Early Years at St Michael's
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. 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. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.
- To deliver quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind
- Each child is given a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly
- Positive relationships and partnerships working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers
- Ensure equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported
The curriculum in Early Years at St Michael’s is designed to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all children. It facilitates them to gain the skills, knowledge and understanding, as they start out on their educational journey, supporting them to progress from their individual starting points and preparing them for the next stage of their education.
Through the seven areas of learning, we provide topics that excite and engage children, building on own interests and developing their experiences of the world around them. We recognise that all children come into our setting with varied experiences and all staff work hard to ensure that the learning opportunities provided widen their knowledge and understanding of the world, setting ambitious expectations for all children. This also involves creating an indoor and outdoor environment which supports and embeds learning.
At St Michael’s, we work to build a partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
At St Michael’s, Early Years is implemented by:
- Ensuring all of the areas of the EYFS Curriculum are covered through continuous provision, carefully planned child initiated tasks and adult led focus groups, encouraging and developing each child’s characteristics of learning.
- Teaching Religious Education weekly and recording children’s ideas and questions in our collective RE book.
- Teaching our English Curriculum using the Literacy Tree. This includes using quality texts that are matched to the children’s’ interests.
- The maths curriculum is taught using White Rose mathematic scheme of learning. This embeds a deep understanding of number and shape, space and measure.
- Teaching phonic sessions daily. This is then followed up with adult led focus groups to meet each child’s needs (through filling the gaps).
- Filling the gaps is used to identify each child’s needs in all seven areas of learning. These needs are then met through adult led focus groups and child initiated tasks.
- Pupils have opportunities to share their learning with their parents and carers through Tapestry.
- ‘Stay and Play’ sessions allow parents to join in learning activities alongside their children and share the school experience.
- Carefully assessing, through observations, which are recorded on Tapestry and shared with parents. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs.
- Developing an effective and engaging environment that is set up so that children can access all areas of learning both inside and outside at any one time.
- Supporting parents to help them support their children. This is done by sharing videos and having an open door policy where parents can request supportive meetings.
- Children at St Michael’s demonstrate high levels of engagement in activities, developing their speaking and listening skills, enabling them to access more areas of the learning and communicate to both adults and children. Children develop skills across all areas of the curriculum including literacy, mathematics and physical development using these in different ways.
- EYFS results at St Michael’s are above national for Good level of development.
- Children have developed a wider sense of the world around them and can draw on these experiences during interactions with others and link this to new learning to their existing knowledge.
- Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
- From their own starting points, children will make progress academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves so that they are well prepared for Key Stage 1.
- Adults use their observations to inform future planning to ensure all children’s needs are met.
- Assessment judgements are moderated both in school, in partnerships with our MAT schools and externally. The teacher undertakes moderator training through the LA which helps validate school judgements.