At St Marys Catholic Primary Academy, we understand that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations for our children and prepares them for the next stage of their education. The curriculum in Early Years is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils.
We have 5 clear aims which are embedded into all aspects of learning. We want our children to be:
- Aware of their ‘Community’ so they know where they live and how we are united in our similarities and differences and can work harmoniously together.
- Ambitious in setting their own ‘Aspirations’ and know they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.
- Active in sustaining a ‘Heathy lifestyle’ by understanding it is important to not only have a healthy body but also a healthy mind.
- Avid learners and actively gain a ‘Knowledge of the world’ around them
- Able to effectively communicate, sharing their ideas in many ways enabling them to build the foundations to mastering the skill of ‘Communication’.
In EYFS, we strongly believe that we are at the beginning of our children’s educational journey. By igniting the flame for learning we are transforming lives, building communities for the future and broadening horizons.
We believe that all children deserve to be valued as individuals and we are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential.
We begin each new academic year by looking at the individual needs of our children and, taking into account their different starting points, we carefully develop our EYFS provision to ensure that it is suitable for their unique needs and their stage of development.
Practice in EYFS is led by four overarching principles that guide and shape our approach and everyday practice:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and is resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Our motto in Early Years is ‘Believe+Achieve+Aspire’.
We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences so our staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided build confidence and resilience, widen their knowledge and understanding and are ambitious, challenging and thought provoking.
Through the seven areas of learning we provide topics that excite and engage children. The teaching of these areas of learning is practical, playful and inclusive with support and challenge from adults in class sessions, small groups and working with individuals. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities offering child collaborated learning and adult scaffolded learning through skilful interactions and questioning.
The curriculum celebrates diversity and supports the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Those children with particular needs, including SEND, are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful.
Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of our EYFS are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning”
We strive to develop these key characteristics of ‘Playing and Learning’, ‘Active Learning’ and ‘Thinking Critically’ in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development.
All of the crucial skills, knowledge and vocabulary that we teach are presented to the children throughout the year gradually building on prior skill, knowledge and understanding. Focus child observations ensure that children’s individual interests are captured and developed through challenging and engaging continuous and enhanced provision.
Our learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, is also adapted when needed to meet the differing and developing needs of the children in our care. We aim to ensure that these areas are always stimulating and exciting and that, importantly, they are accessible to and challenge all children, regardless of where they are on their developmental journey. The environments are developed to promote independence within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge.
- Within our EYFS, children are assessed continuously in many ways including observations, their work and formal assessments -baseline, mid-point & end of year. These provide us with information for immediate and future planning, not only for our individual classes but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning.
- Observations enable us to capture children skills over time, ensuring learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make outstanding progress within our EYFS settings.
- ‘Evidence me’ and DCPro is used to collate evidence to demonstrate the children’s learning and progress over time. Evidence of learning will also be recorded within the pupil’s books and both will be used as the basis of moderation within the year at school and trust level.
- Leaders will monitor the quality and impact of the EYFS Curriculum through regular pupil voice and assess the extent to which pupils know more and remember more as they progress through the Phase.
By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage the majority of children will have reached their personal best and achieved outstanding progress. Aiming for a good level of development measure (GLD), they will have achieved at least the expected level in the ELGs across the Prime Areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and in the Specific Areas of Literacy and Mathematics. All children will have made significant personal progress across all areas of learning.
Our ambition is for all of our pupils to access the full EYFS Curriculum. These pupils will be supported to provide them with full accessibility to all aspects of the EYFS provision.