|“Good quality teaching takes into account all children in the class and plans small enough steps for the vast majority of children to achieve success with scaffolding and support, and for others to be challenged in the same concept to a greater depth of reasoning.” (EEF)
The seven areas of learning as detailed in the EYFSP shape the setting within our Reception class. We understand that these seven areas of learning are of equal importance and are all interconnected in preparing children to obtain the knowledge, skills and understanding required to achieve the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year. At Loddiswell Primary School we follow a thematic approach to teaching in Reception, the topic areas are outlined on our curriculum map and are supported by quality texts. We have a variety of focussed sessions alongside independent learning time. When working as part as a focussed group all children will be working on the same focus with varying support to enable all pupils to access the skills being taught. Teaching is responsive and adaptable, with clear progression in steps between lessons that is driven from the children’s learning. Through reflective teaching the vast majority of the cohort will be moving through the content at the broadly the same pace. Our independent learning opportunities are child lead igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
A coherent sequence: Reflection, re-cap and worked examples
As a school, we have developed our understanding and use of a variety of pedagogical approaches that focus on how children learn. We believe that these approaches enhance and develop our approach to teaching. We are using the 10 principles of Instruction (Rosenshine) to underpin our planning; specifically carefully planning opportunities for retrieval through the use of carefully scaffolded questioning. We understand that with retrieval practice, regularly visiting areas already learnt before, helps to connect new ideas to ones that are already known.
Small step learning and mastery pedagogy
Pedagogy at Loddiswell Primary school focuses on breaking down learning into small steps and utilising teaching for mastery techniques such as: Carefully chosen examples and representations to draw out the structure and essence of the concept, discussion in the form of mix ability pairs, talk partners and whole class discussion, mini plenaries – small steps providing sufficient scaffold for all pupils to access, precision in the use of new vocabulary to further develop understanding as well as working alongside the interests and needs of the children in our cohort. Current research on retrieval practice and cognitive load theory are at the forefront of our planning process in these areas.
Oracy and questioning
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning. We are passionate in providing a learning environment where a rich and varied use of language develops understanding, vocabulary and an ability to communicate effectively with others. We have introduced a vocabulary wall, a word wall as well as adapted our timetable to engage more frequently with stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems. Opportunities are then given for children to embed these new words in a range of contexts including conversation, story-telling and role play. Children are also encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. Teachers will use questioning throughout all learning opportunities to elicit children’s understanding and promote and challenge children to deepen understanding of concepts. Questions should be precise and develop thinking as well as develop the use of specific vocabulary.
Responsive Teaching and Feedback
There are a range of teaching techniques in our Reception class. Where focussed work is planned, this will be delivered in small groups where learning can be tailored to the needs of the children and where staff are able to scaffold the learning. Where necessary teachers will intervene immediately to enable pupils to make progress in their learning. During independent learning time extensive opportunities are available for children to embed new learning as well as re-visit prior knowledge in a range of contexts that is led by the child.
Assessment for Learning
Teachers will build opportunity for AFL into all areas of learning and will use regular opportunities for discussion and use strategies to check and deepen a pupil’s understanding. Teachers will allow for AFL in a variety of ways including the interaction with children in focussed groups, observing independent learning opportunities as well as discussions with pupils.
Where children are working significantly below the expected development milestones of the EYFSP, scaffolding and targeted work takes place on a daily basis. These activities are planned by the teacher in discussion and collaboration with the SENDCO, parents and the TA working within Reception. In Reception where extra support is needed teachers and teaching assistants follow a bespoke evidence informed intervention as well as plan opportunities to further the development and progress of these pupils during their independent learning time.
Each child with specific SEND difficulties will have targets that are agreed and monitored every half term to ensure progression.
Collaborative and Reflective CPD
We are fortunate at Loddiswell Primary school to be part of The South Hams Federation of schools. This gives us an opportunity to reflect and collaborate on all EYFSP drivers as well as keeping up to date with current CPD.