Curriculum: Early Years Foundation Stage
Children follow the EYFS Framework in Nursery and Reception. Early Years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.
The prime areas of learning are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The Early Years Framework sets out the seven areas of learning and what children should be able to do by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (the early learning goals).
A child’s individual learning characteristics determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place within the provision. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
At St. Stephen’s we implement a curriculum that is ambitious; it is embedded securely and consistently across the provision. It is designed to give children the knowledge, experiences, and opportunities available, particularly the most disadvantaged pupils, to develop the cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
The curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced. It builds on what children know and can do, towards securing sufficient knowledge and skills for their future learning.
The curriculum supports the development of the characteristics of learning to ensure they become confident, resilient learners.
At St. Stephen’s we have high aspirations for all our pupils. For children with particular needs, such as those with high levels of SEND, the curriculum is still ambitious and meets their unique individual needs.
Children benefit from meaningful learning across the EYFS curriculum at St. Stephen’s. Through a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning, children make progress across the seven areas of learning.
The Curriculum is based on the new EYFS Framework. Development Matters supports practitioners in the delivery of the curriculum.
- All pupils are assigned a named key person, who ensures that pupils' learning and care is tailored to meet their individual needs.
- The curriculum ensures that our pupils develop their learning characteristics, alongside the seven areas of learning to ensure pupils receive the right support and encouragement during the EYFS years to enable them to become creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives.
- All teaching staff have secure curriculum knowledge and have a deep understanding of how children learn. Support, through continuous professional development, ensures high-quality first teaching is delivered across the provision.
- All teaching staff presents information clearly to children, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter being taught. All Staff engages in meaningful interactions and conversations with pupils to check children’s understanding, identify misconceptions and provide clear explanations to improve their learning. In so doing, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary.
- All teaching staff ensure that their own speaking, listening, and reading of English enables children to hear and develop their own language and vocabulary. They read to children in a way that excites and engages them, introducing new ideas, concepts, and vocabulary.
- Across the EYFS provision, teaching is designed to ensure children have the opportunity to embed their learning so information sticks in their long-term memory. New learning is integrated and progress in learning is made.
- All staff and leaders use assessment well to check what children know and can do to inform teaching. This includes planning suitably challenging activities and responding to specific needs. Leaders understand the limitations of assessment and avoid unnecessary burdens for staff or children.
- All staff create an environment that supports the intent of an ambitious, coherently planned, and sequenced curriculum. The available resources meet the children’s needs and promote their focus on learning.
Children develop detailed knowledge and skills across the 7 areas of learning and use these in an age-appropriate way.
- A language-rich environment ensures children develop their vocabulary and understanding of language across the EYFS curriculum.
- Children are ready for the next stage of education in Key Stage One. They have the knowledge, skills, and characteristics of learning that they need to benefit from what school has to offer.
- Children enjoy, listen attentively and respond with comprehension to familiar stories, rhymes, and songs that are appropriate to their age and stage of development.
- Children understand securely the early mathematical concepts appropriate to their age and stage that will enable them to move on to the next stage of their learning.
- Children articulate what they know, understand, and can do in an age-appropriate way, holding thoughtful conversations with adults and their friends.
- The children are physically active in their play, developing their physiological, cardiovascular, and motor skills. They show good control and coordination in both large and small movements appropriate for their stage of development.
- Children have secure knowledge and understanding of the importance of oral health.
At St Stephen’s RC Primary, we believe that by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, children should be resilient, self-assured, strong, responsible and independent learners. We aim to help our children to develop into happy and healthy well rounded individuals who possess skills for the ever changing 21st Century, have a thirst for life-long learning and who make a positive contribution to society.
Our vision is facilitated through:
- Committed, enthusiastic and reflective practitioners with a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding.
- A thorough understanding of the individual child and the diverse ways and rates in which children develop and learn.
- On-going training for practitioners in order to ensure all children’s needs, learning styles and interests are fulfilled.
- Demonstrating and continuously improving our work with parents, carers and the wider community.
- Supporting children’s development in all areas of learning.
- Working collaboratively with other professionals within and beyond the setting.
- Striving to develop secure relationships between children and staff and staff and parents in ways which are positive, sensitive and non-judgmental.
- Providing a stimulating learning environment which supports and extends learning and enables children to reach their full potential.