At St Bede’s Catholic Primary, the EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. Our EYFS curriculum meets all the Statutory Framework requirements for the early years foundation stage (DFE 2021) as well as reflecting our particular needs as a small village community with a proud mining heritage. We place strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our school community has a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family.
Our EYFS curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced and meets the needs of all pupils.
It teaches them about their local community and gives them a sense of pride in where they live. We provide them with precious, memorable experiences that enhance their learning using local places to visit.
It enables our children to be confident, independent and resilient young people with strong Catholic values. Our EYFS curriculum supports our youngest children to progress from their individual starting points preparing them for the next stage of their education.
We aim to support the Personal, Social and Emotional Development of our youngest children to enable them to feel safe, secure and ready to learn. As such, there is a strong emphasis on the prime areas of learning: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development. The children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave as a result of our strong Catholic vision, associated values and nurturing ethos.
Through the prime and specific areas of learning we provide themes that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. We recognise that all children come into our school with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and set ambitious expectations for all children.
Those children with additional needs are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful. Ultimately, we want our EYFS children to be happy, enjoy learning and feel fully ready for the next step in their life journey.
Therefore, every child is recognised as a unique individual. We aim…
- To work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
- To understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
- To create an indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning.
- To prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of reception and ensure children make good progress from their starting points.
- To support transition into KS1.
We have a curriculum that is child-centred and that is based upon experiences and topics which engage the children. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested.
All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum.
The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum 2021:
- Communication and Language
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
The high status of language and communication in the new framework sees talking underpinning all seven areas of learning and development.
Daily guided activities are set up and planned; covering different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allowing children to develop their next steps in learning. There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play. In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice.
We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These 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
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. Our outdoor areas are used all year round and in most weather conditions.
Staff in the EYFS engage in regular talk and interaction with children and make observations of the children’s learning to ensure a detailed knowledge of each child. Any observations are collected in learning journals using the Evidence Me app. Handwritten notes or more formal assessments, (eg: regular phonics checks) are also used. However, at St. Bede’s we value most, staff interaction with the children in order to make judgements. We assess the children, using the revised Development Matters (2021)/Birth to 5 and then ensure that planning, adult communication and interaction and the learning environment support children to reach developmental goals. The children’s achievement and progress will be recorded termly, identifying whether they are on track or not; reaching Development Matters/Birth to 5 milestones.
Staff support transition into Key Stage 1. Preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the staff and sharing joint activities.
At St. Bede’s the impact of the EYFS Curriculum is that all children make good progress from their individual starting points. All children get the best possible start to their school life and develop the knowledge and skills to reach and exceed their potential in KS1. They develop and nurture strong, positive attitudes where they become proud and respectful of themselves, others and their environment.
We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be near National expectations, ensuring a smooth transition into KS1.
Evidence from staff knowledge of the children, in books, floor books and in children’s learning journals support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
Class teachers use observations to make assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using milestones in the Development Matters/Birth to 5. This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or who are disadvantaged.