Early Years Foundation Stage

Intent

At St. Mary’s our ethos and core values are for all of our children to live, and learn inspired by their faith, whilst recognizing and respecting that other people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways. Our staff are dedicated to creating a safe, secure and happy learning environment where all of the children in our care are supported and nurtured. With their health, safety and well-being being paramount, we provide high-quality early education, treating every child as an individual who learns at their own pace. We understand that the children arriving in our Early Years setting will all have different experiences and prior knowledge, in their learning and play. Our staff ensure that they take the time to get to know each child well, through their interactions and working closely and in partnership with parents, carers and other appropriate bodies involved with the child. Staff commit themselves to delivering a carefully-planned, rich and ambitious curriculum to meet the needs of the children across the Early Years setting, providing them with the best possible start to their early education. We intend to prepare the children for school readiness and future success, in a way that inspires and captures their awe and wonder about the world in which they live. It is of great importance to us to support our children to develop their emotional literacy so that they can understand and manage their emotions, have empathy for others and love one another, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Implementation

The Curriculum is delivered through real-life, hands-on experiences. Our learning environment (both indoors and outdoors) is well-resourced and stimulating to allow the children to explore, investigate and learn through first-hand experiences. We encourage the children to be independent and confident learners, who are able to speak with increasing fluency, consistently using new vocabulary in order for them to communicate effectively. We believe that this supports our children to have a secure foundation for future learning, particularly preparing them to become avid readers. The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage gives the children a broad range of knowledge and skills which provides the children with a strong base for future progress through school and life. We seek to deliver the Statutory Framework, and more as we plan an enriched, and personalised curriculum to inspire our children and their interests.

Impact

Throughout the year we observe and assess all of the children in our Early Years setting, which is an integral part of the learning and development process. Our assessments and observations are carried out through interactions and drawing on the knowledge that we have of each child. This helps us to identify the children’s: needs, recognise their progress and helps us to plan and deliver a curriculum that meets the needs of all of the individuals in our care. Parents are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development during the course of the year and are always welcomed to share their child’s learning and special moments that take place outside of school with us too. The children develop their knowledge and skills across the seven areas of learning, through play as well as self-led and adult-led activities and learning inputs. We have on-going dialogue with parents, practitioners and other appropriate bodies regarding each child’s learning and development, this supports successful transitions across the Early Years and into Key Stage 1.