Early Years Foundation Stage
Here at St. Anthony's, we pride ourselves on our Early Years provision.
A child starting school can be a daunting experience for parents and children and we know how important the first year of school is for you and your child, therefore our experienced staff ensure the process is a positive and happy one. This is the first stage of your child's learning journey, so we help this process by:
- a full induction programme for children and parents which includes meetings and visits to the school prior to September start
- providing a wealth of information about getting ready for school and life at St. Anthony's
- a home visit after the Summer holiday, before your child has their first day in school
- a staggered entry in September, beginning with half days and increasing to a full day over a fortnight
The Reception unit at St. Anthony's is a learning environment which aims at all times to be happy (because we know that happy children are responsive, receptive and enthusiastic to learning) and challenging (because we know children are capable and keen to learn, and enjoy the challenge and the achievements that come with it).
Through planned, purposeful play, children are able to discover, practise and refine their skills in literacy and mathematics as well as finding out about themselves and their environment. In a broad and balanced way, our provision ensures coverage of the seven areas of learning (see below) and responds to the needs and interests of all our children. At all times, we consider characteristics of effective learning which promote positive attitudes to learning, an enthusiasm for knowledge and the confidence to become successful learners.
We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance to help plan and implement a rich and stimulating learning environment for all. We believe children are unique and so provide a Curriculum suited to the needs and interests of the individual child. Our curriculum is based upon 7 broad areas of learning which include:
The Prime Areas
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development through which children gain confidence and self-awareness, the ability to manage their feelings and behaviour and learn about building effective relationships with others.
- Communication and Language through which children learn about listening, attention, understanding and speaking.
- Physical Development which emphasises gross and fine motor skills in moving and handling, as well as health and self-care.
The Specific Areas
- Literacy: Early reading and writing skills, explicit daily teaching of phonics, recognising common and irregular words, reading and understanding simple sentences and talking about what they have read; children will begin to use their phonic knowledge to build and write words and construct simple sentences.
- Mathematics: Based around counting reliably from 1-20, understanding number order and beginning simple addition and subtraction; children will also experience solving mathematical problems by talking about shapes, weight, capacity, time, money, halving and measuring and comparing everyday objects.
- Understanding the world: Enables children to base their learning on what they understand of the world around them through talking about past and present events within their own families, being aware of the differences and similarities between others and among families, communities and traditions; children will observe the differences in their environment, learn about plants and animals and talk about changes. They will also use a range of different technologies, selecting and using them for different purposes.
- Expressive Arts and Design: Children will sing songs and create their own music and dance. They explore a range of materials, tools and techniques to look at different colours, design and texture in their artwork and are given opportunities to be imaginative through art, music, role play and stories.
We provide a challenging and exciting indoor and outdoor learning environment in which to practise and secure skills with resources chosen to meet the children’s needs and promote learning. We encourage confidence, independence and a desire to learn. We teach through whole class directed activities, provide a range of adult supported activities as well as giving children the time and space to choose, explore and develop individually.
Staff are skilled in observing, assessing and extending children’s progress and work alongside the children as they play. We provide a safe and secure learning environment which encourages children to experiment in their knowledge that their ideas are important and valued. Most importantly we believe that if children feel happy and safe they will learn naturally.
We believe that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and when parents and practitioners work together in Early Years settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning. We encourage parents to contribute to our assessments and provide advice and support on how learning and development can take place at home.
Our Curriculum Plan gives details of the areas of study and topics to be covered throughout the year.