At St Luke’s C.E. Primary school, we believe every child deserves the best possible start in life and our overriding aim in the Early Years Foundation Stage is to provide children with a positive foundation for life-long learning. Our school vision is ‘Laying the Foundations for Life’ and our core values of love, thankfulness and hope, underpin all that we do.
We know that the support that children receive in the Early Years is crucial in enabling them to fulfil their potential. We also know that children develop quickly in the Early Years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. For this reason, our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and provision aims to ensure that we provide teaching and learning that gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life, enabling them to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
We make use of the Early Years Framework and Development Matters to plan our curriculum. We also build our provision around Julian Grenier’s, ‘7 principles of effective practice’. We specifically aim to provide the best for every child. We want every child to make good progress and to ensure that no child gets left behind by planning for the learning and development of all children, assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
We aim to provide high quality care and will take steps to keep children safe and promote their welfare. We know that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met, and when, they have positive relationships with the adults caring for them. We ensure that our curriculum sets out clearly what we want children to learn.
A clear priority is placed on teaching children to read and phonics is taught using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Scheme, right from the start when children begin school. Find out more about our Phonics teaching by clicking the link below.
Activities planned in Year R also take into account specific setting and cohort needs. For example, we know that in the local area, tooth decay is a major issue so we will, for example, teach children about looking after their teeth.
As a HeartSmart School, children in Year R also learn about being HeartSmart and children are introduced to the idea of being HeartSmart and Boris, the robot, in readiness for further Relationships and Health learning throughout the school. Find out more about HeartSmart by clicking on the link below.
The school makes use of Learning Heroes to teach children how to be successful learners and in preparation for learning in KS1 and 2, children are also be introduced to the school’s Learning Heroes in Year R. Find out more about our Learning Heroes by clicking the link below.
The school also has a Drop Everything and Listen Area, promoting children’s love of a wide range of music. In the Year R classroom, there are lots of opportunities for Year R to access this online listening area.
Our curriculum planning is flexible so that we can respond and adapt to children’s interests. Careful sequencing ensures children are helped to build their learning over time. Depth in early learning is prioritised rather than covering lots of things in a superficial way. The EYFS Statutory Framework outlining the educational programmes for each of the 7 areas of learning in the EYFS and Development Matters is used as a skeleton alongside knowledge of the children to design a meaningful set of curriculum experiences in Year R. What is planned and delivered in Year R will form the foundations for learning in KS1 and KS2.
We particularly want to develop children’s language skills. We ensure a strong focus on language development and an emphasis on developing children’s vocabulary. Using a mix of different approaches to help children to learn, at St Luke’s children will learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other, and through guided learning and direct teaching. Our well-planned learning environment, indoors and outside means that enabling environments are carefully organised for high-quality play. In all learning, children are encouraged to play and explore, to take part in active learning, to create and think critically.
As children grow older and move into the reception year, there is a greater focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge needed to help children to prepare for year 1. In all that we do, we want to work in partnership with parents as we know this sets the scene for children to thrive in the early years.
Assessments, regular observations and day to day interactions check what children have learnt, focus on noticing what children can do and what they know. Ongoing assessments are used to build up knowledge of children’s levels of understanding and progress and are used to understand children’s needs and to plan activities and support.
The Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is a short national assessment that is taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts in Reception.
In the Summer term, the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. The EYFS Profile provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well- rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1. Each child’s level of development in the Summer term is assessed against the early learning goals, indicating whether children are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’).