At The Small Schools Multi Academy Trust we believe that the Early Years are critical in children’s development and that the EYFS builds a firm basis for future learning, development and independence.
Here at St Mary's we ensure every child is provided with;
- a happy, secure, well-ordered and stimulating environment, where children can develop as independent individuals through interaction with sensitive adults and other children.
- a broad and balanced curriculum which extends previous learning and covers the seven areas of learning as set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (Sept 2014).
- a calm and encouraging learning environment where children are supported in developing a positive attitude towards learning, self-motivation, curiosity, confidence and responsibility.
- Enriching, first hand learning experiences rooted in purposeful play in which they can become actively engaged, expressing thoughts, ideas and feelings.
These opportunities will develop the whole child socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually and aesthetically. It will encourage every child to believe and achieve, and enable every child to fly like an eagle in everything that they do!
EARLY YEARS CURRICULUM
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape educational programmes in our early years classes. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
The three prime areas of learning are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
There are four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Planning in all topics includes the following:
- Communication and language development which 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 provides opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development which 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.
- Literacy development which 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 which involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the world which 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 enables children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, 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 staff set high expectations for children’s attainment and progress. Sessions are organised so that there is a balance of teacher initiated and child initiated activities. The children’s own interests and experiences are valued and their learning takes these into account. Teaching always allows for the opportunity to explore the unexpected and fly like eagles.
We use a range of different phonics and reading schemes in EYFS.
For our Guided Reading sessions we are using Rigby Star.