Children joining Fairmead’s community at Early Years or KS1 age are often pre-verbal and are at a very early developmental stage. Our focus for these children is to bring them to a point at which they are ready to attend to learning and to engage in focused learning with their peers. In order to achieve this, in the lower primary phase we construct our curriculum and our assessment framework around the EYFS curriculum, drawing from a range of sources that allow us to target and capture key developmental steps with a heavy focus on the communication pillar.
Continuous provision allows children to learn through context-based experiences that challenge and build their attention to learning and their learning resilience, build their ability to interact with peers and adults and that support the early development of key skills for future employment. Our assessment framework offers a broad and detailed series of small step objectives that allow us to track and target all aspects of early development, however there are a number of key priorities for learning outlined below that we identify as essential to be prepared for the transition into the upper primary learning environment. Through play:
They are able to engage and interact in their preferred manner;
They are able to make simple choices and show their preferences;
They begin to respond to a stimulus such as an artefact or a story;
They are able to demonstrate pre-phonics listening and reading skills (they listen to stories and link what they are hearing to what they are seeing, including recognising that spoken words are recorded in writing);
They show a growing awareness of spoken language and begin to use early spoken language to express themselves;
They are able to follow simple instructions and respond to directions, playing their part in the learning environment;
They pay attention to and follow visual timetables, understanding the structure of each day;
They can recognise immediate family members in photos and begin to gain a sense of “family”;
They begin to understand the meaning of number and begin to represent numbers using a range of manipulatives and in engaging with practical activities linked to the learning theme.