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Early Years - Foundation Stage

 Early Years Curriculum

Within St Peter’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) we aim to provide a curriculum that is exciting, vibrant, motivating and well balanced. The curriculum aims to promote learning through a process of exploration and investigation that enables children to become confident, eager and enthusiastic learners. 

At St Peter’s we follow the ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ curriculum. This curriculum is underpinned by a play-based approach where children have access to a range of activities, each with an underlying educational purpose, both within the classroom and in the outside learning environment.

Topics are planned in great detail to take account of children’s interests and next steps. This begins with EYFS practitioners observing children, in order to gain an understanding of where the children are within their learning and consider what their next steps and development needs are. The observation and assessment process is carried out throughout the year by practitioners within the EYFS so that all the children’s next steps are always being met, thus ensuring all the children continue to make progress.

Our planning ensures that the children within St Peter’s EYFS will at times be directly taught a new skill and at other times discover for themselves, through carefully planned play opportunities. These play opportunities are carefully linked to the seven areas of learning within the EYFS curriculum and ensure that the children are working towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’ at the end of the Reception year.

The seven areas of learning are:-.

The Prime Areas 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

The Specific Areas 

Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematical Development involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding of the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Four guiding principles shape our practice. These are:    
  • A Unique Child: every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Positive Relationships: children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • Enabling Environments children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Learning and Developing: children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
This approach ensures that the EYFS at St Peter’s meets the overarching aim of improving outcomes and reflects that it is every child’s right to grow up safely; healthy; enjoying and achieving; making a positive contribution; and with economic well-being.

For more information please have a look at our Nursery and Reception class pages.