EYFS at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our Curriculum
Our EYFS Lead is Michelle De Carteret
At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, the EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. Our curriculum embraces the community in which it is situated, recognising local history, heritage, geographical situation and most importantly, the aspirations of all our children.
We place strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our school community has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome the differences within our school community.
The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.
We value the importance of vocabulary and immerse our children in a rich language which is ambitious for all pupils.
The St Joseph’s EYFS curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:
Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
We use a Growth Mindset approach to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year. We have strong links with our Parish Priest Father Firth who works with the children. Children leave the school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
The St Joseph’s Catholic Primary EYFS Curriculum engages all children and ensures that all children make good progress from their starting points. A number of key resources are used support the development of the curriculum including Development Matters, Lancashire EYFS Curriculum Support Materials, Journey in Love, The Way the Truth and the Life and Come & See RE.
The school has recognised the use of clear, focused learning intentions as an effective tool in gaining intended learning outcomes. Staff working within the EYFS receive regular training to ensure their interactions with the children reflect current best practice, are valuable, support each individual child and move learning on.
Where possible the children’s own interests are used by the adults to engage the children in higher level thinking and deeper learning. Child initiated learning is valued and encouraged. Through adult led learning we introduce new concepts and knowledge, the progression of which can be led by the children through enabling environments and continuous provision.
Each half termly topic is enhanced through a variety of first hand experiences (visits and visitors). These give all of the children a shared experience through which to explore and develop language, knowledge and skills. Constructed and deconstructed role play is also seen a valuable tool to support delivery of the curriculum and the development of key language skills.
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 in school learning at home. Parents are also encouraged to inform school of their child’s interests and achievements at home as these are an essential part of each child’s learning journey. Strategies to include and inform parents include, ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, topic webs which are sent home, Phonics Workshops, Good News Assemblies, Class Assemblies, Reading Records and updates on our Twitter Feed.
At St. Joseph’s the impact of the EYFS Curriculum is that all children make good progress from their individual starting points. All children get the best possible start to their school life and develop the knowledge and skills to reach and exceed their potential in KS1. They develop and nurture strong, positive attitudes where they become proud and respectful of themselves, others and their environment. Leaders assure the aims and focus of the EYFS curriculum sufficiently challenges our children.