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St Barnabas

& St Paul's Church of England Primary School

Early Years Curriculum

Intent

At St Barnabas and St Paul’s Primary School, we provide our children with a curriculum that is designed to be flexible, engaging and exciting so that the children’s needs, passions and interests are embraced. Oracy, language development and reading are at the heart of our curriculum and as the children begin their journey at our school, learning starts with a curriculum based around quality texts. Through our reading centred approach, we hope for the children to have a love of reading, develop their spoken language and improve their understanding and comprehension.

 

The curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning and experiences, influenced by their home and community. We provide a wealth of first-hand learning experiences to fill the gaps from pupils’ backgrounds, allowing the children to become successful, confident learners who are able to access a broad and balanced curriculum.

 

Every child is an exceptional individual and we celebrate and respect difference within our diverse school community. Our Christian values (linked closely to British Values) underpin everything we do and act as a guide for the children to live a good life and reach their future successes. We prioritise children’s spiritual, cultural and moral development to ensure that they become well-rounded and confident individuals who impact positively on society.

 

Our aims;

 

  • Provide a curriculum that is inclusive, nurturing and tailored towards the needs of the individual child.
  • Provide a curriculum that is focused on developing the best oracy, literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Work closely with families to equip them with the skills necessary to support their children to ‘be the best for God that they can be’.
  • Provide a curriculum that offers our children a wide range of rich, first-hand experiences providing opportunities to try new things and encouraging them to relish a new challenge. 
  • Provide an indoor and outdoor learning environment that supports children to achieve their potential and support those who need additional help in order to maximise their chances of achieving the Early Learning Goals.
  • Have high expectations for all of our children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, Pupil Premium or EAL children, encouraging them to develop perseverance and achieve far more than they expected.
  • Prepare our children to reach the Early Learning goals at the end of the Reception and ensure children are KS1 ready.  
  • To work closely with the Year One teachers to provide a seamless transition for the children as they leave the Foundation Stage.

 

 

Implementation

In Reception, 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 classroom that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence and independence.

Our Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and work towards the Early Learning Goals.

The seven areas of learning are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 

The core aim of the Foundation stage is to provide a strong and solid platform for future learning to be built upon. The seven areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. However, the three prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building children’s capacity to learn.

As children grow and progress, the prime areas will support them to develop skills in the four specific areas.

Children learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place in both indoor and outdoor classrooms. We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These 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.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

 

Our themes are driven from child-centred topics with a focus on providing the children with a range of rich, first-hand experiences which motivate the children, and are deeply rooted in the love of stories and reading. The teaching staff in Reception have a strong knowledge of the EYFS curriculum which they use to plan a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum for all of our children. With a curriculum based around quality texts, effective continuous provision practise and principles support our children to develop independence, creativity and to deepen their understanding of key concepts and skills.

We provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and support their child, equipping them with the skills necessary to support their children to ‘be the best for God that they can be’. We encourage parents and carers to share the children’s learning and celebrate their successes.

 

Impact

The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children transitioning into Year 1. We want every child to have the best possible start in life and be ready to thrive as they move into KS1. We aim for all of our children to make good progress from their starting points and achieve the Early Learning Goals.

 

At St Barnabas and St Paul’s Primary School, we measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessment which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child and their independent learning journeys. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.

 

Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using development matters and the Early Learning Goals. The Reception team meet regularly to discuss children’s learning and development and how they can best meet the needs of the children to ensure they are ‘on track’ to achieving the Early Learning Goals. We measure the percentage of children achieving age related expectations throughout the academic year, and put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND, Pupil Premium or EAL children. At the end of Reception, teachers complete the EYFS profile and each child is assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals.

 

The impact of our curriculum is also measured by how effectively it helps our children develop into well rounded individuals, who embody our Christian values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them confident lifelong learners who impact positively on society.  We endeavour our children to be ‘Key Stage 1 Ready’ by the time they leave Reception.

 

The teaching and pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly through regular team meetings and coaching sessions with the Early Years Lead and the Head teacher. The meetings have an agenda and actions which are then reviewed in the following meeting. We ensure that the areas we discuss and develop are reflected in changes and developments in our classroom practice. The staff are committed to raising standards in Reception by attending relevant CPD and ensure each child at St Barnabas and St Paul’s has the best start on their school journey. The Early Years provision heavily features in the School Development Plan and has a rigorous plan for development each year. This is monitored and evaluated by the EYFS Lead, the Senior Leadership team and the Head teacher.

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