Early Years Curriculum Statement
Rational / Vision
Founded in hope St. Mary’s CE (VA) Primary School is a place where all can find their voice, grow in wisdom and live well in community and service.
Living in Community and Service:
We know that early years is the time in which to build crucial relationships with parents, we recognise that they are their children first and foremost educators and it takes a whole community to raise a child. We welcome parents and carers into our school to share reading mornings, target setting and to enjoy playing with their children. In doing this we can share information and build up a holistic view of the child.
Finding our Voice:
Within St Mary’s early years unit, we pride ourselves on our ability to support children to develop their language. We understand that to grow and develop in to strong resilient learners’ children need to be able to use high quality language across all areas of learning; to voice their opinions, extend play, show their understanding and develop their emotional literacy. We are a communication friendly setting and place speaking and listening at the heart of everything we do.
Growing in Wisdom:
Within our early years unit, we have high ambitions and expectations of all children regardless of their backgrounds, circumstances or needs. We hope that our curriculum continually provides a purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge equips children for their future learning at St Mary’s.
The Development matters document along with the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals set out end of reception expectations for children by the end of Foundation stage. At St Mary’s we aim to provide the children with a broad and balanced curriculum that is meaningful to their lives and the world around them. The early years curriculum has been coherently planned and is sequenced so that all children have secure foundations to build their learning upon. We aim to provide children with the cultural capital the need to become successful by providing high quality first-hand experiences.
Our curriculum and learning environments are designed around continuously meeting all children’s individual needs we encourage active learning both within the EYFS unit and in the outdoor areas. We ensure that the overarching principles of the EYFS are nurtured and developed over time, these are;
- Unique Child- We recognise that every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Positive relationships- We promote that children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships and working in partnership with parents and families is a priority.
- Enabling environments- We believe that children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
- Learning and development – We aim to provide rich opportunities for children to develop and learn in different ways. At St Mary’s, we understand that children achieve well and that learning is deeper when teaching and learning is matched to their interests and is relevant to their lives. The majority of our teaching learning is play based.
As a unit we actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all the children and ensure their needs are always met. We ensure that children who have SEND are quickly identified and that, if needed, outside agency support is sought and advice is immediately acted in.
Provision / Implementation –
The statutory Framework for early Years reflects three prime areas and four specific areas of learning, all are equally valued at St Mary’s. However, we do recognise that high quality communication and language is the gateway to all learning.
At St Mary’s we believe that children learn best through play and meaningful first-hand experiences, we teach through the provision areas and scaffold children in their play. Within our early years unit you will see all staff providing high quality interactions with children to further and deepen their learning. Staff are skilled in in questioning and using high quality language. We provide a ethos of exploration and having a go, all resources and enhancements are carefully chosen with the intent of furthering children’s learning, capturing their interest and providing opportunities for them to process information into long term memory.
At St Marys we use the Little Wandle from reception to provide a rigorous systematic, synthetic phonics approach, this enable children to develop their reading skills and read books that match their phonics ability. Prior to this, children are expose to an extensive phase 1 approach to tune them into the sounds around them as well as learning to segment and blend confidently.
With mathematics we ensure that children become confident mathematicians and who explore mathematical concepts by using a range of concrete resources and high-quality adult questioning.
At St Mary’s assessment is continual in order for adults to support children achieve their next step. We use both observations and staff knowledge of the children to accumulate in-depth assessments of the children at three assessment points throughout the year. These are shared with parents and weekly updates to how parents can support their children at home are shared.
Throughout the reception year teaching and learning prepares children for their transition into year 1.
We hope that through the successful design and implementation of our curriculum, that is enriched with first- hand experiences and high quality vocabulary, all children will have received an education that is well- structured, meaningful and challenging both within the indoors and outdoors learning environment. We hope that children fully appreciate and understand the world around them through experiencing different, culture, art, music, dance and history. Children will be skilful problem solvers and have developed strong resilience and independent learning skills. We hope that children have compassion and understanding of their rights and those around them. Children leaving St Mary’s early years unit will be ready for Year one and learning beyond.