Early Years Foundation Stage
Here at St Paul’s we believe that every child should be happy, valued and confident. We provide a supportive and safe environment in which every child can flourish and develop at their own pace and in their own individual way. This is achieved through a combination of carefully structured play opportunities and planned learning activities. Our role is to stimulate and encourage every child’s development and enjoyment of learning through a variety of different activities in our stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. We encourage the growth of social skills and empathy amongst the children. The relationships which the children develop with each other and with our staff are central to their happiness and lay the best possible foundation for their future.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
We follow the Government’s statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, which:
- Sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well;
- Ensures children are kept healthy and safe;
- Ensures that children have the knowledge and skills they need to start school.
Our curriculum is split into 3 prime areas and then a further 4 specific areas. These prime areas are those most essential for every child’s healthy development and future learning:
- Communication and Language (listening attention and understanding, speaking);
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (self-regulation, managing self and building relationships);
- Physical Development (gross motor skills and fine motor skills).
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
1) Literacy (comprehension, word reading and writing);
2) Mathematics (number, numerical pattern);
3) Understanding the World (past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world);
4) Expressive Arts and Design (creating with materials, being imaginative and expressions).
How We Learn in Caterpillars and Bumblebees
The learning in the Early Years at St Paul's School is very much play centred and child-led. Whilst we plan learning opportunities with overarching themes, these are very much subject to change depending on the child’s interests and previous experiences. Therefore, the learning can be child-led in a different direction and it is our job as teaching practitioners to step into their play with skilled questioning and modelling. This approach enables children to take ownership over their own learning, and enables them to learn new skills whilst having fun!
Playful Hands on Experiences
We ensure that our children are provided with lots of real-life hands-on experiences to bring learning to life. This approach to learning immerses children in an experience and enables them to build new skills in a playful and purposeful manner. A few experiences that the EYFS have been provided with this year include-
- Making bread for The Little Red Hen
- Planning a wedding for puppets Pam and Dave at St Paul's Church
- Creating a toy exhibition for parents to come and visit
- Planning a birthday party for class puppets
- Creating a Chinese restaurant in one of the classrooms
- Watching a traditional tales show in the hall, performed by the EYFS team.
- Looking after a chick and learning the life cycle
- Looking after a caterpillar and learning the life cycle
- Visit from Simon Airey and his exotic creatures
- School trips
Here at St Paul's School we appreciate that the children’s learning journey occurs in the classroom, at home and in everyday life. Therefore, we aim to use our outdoor classroom to connect children to the natural world around them and help them to see the endless learning possibilities. For example, children can go on an autumn appreciation walk and use the leaves they find to make a pattern. The use of our outdoor zones offers learning opportunities that are engaging and provide hands on, enquiry-based activities. Whilst outdoor learning benefits children’s physical wellbeing, it also develops children’s emotional wellbeing, teamwork and communication skills which are the heart of teaching in the early years. The children at St Paul’s School have the opportunity to choose outdoor learning zones which include water zone, stage, construction area, messy maths, small world, climbing frames, bikes and sandpit. Come and enjoy the magic of outdoor learning at St Paul's School!