Early Years Intent, Implementation and Impact
At St Cuthberts’s Primary School our Early Years Team is committed to providing children with the best possible start to school life, providing children with opportunities to follow their interests to ensure future success. We strive to ensure our children are happy, enthusiastic and confident learners with aspirations to excel in whatever they choose to do.
We aim to develop a love of learning by providing children with a safe, stimulating learning environment that build on each individual’s needs and interests. We believe learning should be fun, engaging and suitably challenging.
The EYFS provides children with a broad and balanced curriculum of play-based activities alongside aspects of adult-directed teaching and learning opportunities. We aim to provide high-quality education for all our children, laying strong foundations for their future learning and development.
Our stimulating learning environments, both inside and outside, provide children with a variety of resources to discover and explore through child-initiated play. Our classrooms are accessible to all, allowing children to gain independence whilst exploring and learning safely. The immersive learning environments are highly stimulating and provide opportunities to develop crucial social, emotional and communication skills. We value the importance of outdoor learning and believe that it should provide children with opportunities to develop their thinking and problem solving skills. We aim to replicate real-life learning experiences and provide practical, first hand learning opportunities to enhance children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Parent and carer partnership is a key factor in the progress that children make during their time in the Early Years. We value parent communication to achieve the full picture of each individual child’s development and learning journey.
At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School the teaching and learning within the Early Years is planned around a topic that is based on the children’s interests. Any planned teacher led activities help the children to achieve the Nursery and Reception Early Years Outcomes. When developing the medium term plan, Early Years staff ensure they incorporate all of the 7 areas of learning:
The areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
The indoor and outdoor continuous provision is also enhanced with topic based activities to motivate, enthuse and embed children’s skills around the theme. Children can suggest ideas of activities they would like to persue or they may be observed doing something that staff wish to extend.
All the medium term plans are shown on the website so parents can see which learning outcomes we are focusing on. Observation in the children’s learning jounreys along with photos on the website, Facebook and Twitter also show parents what the children have been learning about.
We encourage parents to share information on the electronic learning journeys about activities their child might have participated in at home that we could on at school.
The Early Years Curriculum is taught by learning through play and through small group, individual and whole class teacher directed activities.
During play, we want to establish the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We develop children’s active learning skills and help them to understand and respond to feedback. Perseverance is highly valued and praised. We strongly believe that in order to develop resilience, we must teach children to be independent learners who problem solve for themselves and know to keep trying and how and when to access help. Excitement and motivation for learning are developed through planning fun, engaging and challenging lessons based on the needs for the children. We follow the fascinations and interests of the children and teaching and learning is fast paced to respond to the changing needs of individuals.
The length of directed teaching and group work will increase as the children progress through Nursery and Reception. We try and ensure that the whole class teaching sessions are fast paced, active and engaging to keep the children focued on their learning.
We regularly assess the pupils when they are playing and during teacher directed activities. We use these assessments to build up a picture of where a child is working within the Early Years Outcome statements and in the Summer term of Reception, Early Learning Goals. We compare data for different groups of children and identify if any pupils are underachieving or not working at the expected level for their age. Intervention groups are delivered to groups of children who need extra support to be at the expected level of development. We aim for all of the children to achieve their full potential in the Early Years and want to prepare the pupils for when they leave Reception so they are ‘Year 1 ready’ to embrace the National Curriculum.