Acorn Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 8DW | Tel: 01442 264 835 | Email: admin@albertthegreat.herts.sch.uk
 
St Albert The Great Catholic Primary School
October 21 2021

EYFS

School Office

OUR INTENT

Our EYFS curriculum at St Albert the Great Catholic School aims to enable our children to feel safe, secure and cared for by all in our setting.  We want our children to be life long, competent and creative learners; who are curious about the world in which they live.  We believe that by delivering a broadly enriched, rounded and stimulating learning environment where children can work with adults and peers in a climate of mutual respect and be confident and happy individuals who enjoy coming to school and learning new skills and knowledge building on their existing learning.   By engaging in enriched and meaningful conversations with the children and modelling a good level of language, we feel our children will become good communicators, who connect with others through language and play, ensuring that they play in a vocab rich environment.   We have a learning environment and build relationships which support, enhance and invite a child’s curiosity, confidence and individual competency to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs and it is our intent to ensure that all children will receive the teaching of early reading through systematic, synthetic phonics to learn to read words and simple sentences.  Using the EYFS Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals and the Development Matters document as a guide, we are able to provide a curriculum that we feel enables our children to achieve the desired outcomes at the end of our Foundation Stage, and are ready for the transition to year one. 

IMPLEMENTATION

The EYFS framework 2021 covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.    We meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We recognise that children will learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence that helps them to achieve their fullest potential.

Here at St Albert the Great Catholic School we believe that every child deserves the best possible start to their school life and we aim to provide the best possible support for them to reach their full potential.  Our ethos and practice is shaped by the underlining principles that: •Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. •Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. •Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual needs and help them build their learning over time. •A strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers is fundamental for a child’s learning and development. Children develop and learn in different rates, and recognises the importance of Learning and development. 

Our curriculum provides a play-based and enriched learning environment, combined with focussed teaching and basic skills, to ensure children make good progress through out their time with us, and are ready to move onto the Year 1 curriculum. The children in both Nursery and Reception are provided with ample opportunities accessible in our indoor and outdoor provision. They engage in planned, focussed adult led activities as well as Child Initiated Learning time for self-chosen activities.  Their adult led activities are planned to teach, revisit and deepen the learning of new skills and knowledge across all 7 areas of learning. Be believe that by doing this, the children are more likely to retain information in their long term memory. They are also able to make links with the different topics, areas of learning and life.  Here at St Albert the Great, we believe Child Initiated Learning is also a valuable time for the children.  It supports children’s creative and imaginative learning and development and allows children to put learning and experiences they have had in the adult led sessions into practice in a meaningful way, and allows them to demonstrate their actual understanding.   Through CIL children learn to share and cooperate with peers and develop strategies to deal with conflicts and disagreements.   The children have a level of independence over their play and learning while making their own choices, and adults can support children develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness as well as coordination and agility.  Our large outdoor area and the resources we have such as large building blocks promotes risk taking in a safe and supervised way where the children can gain an awareness of danger, while managing and assessing risks safely. Children are encouraged to evaluate risks and create play opportunities using the large bricks and resources.  CIL also provides great problem solving opportunities and build cooperation skills and the activities promote resilience and confidence in their abilities.  Our curriculum is progressive and builds on skills from when the children enter our EYFS unit in FS1 right through to them achieving the ELG’s at the end of FS2.  it recognises that in order for  children to achieve an end goal, they first need to go on a journey across different stepping stones to complete the path of knowledge. We aim to ‘plug any gaps’ in learning by constantly observing and assessing where children are and what their individual next steps are.

Staff engage in quality conversations with the children and build on their language skills and during CIL staff are able to assess the children’s understanding and level of development and use the play opportunity to extend learning and address miss conceptions.  Staff are not only focused on what the children are learning, but also believe that how they are learning is equally important.  By observing and interacting with children during their CIL time, staff can make skilful judgements about the children’s characteristics of learning. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS are:

playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;

active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and

Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment. We at St Alberts believe that during their earliest years, children form attitudes about learning that will last a lifetime. Children who receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years will be creative, and adventurous learners throughout their lives. 

Staff use their knowledge and skills to provide a language rich environment and challenge children through their CIL time to achieve their next steps as well as through carefully planned adult led activities.

The learning experiences within our Early Years are linked to the seven areas of learning and development in the EYFS. These areas are split into Prime and Specific areas of learning.  The prime areas of learning are–

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development

The Specific areas of learning are –

Literacy

Mathematics

Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design.  

The three prime areas are those which the children should develop first and are considered most essential for the healthy development and future learning of our children. As children grow and make progress in the prime areas, this will help them to naturally develop skills within the four specific areas.  Staff plan resourcefully for opportunities for language and communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenge to build on existing skills and we use rich first hand such as visitors into school, trips, activities inside and outside, to widen experiences, awe and wonderment to engage the children in the learning and topics which are covered across the year.  These topics are a combination of things that arise from children’s personal interests, our RE scheme of work and also adult chosen themes.

IMPACT

With the successful implementation of both an enriched, rounded and balanced curriculum and a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors children will be able to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to be successful learners.  Our Children at St Albert the Great will experience a smooth transition between Nursery, Reception and beyond. We use online learning journals across the EYFS, supplemented with exercise books in Reception for RE, writing and Maths, which evidence to the children and their families the successes of the children throughout their time in Early Years. Children will be actively engaged in learning and their enjoyment of this learning will be apparent to all and they will show resilience, independence and have confidence in their abilities.

Children will make good progress across all areas of development, and where appropriate, steps will be put in place to support those who are not.  Children at the end of Foundation stage will have developed essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. Children at St Albert the Great will be well rounded, happy, inquisitive and successful learners, with a positive attitude to learning and be ready to face the NC as they move into year 1.

End of Reception Early Learning Goals