children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Whilst some aspects of our ‘Trust Ready’ curriculum are academically challenging, we have fully embed and ‘live’ the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning which are:
playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go,’
active learning - children concentrate, keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements,
creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
This curriculum is not an excuse for an overly formal, playless or sedentary Early Years experience for our children – on the contrary, our skilled practitioners can develop all aspects of child knowledge and skills through the characteristics above, with a memorable, enjoyable and effectively unique Early Years experience.
Children are statutorily assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception but our curriculum is broader than the Early Learning Goals. It aims to exemplify, broaden and balance the curriculum and in many cases, deepen it - encompassing key life skills, experiences and expectations, which are not explicitly part of the ‘Early Years Outcomes’ document. For example, the key aspects of early childhood of table manners, responding to greetings, cooking skills and fitness have all been interwoven into our curriculum.
Understanding the World is a central driver to this curriculum. As such, the experiences and expectations detailed within this section are seen as vehicles and contexts for learning across the curriculum. Statements that have been emboldened throughout the document are seen by the team as particularly important to consider.
In light of the review, this curriculum demands that every child across the Trust:
Actively listens and takes part in ‘five a day' language rich experiences each day (stories, poems, raps,
rhymes, nursery rhymes, tongue twisters, songs).
Has access to at least one physical education lesson weekly.
Uses the 'Trust Bear' as a common context for learning and sharing.
Is expected to have the opportunity to develop accurate letter and number formation prior to year 1.
Develops a love of learning – they are confident, articulate and increasingly
independent learners, because their curriculum is fun, inspiring and relevant.
Our curriculum focuses on the 7 areas of learning of the Early Years Foundation Stage :
communication and language
personal, social and emotional development
understanding the world
expressive arts and design
Our Early Years Curriculum is currently being reviewed in light of the school being an official 'Early Adopter' of the new Early Years Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals. This year, we are re-creating our 'Trust Ready' curriculum in line with these new expectations.
Here is our current Reception Long Term Overview
This document details our 'topics' over the year, links to National Curriculum subjects and our progression in songs and rhymes, which link to our topics. Download the document here
Here are our topic links for parents - with tips and hints for home.
Topic 2 Autumn!
Topic 3 Let There Be Light
Topic 4 Winter & Christmas
Topic 5 Winter and Polar Animals
Topic 6 The Year of the Ox
Topic 7 When I Grow Up
Topic 8 New Life
For free websites to support learning at home, or during the school closures, see our 'Remote Education' page, here.