Menu
locked unlocked translate search
Home Page

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School

Inspiration, Celebration and Education

EYFS

EYFS curriculum     

 

‘Where the magic begins and the adventures never stop’  Josiyah Martin   

                                                                                                                                                      

The Curriculum

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.

Our EYFS Intent, Implementation and Impact.

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.
It is our intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which values all cultures, communities and people. We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our early years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and uninterrupted child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes for pupils.
Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
We recognise the crucial role that early year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.

 

Implementation:
At St Thomas More Primary School and Pre-school we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. 
We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Experienced early years’ staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through RWI. The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. We want our children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
We have developed our school environment to enable our children to strengthen their core muscles through physical play, children spend time outdoors in their natural environment in all weathers. They develop through wonderful, exploratory, sensory experiences in our mud kitchen, sandpit and taking part in ‘Welly Wednesday’ sessions. Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children's interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions through skilled adult facilitated play.
The curriculum is taught through themes which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Themes are supported by quality key texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children's education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school.  Parents receive knowledge organisers each half term to inform them of what their child is learning each half term and to explain how they can support this at home. Parents enjoy using Tapestry to engage in their child's learning and share experience from home.   
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing
assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.

 

Impact:

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. 
Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. 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 our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and the rigour of assessment.

Check out our Nursery and Reception class pages for more information and to see what exciting things we have been up to in school. 

Top