Welcome to Early Years
At St Faith's, our school vision is ‘learning together for all to succeed’ – this begins in our foundation stage.
We believe all children should practice shared moral values and celebrate our Christian distinctiveness as a Church of England school. We strive for our pupils to be confident, independent learners who are equipped with skills for the future; have a love of learning that lasts a lifetime, enabling them to achieve their highest aspirations; work together in a respectful environment where every member of our community can truly flourish. In early years we believe that every pupil is unique. We ensure all children have the opportunity to develop and learn in a safe and nurturing environment where play and learning is combined. Through practical learning experiences, we strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity. We are committed to giving our pupils the best possible start to their school life, teaching them skills that ensure their wellbeing now and success in the future.
At St Faith's we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This consists of four overriding principles, which our Early Year’s curriculum is based upon:
Unique Child – Every child is unique child; each child is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships with others.
Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling and stimulating environments, which provide for their needs and where there is a strong partnership between practitioners, 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.
The EYFS Framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development. The curriculum advocates for play-based learning which enables children to build and maintain vital skills to prepare them for Year 1 and for their life-long learning journey. Children at St Faiths are provided with ample opportunities to meet their full potential, both within our carefully planned indoor and outdoor provision and through focused adult-led activities. The learning experiences that we provide for children are linked to the 7 areas of learning and the 3 characteristics of effective learning. We constantly refer to these areas and characteristics when planning, preparing, assessing and observing the children.
The three prime areas are those that the children should develop first and are considered most essential for the healthy development and future learning of our children. These include:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Children will be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. They will learn how to look after their bodies and manage personal needs independently.
Communication and Language –Children will experience a rich language environment. They will be encouraged to share their ideas and through sensitive questioning, children will be invited to elaborate and become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Physical Development – Children will develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. They will also work on fine motor control and precision, which helps with hand-eye coordination and is vital for literacy development.
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 – Children will develop a love of reading – they develop comprehension and word reading. Children will be taught to decode words through our RWI phonics programme and will learn the speedy recognition of unfamiliar words. Children will learn to write words and sentences using their knowledge of phonics, decoding some words and learning to spell others. They will learn to compose their writing (articulate their ideas and structuring them in speech
Mathematics – Children will be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers.
Understanding the World – Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. Children will be exposed to a range of experiences which will increase their knowledge and sense of the world around them.
Expressive Arts and Design – The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children will have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Children will be encouraged to participate in the arts to develop understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate.
Alongside these areas of development, there are also the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which describe how a child learns best. The three characteristics are:
Playing and exploring - children play, investigate, experience and ‘have a go’.
Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying when they encounter difficulties.
Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.
Children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum and staff plan resourcefully for opportunities for communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenge to build on existing skills taking into account the Characteristics of Effective Learning.