The Early Years Curriculum
At St Francis Primary School our Early Years Curriculum is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and is planned to lead smoothly into the National Curriculum at KS1 in a way in which is relevant and meaningful to all of our children.
Aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage
In the EYFS setting at St. Francis Catholic Primary School we believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start in their school life, both intellectually and emotionally, in order to enable them to develop their full potential. We aim to support each child’s welfare, learning and developmental needs by:
- Helping children grow in the awareness that God loves each one of us, that we need to learn to love him and that we show our love for him by helping one another.
- Recognising that all children are unique.
- Understanding that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates ‐ physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.
- Providing a safe, secure and caring environment, where children feel happy and know that they are valued by the practitioners looking after them.
- Fostering and nurturing children’s self-confidence and self-esteem through their developing awareness of their own identity and role within the community.
- Teaching them to express and communicate their needs and feelings in appropriate ways.
- Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.
- Developing children’s understanding of social skills and the values and codes of behaviour required for people to work together.
- Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions, which differ from their own.
- Understanding the importance of play in children’s learning and development.
- Providing learning experiences in play, which reflect children’s personal interests and areas of curiosity in order to encourage and develop their natural desire, interest, excitement and motivation to learn.
Organisation of Classes
Our Foundation Stage is divided into one Nursery and one Reception class, who both have their own classrooms and access to a shared outdoor learning space.
The Learning Environment
We value a learning environment both inside and outside the classroom, which is carefully organised to enable children to develop and demonstrate characteristics of effective learning. Children are given free access to the outdoor learning space where they are supported and guided in their play by the teachers and adults from both nursery and reception. Adults support our children in playing and exploring, active learning and developing creativity and critical thinking. We value resources that promote possibility thinking and offer limitless opportunities for play and learning. Our children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play that is guided by adults.
Parents as Partners
We believe that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and when parents and practitioners work together in Early Years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. We encourage parents to contribute to our assessments and provide advice and support on how learning and development can take place at home. Parents are encouraged to contribute to the online learning journey – Tapestry. We add a weekly challenge for parents to complete with their child and share the learning and other experiences that happen at home.
Observation and Assessment
On entry to Nursery or Reception classes, information is collected from parents to help establish where the child is in relation to the development matters age-related bands. This information is used as a guide to providing a ‘best fit’ baseline. There are ongoing formative and summative assessments to ensure that practitioners have a clear understanding of a child’s progress across all areas of learning and development. Concerns about individual children’s progress are identified and addressed. St Francis use Tapestry, an electronic learning journey to record observation and assessments. In the final term of the year the EYFS Profile is completed for children in Reception.
Self-help and Independence
Through the Early Years, our Practitioners support the children’s growing independence and self-help skills. They are positively encouraged to do things for themselves.
In our school and in our Early Years provision, safeguarding is a priority. We look to ensure that children feel safe and we aim to promote children’s welfare and strive to safeguard children at all times. We look to ensure children’s safety, while not unduly inhibiting their risk-taking. Both Reception and Nursery have a password system set up for collecting the children. If someone different does collect your child they will always be asked for the password.
We promote children’s awareness of the factors that support a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, the importance of regular exercise and an active daily routine, including travelling to school, feeling good about yourself and a tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs. In order to lead a healthy life children are encouraged to interact with their world, and to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity. We value the taking of risks in learning and the questioning of the things around them.
Links for Parents: