EYFS - also see curriculum overview each half term
How will your child learn when they join St Peter's?
Our EYFS provision at St Peter’s C of E Primary School and Green Shoots Nursery focuses on the development of children as individuals, providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in Key Stage One and beyond. Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success. Each child’s needs are nurtured through warm and positive relationships between staff and children. Our children flourish in an environment which quickly establishes consistent routines and encourages strong relationships with parents and carers.
Our enabling environments are carefully organised to provide continuous provision for high-quality play-based learning. We want our children to be creative thinkers and risk-takers. We promote a language-rich environment where children are supported through skilful adult interactions to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start. We believe that high level engagement promotes high level attainment. We recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school. Oracy develops children’s thinking and understanding, which in turn promotes self-confidence, resilience and empathy.
The EYFS provision is underpinned by a subtle focus on our three school values of Courage, Inclusiveness and Active World Citizen which when embraced, guide children to step out of their comfort zone in their learning, to recognise each other as unique and special individuals and to become valued and enthusiastic members of St Peter’s community.
Through the careful selection of texts and participation in St Peter’s whole school awareness days and charity events, our children are quickly introduced to the diversity of the world around them. Children are also introduced to the foundations of our whole school Trick Box personal development programme from nursery up.
At St Peter’s C of E Primary and Green Shoots Nursery we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the statutory framework for the EYFS and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children.
EYFS staff regularly introduce new themes to provide inspiration for learning, whilst providing the flexibility for children to follow their own interests and ideas. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. Each day, there is a balance of whole class teaching, including sessions for phonics and maths, directed group time and free-flow learning.
During directed group time and working with children in free flow activities, teachers can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to learning quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in accelerated progress in learning. We measure progress and learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their learning journeys, photographs and videos recorded on Tapestry. Regular communication with parents via Tapestry is valued and allows us to celebrate achievements both in school and at home. All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps.
The curriculum is planned for inside and outside classrooms with equal importance given to learning in both areas. We use our school environment to enable children to strengthen their core muscles through play and ensure that children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through exploratory educational and sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sand pit, water play, digging and construction areas and taking part in forest school sessions. The curriculum is enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations of children.
Language development and reading are at the heart of our curriculum. We have carefully selected a large range of books that not only develop a love of reading, but reflect the diversity within our world. These have been chosen specifically to develop oracy, vocabulary and comprehension and will be embedded in our provision through activities and story sessions. They are also displayed for children to access independently. Children quickly begin to internalise new vocabulary and language patterns and begin to retell stories.
Children are encouraged to become early readers through developing a love of nursery rhymes and songs, an enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics following our own robust phonics programme. In Nursery, children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives. There is a focus on the following counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle. In Reception, we follow the Maths Mastery approach with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and acquire mathematical language.
The delivery of an exciting curriculum ensures that children make good progress from their own starting points. EYFS staff use supporting guidance in Development Matters to monitor children’s progress.
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 enriched play-based exploration alongside the rigour of quality teaching and assessment, as the children move through the early years. A rich diet of balanced learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children.