EYFS/5-6 Curriculum Statement
THE STATUTORY EYFS AND EXEMPTIONS
The Statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Birth – 5 years, applies to all settings including ours. It sets out both learning and development requirements and safeguarding and welfare requirements for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday. You can find out more about we meet the requirements of the EYFS in the EYFS/Steiner Interpretation and Read-over and other documents which you will find in your kindergarten. You can also find a Parent’s guide to the EYFS on the government website http://www.foundationyears.org.uk
Because there are areas which conflict with the Steiner Waldorf early childhood principles and practice, we have received some ‘Exemptions and Modifications’ to the EYFS Learning and Development requirements and Assessment regulations under the ‘Established Principles’ route for Steiner Waldorf settings. These are mostly to do with the introduction and in some cases formal teaching of reading, writing, mathematics and use of IT/media and electronic gadgetry. There is no exemption from the safeguarding and welfare requirements. (See list of Exemptions and Modifications in the kindergarten).
Children over 5 are of statutory school age, and should be in full time education (21.5 hours).
We presently offer 4 hours of kindergarten per morning, which means that if they are attending 5 days they get 20 hours per week. As we cannot provide enough hours, we ask all parents of children of compulsory school age to sign a ‘home-school agreement’ which means that they agree to ‘home educate’ their child for the hours which they are not attending kindergarten.
We recognise that they need a more challenging experience, including raised expectations from the adults in the setting and a programme of work appropriate to their age, (Key Stage 1 in other school settings). In a Steiner school ‘formal education’ begins in Class 1. While there will be some activities and projects especially focused on these pre-school children, it is the new expectations of the staff relating to how the older children collaborate and contribute in a more structured and reliable way to the kindergarten community which is vital.
We have collated all of this into curriculum documents for those children of statutory school age which shows progression from the EYFS, differentiation, what we expect of the older children and what and how they will learn through the curriculum provided. The documents describing the curriculum for this age are kept in the kindergarten.
Parents will be kept informed of their child’s developmental progress throughout their time in the kindergarten and will be asked to contribute to the observations and information about their child. (See policy on observations and assessment).