At the Aylesbury Vale Academy, we have created our own curriculum for our children in Preschool and Reception, supported by the New updated Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage applies from 4 September 2024 (copy here), working from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is a distinct phase that provides rich and diverse opportunities for lifelong learning.

Our practitioners will provide opportunities with our bespoke curriculum that build upon children’s cultural capital, with the life experiences that they bring with them. We will link their interests and enhance the provision to enable all children to reach their potential in every aspect of their development. 

We recognise that starting school can be a stressful time for both the child and the parent. To support the smooth transition into school, we plan to meet the needs of child and their family through an induction programme to enable a happy entry into preschool, reception, and beyond to ensure ongoing well-being.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a statutory document that details the standards for learning, development and care for all children within the Foundation Stage. At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage the children’s learning and achievement will be recorded by completion of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, alongside the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We recognise that the characteristics of effective learning as defined in the framework are, Playing and Exploring; Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.  

We place high importance on developing children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Through early observation, our skilled practitioners create an environment in which all our children can thrive. We recognise that children arrive with a wide range of skills, abilities, and particular interests. We understand that each child is a competent learner, so we start from the children, finding out about them before planning experiences to intrigue, challenge and extend their learning.

The provision in preschool and in our reception classes are organised to support the development of the seven areas of learning,

The 7 areas of learning and development are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

But with a big emphasis on the 3 prime areas of learning for children from birth to 5 years old. These are communication and language, physical development; and personal social and emotional development.

By focusing on these areas, children form a firm foundation on which to build future learning and help they develop the skills necessary for developing reading and writing, for understanding of the world and for engaging with the arts and design.

Through a rich choice of play-based activities as well as group and individual learning with teachers and other adults, the children develop the skills of listening and developing language to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings; they develop the skills to control and coordinate their bodies and handle equipment and resources and they develop an awareness of themselves, of others and of their feelings and relationships.

Our Early Years classrooms are designed to enable children to develop independence by accessing high-quality resources independently and by quickly establishing strong relationships between staff and pupils and amongst their peers. This emphasis on relationships helps to create a nurturing ethos that complements the strong emphasis on good manners and good behaviour and helps to develop the confidence and well-being that is crucial for children to learn and thrive. 

Pupils who are ready to do so begin work on pre phonics skills during the preschool year, and it is taught daily for all children from reception onwards.  The school currently follows the Read Write Inc phonics scheme, initially working in whole class groups in reception before moving into working in groups tailored to each child's ability later in the year.  

We recognise the huge contribution parents make to their child’s learning, and our parent partnership is extremely important and valued and we work hard to develop and sustain links with parents. We actively encourage parents to be fully involved in their child’s learning through our online learning journey- 'Evidence me', communication/liaison, and regular meetings. Parents are actively encouraged to visit their child’s class and support the learning taking place. 

Long-term curriculum plans are available here.