Our overall intention is to nurture and develop our six qualities of learning which enable all children to shine…for life! We nurture and encourage creative, kind and resilient learners who are reflective, inquisitive and determined in all they do. By embedding Development Matters’ characteristics of effective teaching and learning, our intention is for learners at St Levan to know more and remember more from the moment they start school. These three characteristics are:
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
These three characteristics are woven throughout our EYFS curriculum and are built upon as children progress through the school. This ensures that children acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, couched in concepts and language with which they have already become familiar.
We provide an engaging, characterful and balanced curriculum for all.
Our inclusive curriculum is carefully planned to allow for progress for all pupils in our mixed age Reception and Key Stage One (Years One and Two) class. We recognise the challenges of teaching a mixed age class, catering for two different curricula and, having undertaken our own research and consulted subject specialists and organisations, developed our own pedagogy and created what we believe is the best fit for our setting. With a commitment to the removal of barriers to learning and participation, we offer high quality teaching and appropriate differentiation to meet the needs of all. Using our rolling programme (see our Curriculum Offer page), we teach our Reception pupils through termly topics yet still with a focus on playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
Although the Reception children broadly follow the same termly topic as their classmates in Years One and Two, there is also time set aside for them to pursue their own interests and shape their own curriculum. There will be times in the day when the Reception children learn as a group, either in adult-led or self-directed activities and other times when the whole class do something together. We also ensure that our two classes have the opportunity to play and learn together. For example, this wand-making activity in which the Puffins helped the Choughs to collect coloured fabric around the garden to make their own magical wand.
Due to the small nature of our school, our experienced and dedicated staff get to know individual children very quickly and very well. This allows us to adapt our curriculum to suit the needs and wants of the group of children we have. For example, when there was a need to encourage pupils’ Communication and Language as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we implemented the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) and used stories and high quality texts as a basis of our continuous provision.
As a school, we have made the decision to follow Development Matters as the basis for our EYFS curriculum and progression. This sets out seven areas of learning and development, which are:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Please find below a copy of this DfE document:
Where relevant, teachers may also consult Birth to Five Matters if, for example, an individual pupil would benefit from a different approach. You can download this document below:
We interconnect learning opportunities with an enriched environment to promote a love of learning and the outdoors.
To allow for an engaging, characterful and balanced curriculum, the EYFS at St Levan incorporates trips to nearby places as well as visits from members of the local community. We are lucky to be part of such a wonderful school community and take every opportunity to use our local context and beautiful outdoor space. This includes:
- Two fabulous gardens
- Mud kitchen
- Climbing wall
- Sand pit
- Play house
- Mini ‘Minack’ (great for outdoor phonics or impromptu performances)
- Fire pit
- Vegetable beds
- Bespoke outdoor climbing area
We ensure children are supported within a kind and caring community which enables them to progress and flourish.
At St Levan, we use assessment in three different ways across all subjects.
Assessment for learning (AfL)
This assessment is formative, ongoing and informs classroom practice and future planning. Through careful observation, listening, questioning and playing alongside the children, teachers glean what learners know and can do and plan next steps accordingly. We believe that we are best placed with the children, involved in what they are doing so the ‘next steps’ can happen then and there with careful guidance from experienced adults.
Assessment as learning (AaL)
This assessment is about how pupils self-regulate their own learning and develop metacognitive skills. Through carefully structured peer and self-assessment activities, pupils understand their own needs as a learner and reflect on their own next steps. By taking ownership of their own learning, this can help pupils to know more and remember more. For example, in the EYFS, pupils may work with an older classmate to self-assess against their WALTs and WILFs and highlight what they can do. By beginning to do this alongside their older peers, pupils become familiar with self-assessment at the beginning of their school career.
Assessment of learning (AoL)
This assessment is summative and happens at different points in the year.
At the beginning of their Reception year, we complete the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment. This is done within the first six weeks of children starting school with an adult they know well. It comprises a series of short activities to gauge the children’s understanding of concepts they’ll encounter throughout the year. You can find out more about the RBA here:
The following leaflet with information about the RBA may also be useful:
At the end of the academic year (June/July), we use Development Matters to help us assess the children’s learning in the EYFS. This helps us to plan accordingly as the children progress into Year One.
We aim for our children to be resilient, creative and kind individuals who are determined, inquisitive and reflective learners.