EYFS Vision Statement
Purpose and Intent
At St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, we believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst embedding a positive attitude to school and love of learning. We value each child as an individual and are passionate in allowing all children to achieve their full, unique potential. We aim to work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive. We begin each new academic year by looking at the individual needs of our children, taking into account their different interests and starting points so that we can carefully develop a flexible curriculum full of rich learning experiences which inspire and motivate our children.
At Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School, we follow the Early Years Stage framework. This is made up of four overarching principles.
Unique Child – Every child is unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Our broad and balanced curriculum is based around exciting topics and purposeful play based activities. We then embellished this by having a solid understanding of the needs and interest of our children and plan for these accordingly.
We use a systematic approach when teaching synthetic phonics and ensure that the children have ample opportunity to practise and apply these developing skills through the continuous provision within our language rich environment. Through reading, children will be introduced to new vocabulary and concepts in order to broaden their own knowledge and enjoyment of books. Staff modelling Standard English and asking high quality questions enables children to develop their own communication and language skills. We also teach key skills and knowledge in maths, RE and topic which are also then embedded through our stimulating and exciting learning environments and activities.
Our well-resourced, organised and carefully planned learning environment allows for children to access focused activities as well as giving them the opportunity to follow their own interest through self-initiated play. The environment is accessible to all children and is thoughtfully adapted regularly to meet the different and developing needs of our children. Within our exciting and engaging learning environment we promote independence within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently.
The engaging and meaningful learning experiences within our setting are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. The prime areas are considered most essential for healthy development and future learning. These include:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical Development – involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
As children grow and make progress in the prime areas, this will help them to naturally develop skills within the four specific areas. These are:
Literacy – the early teaching of literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics – the early teaching of mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and describing shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the World – this involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive Arts and Design – this involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
The teaching of these areas of learning is a practical combination of both child-initiated and adult-led sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities. Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the heart of the EYFS Curriculum are the Characteristics of Effective Learning. At St Francis, we strive to develop these key characteristics of Playing and Learning, Active Learning and Thinking Critically in order to give the children the skills that they will continue to draw upon throughout their development.
At St Francis we use a progress model throughout the learning environments and planned activities. This allows us to support children in practising and developing key skills before adding an extra level of challenge whether this is through new resources, introducing new ideas or adult interactions.
Within our EYFS Curriculum, children are assessed continuously through accurate and important observations. These provide us with information for future planning, not only for our individual classes but also for individual children’s next steps in their learning.
Our children will grow to be confident, competent lifelong learners who are self-motivated, independent, kind and happy individuals. Effective communication and collaboration with others ensure the children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon. Assessment starts with careful observations which are then used to inform planning. Learning and teaching is thus effective when children feel a sense of belonging, curiosity and competence. By monitoring assessment procedures regularly, we can effectively demonstrate what learning is taking place and how each child is progressing in all seven areas of the EYFS curriculum. As a team, we carry out regular internal moderation sessions as well as with other early years settings within our MAT. Our online learning journal, provides evidence of children’s significant achievements as well as fostering strong links between home and school, allowing parents to celebrate and share in their child’s successes throughout their time in Early Years.