'The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn.'
Early Years Foundation Stage
Miss North is the Early Years Foundation Stage leader.
This is what she says about the early years.
Working in Reception is so rewarding, there are never two days that are the same and working with our youngest children at St Paul's is a real privilege. I love being able to teach a child something new and seeing that spark when a child understands a new concept never grows old. Watching the children develop academically over the course of the year, becoming independent learners and building relationships that they will take with them throughout their time at St Paul's is an honour.
At St Paul's we use the new Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 2021 as the basis for our curriculum.
Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years settings. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
At St Paul's we recognise that all children are different.
We identify and celebrate their strengths and support their areas for development.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
At St Paul's our pupils interact well with each other and with the adults in the school.
We encourage parents to be involved with their child’s education.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
At St Paul's our indoor and outdoor areas encourage exploration, investigation, and independent learning.
Our displays and resources are well maintained and reflect current learning.
- Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
At St Paul's pupils achieve well and make good progress from their starting points.
Learning is playful, practical, and purposeful and builds upon prior attainment.
Our children enjoy coming to school.
Learning and Development
The Framework outlines 7 areas of learning and development which shape the educational programme. All the areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.
These are the prime areas:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
The Educational Programme for each area of learning, as outlined in the Framework, has been worked into our rich curriculum that meets the needs of all children.
For each area of learning, we have created 3 Curriculum goals that we want the children in Reception to achieve by the end of a academic year. These goals are bespoke to St Paul's.
You can view the goals by clicking here.
From there we have broken down the Educational Programme into smaller steps, which develop over the three terms. We have used Development Matters 2021 and Birth to 5 Matters to support us in planning our curriculum and developing these smaller steps.
To view the long term curriculum plan for Reception click here.
To view our EYFS Policy click here.
To view the Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement click here.
On entry to Reception children complete the statutory Baseline Assessment. As a Reception team we assess the starting points of each child.
The staff in Reception are constantly assessing the children in their everyday activities, play and through more focused adult-led interactions and sessions. We use observations of the children, photos, the work that they do, feedback from parents and comments made by the children to assess where the pupils are working.
Half termly summative assessments in the seven areas of learning identify areas of need and inform our next steps for children.
Our knowledge of each child, our curriculum and child development allows us to respond in the moment to move learning forward.
At the end of the Reception year, children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals for each of the 7 areas of learning. This, like the Baseline Assessment is statutory. These goals are not used to inform our curriculum, they are used to assess child development.
To view the Early Learning Goals click here.
In the September of 2020 we were gifted a class pet, Tilda the tortoise.
Having a class pet encourages children to have shared ownership over the care and attention given to another living creature, which teaches them to how to respect and treat animals and in turn this passes over to interactions with humans. It engages them to respond to something other than their own needs as the animal is dependent upon them for food, warmth, exercise, safety etc. This is often something the children may have not been exposed to thinking about before.
The children often talk to Tilda, promoting communication and language skills, and they will often draw pictures and make paintings of Tilda. Each day, children take it turns to 'take care of Tilda' checking that her heat lamp and mat is turned on, her food is replenished and that she has a supply of fresh water. They also help to give her a bath once a week and clean her shell.
Research has suggested that stroking pets helps to release positive chemicals in the brain which in turn makes you feel relaxed and happy. However, we also know that some children are fearful of pets as they might be worried about them biting, scratching or other unpredictable behaviours. By observing their peers interacting with Tilda can help them overcome his/her anxieties and find strategies to cope with situations they feel less confident about.
Click here to see our risk assessment for Tilda.
At the start of this academic year we were in the fortunate position to be able to instruct Cool Canvas to redesign our outdoor area. After a fantastic consultation process we can now reveal the plans. Building is set to begin in the Autumn term 2022 - we can't wait!
Click here to view the plans.