The Early Years Foundation Stage at St Mary’s 2022/2023
Intent Statement At At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, the EYFS curriculum is designed to encourage independent, inquisitive and enthusiastic learners. We recognise children’s prior learning and different starting points. We aim for our curriculum to be child centred following the interest and fascinations of the children in all seven areas of learning and to provide the essential foundations for future learning. Our love of God is at the heart of everything we do with a strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral and cultural development of our pupils.
Rationale and Learning Sequence Every child is a unique individual with different interests and we provide them with the opportunities and the resources to follow their imagination and creativity. The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, language, knowledge, concepts and values. We recognise that children love new experiences and have a thirst for knowledge and so should be provided with exciting opportunities for their inquisitive minds. Therefore we provide vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, that follow’s children’s interests to support learners investigating and developing their skills.
We build good links with many of our feeder pre-schools and work in close partnership with parents throughout the year to support their learning and to encourage the children to reach their full potential. We support the transition from EYFS to Key Stage One and provide children with the skills and attitude they need to succeed throughout their education.
Our curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework which specifies the requirements for learning and development in the EYFS and provides the prime and specific areas of learning that we must cover in our curriculum.
- Children learn through a balance of child initiated and adult directed activities and challenges.
- The timetable is structured to ensure the children have daily direct teaching in phonics, mathematics and topic work. (These sessions are followed up by small group or individual work with an adult so that the children can practise their skills and consolidate their learning.).
- Children will have an opportunity to work independently, collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff and are provided with plenty of time to engage child initiated play.
- Our provision is planned to ensure a variety of experiences that are both challenging and engaging.
- Planning for both indoor and outdoor provision promotes sustained thinking and active learning across the curriculum.
- Children make their own decisions about where they learn best and teachers ensure that there are opportunities for all areas of learning both inside and outside.
- Reading is at the heart of our curriculum; children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as they follow the daily structured approach of learning to read. There is a daily story time and the children chose a library book to take home twice a week.
- Our mathematics is based on a mathematics mastery approach; we use the White Rose scheme as our starting point. Children learn through games, practical tasks and direct teaching which focuses on deepening understanding and building the number sense of smaller numbers. Additionally, children have the opportunity to discuss and experiment with larger numbers so they understand them in context without yet having to understand their composition.
Learning in the Early Years at St. Mary’s is supported by wide range enrichment activities including welcoming visitors such as police officers, doctors and fire fighters to tell the children about their lives. Children visit the cinema, theatre or and The National Gallery; these trips are further enhanced by travelling on public transport. Locally, Beckenham Place Park is the venue for a series of Forest School lessons provided by the FSC. Each year we learn about four Other Faiths and welcome visitors and family members to talk about their Faith with the children. Through the EYFS curriculum children develop resilience, perseverance; their successes are celebrated and every child feels valued and respected. These early foundations build the principles of positive behaviour for learning, enquiry and a want to learn so that in the next stages of their learning journey children are able to know more, remember more and do more as they progress through the primary phase of their learning journey and beyond.