During a child’s time at St. John’s, we aim to work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential whatever their starting point when they begin their learning journey with us. We intend to create an indoor and outdoor environment that supports and inspires the children while they are learning as well as preparing them to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We also aim to develop the children’s individuality, resilience and curiosity and provide them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges they will face in Key Stage 1 and beyond.
In Class R, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), published March 2014 by the DfES. This Framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum. While planning we ensure that there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum. The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum. These areas are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language Development
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
An important aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that the children are using and developing skills that are taught to them throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis. We also provide enhancement opportunities, within the continuous provision, that are linked to our topics to further engage learners and build upon the taught knowledge. We encourage the children to be as independent as possible in the continuous provision through the use of “challenges”. We support the children to be naturally motivated to complete the challenges and therefore take ownership of their own learning. We also ensure that these “challenges” support the Characteristics of Effective Learning; these are:
Playing and Exploring: Children investigate and experiences things, and ‘have a go’.
Active Learning: Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
Creating and Thinking Critically: Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
While children access the continuous provision, the EYFS staff make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected and uploaded onto our online learning journal, Tapestry.
As well as learning through the continuous provision, children also take part in Adult Led activities in which adults teach the children particular skills, with objectives taken from Development Matters. Children also take part in daily synthetic phonics sessions, which follow the Letters and Sounds programme and they are encouraged to transfer the skills they learn in these sessions into their independent reading and writing in the continuous provision.
We plan a broad and balanced curriculum, which provides children with the opportunities to learn more about their local community, each other and the world around them. Our specific aims for every child to complete are:
- To perform in a Christmas Nativity and Class Assemblies
- To make different meals such as pancakes and fruit salads
- To walk to and visit our local library
- To take part in two curriculum themed days
- To visit RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate
We keep our parents and carers informed and we keep in touch regularly to ensure the children’s transition into St. John’s is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. We do this by sending observations and notes home via our online learning journey Tapestry, through Coffee Mornings and parents consultations.
And at the end of their time with us in Class R we also support the children’s transition into Key Stage 1. We do this by preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class and meeting the teacher on multiple occasions.
By the end of their time with us in Reception, we hope that the children are equipped with the skill sets needed for the rest of their journey in St John’s. All the children will have experienced and been engaged in a curriculum that inspires and engages them and allows them to become well-rounded individuals. From different starting points, the children will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Through accessing the indoor and outdoor provision the children’s knowledge, understanding and skills are developed to ensure that the children are ready to begin learning the National Curriculum in Year 1.