At Bosley St Mary’s Primary School we believe that every learner should flourish, and that Early Years is the foundation of a positive education. Indeed, a successful Early Years’ experience sets a child up for a successful school experience and encourages a life-long love of learning. To do that, we aim to provide a safe, nurturing environment which promotes the highest standard of education for our youngest pupils. Our Early Years team is committed to providing an environment that is rich with possibilities, develops children’s independence and puts children right at the centre of their own learning. The aims of our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum are to develop young pupils who are:
- Competent learners (through play)
Our practice is play-based since we believe that play, with all its language, physicality and social interaction, is what gives children the right and appropriate grounding for their educational journey. Play is our fundamental principle but alongside this, we also incorporate direct teaching times across each day to introduce and consolidate skills in phonics, language and literacy, mathematics and personal and emotional development.
Through our child-centred approach, we aim to plan exciting, enriched activities based on the children’s interests. We create a sense of awe and wonder through creative ideas which involve the children and, as much as possible, are based on real life experiences. We look to provide opportunity which aims to foster children’s preferred learning styles and demonstrate the various characteristics of effective learning. We provide children with the opportunity to be explorers, be actively involved in their learning, as well, creative and critical thinkers through the planning of open-ended tasks. We aim to foster curiosity through carefully planned learning environments enabling children to demonstrate those key characteristics of effective learning. We value the importance of learning outdoors and enjoy using our special early years’ outdoor area within our everyday planning.
At Bosley St Mary’s we ensure that our learning environments provide:
- stimulating resources, relevant to all the children’s cultures and communities
- rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
- support for children to take risks and explore
Our Reception children are part of Class 1 and are educated with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils. This allows us to offer an enriched learning experience where children can socialise and learn alongside older children. We are mindful that the EYFS and Key Stage 1 curriculum is very different and work hard to ensure that out Reception children can access the learning without being overwhelmed.
We also know that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value being partners with them in their child’s education. We look to forge positive relationships with parents to enable us to support learning both at home and school. We share the children’s learning through a range of ways including contact books, parent-teacher meetings, the online learning journey and our open-door policy.
Children are continually assessed through planned and spontaneous observations, photographs, videos and information drawn from discussions with the children and their parents. These are recorded using class books, the children’s WOW books and a digital ‘Learning Journey’ system. Parents can contribute at any time to the learning journey by the addition of photographs and/or comments on the digital learning journey. This information is used by the class teacher to assess children’s attainment against the Early Learning Goals.
Here at Bosley St. Mary’s, we hold high regard for the well-being of all our pupils. We ensure our pupils are ready to access learning through assessing their level of well-being and involvement. We then provide learning opportunities for children to develop the needed skills, including the notion of belonging, coping, core self and resilience.
Our EYFS curriculum provides a sustained high quality, well planned and progressive curriculum for the unique child. Our curriculum is underpinned by consideration of the children’s starting points and previous experience within the umbrella of the areas of areas of learning, meaning that children can make a positive start on their educational journey. We ensure our staff have good knowledge of child development to ensure this tracked clearly and everyone has a good understanding of the progress and attainment of our youngest learners.
The positive relationships developed between staff and children ensure that the children are self-confident, with a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. In addition to this the children’s level of involvement ensures they are intensely engaged in activities which encourage deep level learning and development. This can be seen through the active learning environment which has a ‘buzz’ of learning as they ‘get busy’.
Throughout the age bands; staff regularly review pupil progress through pupil progress meetings, staff supervision meetings and moderation of children’s profile (both in school, across schools and county) ensures that all judgments of attainment are accurate and clear. All children’s progress is tracked, and attainment is closely monitored. By the end of the EYFS phase (end of Reception), all children will have had a completed Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) outlining their attainment across the phase. From this it is judged whether children are achieving at age related expectations and have achieved a ‘good level of development’ (GLD).