‘Where the magic begins and the adventures never stop’ Josiyah Martin
Our children follow a broad and balanced curriculum, underpinned by the latest EYFS Framework Sept 2021. There are seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. EYFS Practitioners consider the individual needs, interests and stage of development of each child in their care in order to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience for each child in all of the areas of learning and development. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are known as the three Prime areas of learning:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)- here the children learn how to work and play, cooperate and function in a group, develop personal and moral values, understand themselves and others.
Communication and Language (CL) – here the children are encouraged to listen attentively in a range of situation’s, giving attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity, allowing them to become competent talkers.
Physical Development (PD) – We aim to develop physical control, mobility, awareness of space, and manipulative skills. Established positive attitudes towards a healthy and active way of life.
These prime areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively and become ready for school. Practitioners working with the youngest children focus strongly on these prime areas, but it is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.
The four Specific areas are:
Literacy Development (Lit) – here we develop early literacy skills through reading, writing and phonics activities.
Mathematical Development (M)– here we develop mathematical understanding with a focus on practical mathematics and problem solving.
Understanding of the world (UW)– finding out about the world around them, other people, and features of the natural and man-made world. A foundation for History, Geography, Design technology and Science. We develop children’s experiences of technology offering them a range of equipment and skills.
Expressive Arts and Design (EAD) – we aim to foster the children’s creativity through exploring and using media and materials, developing and using their imaginations and promoting dancing and singing.
These specific areas enable the prime areas to be strengthened and applied. Whilst we recognise that children learn and develop at different rates, there is an expectation that the majority of children will attain a ‘good level of development’ by the end of their EYFS journey; this is defined as achieving the Early Learning Goals for all of the Prime Areas and for the Specific Areas of Literacy and Numeracy.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
In planning and guiding children’s activities, we reflect on the different ways that children learn and we reflect these constantly in our daily practice. The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin the early years curriculum. These include:
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.
Creating and thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies to solve problems in their learning.
Learning through play
At St Thomas More, play in EYFS is an integral part of learning. We are committed to child-initiated learning and believe in learning though well considered play opportunities. Play is central to young children’s learning; it is through play that children learn to make sense of the world around them. For young children there is no distinction between work and play. It is a serious pursuit which enables them to develop concentration, explore ideas and expand their knowledge.
St Thomas More Primary School and Pre-school EYFS
Intent: At St Thomas More Primary School and Pre-school we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences. We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration, adventure and a real love of learning.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their own starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make rapid progress towards the national expectation for a good level of development at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before transitioning into Year One.