Within our Foundation Stage we strive for our children to have the very best start to their education.
We want them to Achieve, Believe, and Create:
We support children to become life-long learners.
We encourage children to be proud of their talents and achievements.
We allow children to discover the world around them and develop their values and beliefs.
We help children to cultivate positive relationships and become caring and considerate members of the community.
We inspire children to be resilient, motivated and independent learners.
We provide opportunities for children to explore their own ideas and fascinations.
In our Foundation Stage classrooms, you will see:
Children who are motivated and independent learners
Children actively following their own interests and fascinations
A calm environment where children are engaged in their play
Positive relationships; adults and children all support each other
The Early Years Foundation Stage applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. We have a nursery class for children aged over 3. We offer Wrap Around Care which enables children to attend lunch and afternoon sessions, at a cost to parents/carers. Children in Reception are eligible to attend full time from the start of the academic year.
The Early Years Foundation Stage is based upon guiding principles:
A Unique Child
Learning and Development
These guiding principles shape our provision: to respond to each child being unique and to promote positive relationships, we operate a Key Worker system. Each Key Person has special responsibilities for working with a number of children (their key group), giving them reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents and carers. The classrooms have been arranged to enable children to access resources freely and concentrate on developing key skills and encouraging the imagination to help children to learn and fulfil their potential.
The children’s learning is split into seven areas that shape the educational provision. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Practitioners working with the youngest children in Nursery will focus strongly on these three prime areas, which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas. The balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as the children move through Foundation Stage and grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.
The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:
Understanding of the world
Expressive arts and design
For more information on the areas of learning please see this useful document: What to expect, when?
The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development are all interconnected. The Characteristics of Effective learning, support the development of the Unique Child in how children are learning.
These characteristics are defined as:
Playing and exploring – engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
Active learning – motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
The adults spend much of their time observing the children and furthering their learning. We attach relevant assessments of the seven areas of learning and of the characteristics of effective learning and share these observations with parents using the Early Excellence Tracker (EExAT). EExAT is a secure website and app which allows parents to view their child’s learning journey online and alerts parents when new observations have been added.
Discrete Teaching and the Daily Routine
Children have group times which increase as they progress through the Foundation Stage with times for a daily phonics sessions using “Letters and Sounds,” teaching aspects of Mathematics using Little Big Maths, Storytelling and Literacy as well as RE sessions following the Archdiocese of Birmingham syllabus and Personal, Social and Emotional sessions using the programme for Nursery and Reception in “Social Emotional Aspects of Learning” (SEAL.) These groups take place in Key Family groups, phonics groups within Nursery or Reception and in other groupings such as PE and small group focussed activities. In addition Reception children will, from September 2014, also participate in Forest School in small groups on a rota to further encourage outdoor play and exploration. Our Forest School area is being developed in the next few weeks on site. We are very thankful to the Friends for paying for this area to be developed.
We deliver learning for all of the areas through purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.
Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems.
Foundation Stage School Day
Morning session: 8:45-11:45
Lunch session: 11:45-12:45
Afternoon session: 12:15-3:00
Sessions do overlap. Parents are welcome to stay with their child to help them settle in the mornings or afternoons.
Each Wednesday morning Foundation Stage have their own prayer service. As the year progresses, Reception begin to join the rest of the school for assemblies, hymn practise and Mass. On Friday afternoons Foundation Stage have a Celebration Assembly to celebrate their achievements that week. Children are encouraged to join in with the school prayers and also to contribute to and write their own prayers. Once a term parents are invited to a prayer service where children share their learning from the term. Once a term parents are invited to a prayer service.