Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that our children continue to build upon throughout their schooling. At Saint Aidan’s Catholic Primary School we believe that our children should be at the centre of curriculum development. Our curriculum is built around a multitude of cross curricular, child initiated and adult led opportunities for children to develop into confident, happy and independent learners. It is an ambitious and progressive curriculum that provides effective, high quality learning that is centred around a language rich environment. Every child has access to a variety of songs, poems rhymes and stories on a daily basis.
We acknowledge and promote children’s interests and strive to embed them in the curriculum to engage, excite and motivate, making learning relevant and meaningful. Our aim is to provide the knowledge and experiences to develop a sense of awe and wonder, creating ‘magical moments’ to wow and captivate each child.
Our intention is to provide a fun, secure, challenging and rich educational environment that enables each individual to thrive, both indoors and our doors. Through our nurturing environments, the children are enabled to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to achieve fulfilling lives whilst 'learning to love, live and celebrate in the knowledge and love of Christ'. We aim to develop the children in resilient, creative, accepting and caring children who can be global citizens for the future, with an appreciation for all cultures.
Our curriculum looks to raise aspirations, by providing pupils with a wide range of experiences, developing their cultural capital, as well as teaching them about human creativity and achievement. We want our pupils to be outward-facing, helping them to recognise the potential they have to make a positive contribution within, not just our own community, but on a global scale. Our EYFS Curriculum is built around the statutory guidance EYFS Framework 2021 and is supported by the Development Matters guidance 2021.
The Early Years curriculum is made up of 3 prime areas:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
- Communication and Language (CL)
- Physical Development (PD)
and 4 specific areas:
- Literacy (L)
- Mathematics (M)
- Understanding the World (UW)
- Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)
The Characteristics of effective teaching and learning are also central to all planned learning experiences in our EYFS curriculum.
- Creating and thinking critically
- Active learning
- Playing and exploring
A number of key resources are used to support the development of our curriculum including White Rose Maths, Read Write Inc, Letters and Sounds, ‘The Way, The Truth, The Life’ and WELLCOMM.
All topics are carefully resourced and where possible are introduced with a high quality, diverse story book or age appropriate non – fiction text that reflects the interests and experiences of our children. Emphasis is on learning through play, direct practical experience and led by the interests of our children. There is a combination of adult-led, teacher taught sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities encouraging children to develop their learning independently through discovery, exploration, curiosity and challenge.
Adults scaffold learning through skilful interactions and effective questioning. Our learning environments are high quality, vibrant, stimulating and exciting but most importantly relevant to the needs and age/stage of our children. The language rich internal and external environments are designed to allow children to access resources and the curriculum independently, making their own choices. All environments are adapted regularly to meet the developing needs of the children, providing support and challenge to all.
Assessment is ongoing throughout the year. Pupil progress meetings every term ensures consistency in assessment and planning for all children, identifying those in need of further intervention to accelerate progress.
Formal assessments in the Early Years Foundation stage include…
Baseline: Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s parents, previous settings and read previous learning journeys to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Nursery or Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. This also includes Wellcomm assessment and ASQ meetings with parents
The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment) This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2. This is completed within the first 6 weeks of beginning the Reception year.
Ongoing Observation and quality interactions: All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. ’Wow’ moments are recorded in learning journals and shared with parents and carers.
At St Aidan’s we want each child to get the best possible start in life and to be ready to thrive in KS1. By the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, all children will have reached their personal best and have achieved at least good progress across all areas of learning, aiming for a good level of development (GLD). Even those with SEND or who are at risk of disadvantage, to achieve age-related expectation and/or make excellent progress academically and socially.
Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation – children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey as scientists, historians, artists and geographers.
Our young learners will be able to appreciate and understand the world around them by experiencing and learning about different cultures, celebrations, music, dance, art and history. Children will actively ask questions about the world around them and their learning experiences. They will be able to take risks as this is an opportunity to learn.
We also aim to help children to make sense of the world around them, through our school values of kindness, love, faithfulness and an understanding of their rights and the rights of others in an ever-changing world. They will be able to fulfil our mission: Love God Love One Another.