At St John Fisher Catholic Primary School
The Early Years curriculum is rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating but safe environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenges, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning through the rich experiences that we offer.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. It is important to ensure all children are mentally and emotionally happy as they continue their learning journey with us.
We promote and teach the meaning of the core values: Love, Service, Courage, Faith, Hope, Forgiveness and Justice. The values are used daily as we talk about our learning and describe our journey with Christ.
We aim for our children to be confident and independent learners, believe in themselves and interact positively with adults and peers.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
We foster warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
We recognise the important role that early year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
At St John Fisher School we meet the all requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children.
We ensure we provide a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes and stories, providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. The children are encouraged to develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
We have built our school environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit and water play. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children's interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. All planning is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships in our school community between home and school. Parents receive knowledge organisers each half term to inform them of what their child is learning each half term and to explain how they can support this at home. We provide communication sheets which enables parents to pre teach the learning for the following week, including questions to ask and activities to complete which supports the learning.
Parents enjoy using Evidence me to engage in their child's learning and share experience from home.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of Teacher/Nursery nurse observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensures that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year 1. Children become confident in self-managing and are able to self-regulate better by the use their language learnt over the year.
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas articulately and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment. Our great relationships with parents ensure that good support is coming from home and that we work together on this learning journey.
The EYFS Leader is Louisa Hinds.