EYFS

Intent of the teaching and learning in the Early Years

At St Joseph’s we aim to provide a fun, secure, challenging and rich educational environment that enables each individual to thrive. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong learning journey by developing emotionally, physically, verbally and cognitively whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.

Our Mission statement ‘With God’s guidance, we love, learn, respect and forgive’ is at the heart of everything we do. Our values shape how we behave, what we say, how we build relationships and how we learn. They are incorporated in every aspect of life at St. Joseph’s.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We take into consideration the starting points and needs of each child as they begin their learning journey to ensure that all children make good or better progress within EYFS. Every child has access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum which prepares them for now and for the future. Following personal interests and individual needs, allows us to plan and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning and development and achieve their next steps.

Our EYFS curriculum aims to enable our children to be:

Competent and creative learners; who are curious about the world around them.

Secure and confident; who enjoy coming to school and learning new skills and knowledge building on their existing learning.

Skilful communicators; who connect with others through language and play, ensuring that they play in a vocabulary rich environment.

Implementation of the teaching and learning in the Early Years

Within the EYFS at St Joseph’s, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework, provided by the Department for Education. The framework sets out the requirement for learning and development within the EYFS and focuses on prime and specific areas.

There are seven areas of the EYFS Curriculum:-

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Literacy

Mathematics

Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design

These areas, alongside Religious Education, are used in our planning for the children’s learning and their activities. Planning is flexible to meet the needs and interests of our children and we aim to develop the learning characteristics that will support lifelong learning. At St Joseph’s we want all our children to: –

Learn actively – Where children try their best and persevere even when they face challenges.

Play and explore – Children investigate and experience things and are willing to ‘have a go’.

Create and think critically – Children develop their own ideas both independently and in collaboration with others.

The children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. We use questioning to encourage the children to further explore and wonder about the world around them and through their own investigation they develop their independence, creativity and problem-solving skills. Throughout the day the children have a mix of opportunities to work collaboratively, independently and with members of staff. Indoor and outdoor learning is carefully planned.

A number of key resources are used to support the development of the curriculum including: Development Matters, Read Write Inc Phonics programme and White Rose Maths.

Parents are valued as first educators and every effort is made to inform them of the EYFS curriculum whilst providing them with the tools to continue learning at home. Parents are encouraged to share their child’s achievements. Building secure relationships with children and their families at the early stage is key to understanding how to maximise learning opportunities for every child in our setting.

Impact of the teaching and learning in the Early Years

The children at St Joseph’s leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon. We use learning journey folders, big books and phonic books which evidence, to the children and their families, the successes of the children throughout their time in Early Years.

As a team, we carry out regular internal moderation sessions and also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that these judgements are consistent with a range of other settings.

We use our observations of the children to make formative assessments of their attainment and to inform future planning and build upon the children’s current knowledge. Staff input summative data on a termly basis and complete their own data analysis records to ensure that our children’s progress is monitored carefully. The impact of actions are evaluated and next steps are identified.

The impact of our curriculum can be measured by the way in which our children are inspired and excited about their learning. We work to ensure our children develop into confident and positive learners, who are excited by new challenges and not put off by difficulty. We endeavour to ensure that our children leave the EYFS ready to move with confidence into KS1 and their lifelong learning journey.

St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy - Leicester