EYFS – Nursery and Reception
Intent, Implementation and Impact.

At St. Patrick and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School, we believe in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development for our children. We are proud of Nursery and Reception class and all that our pupils achieve.

Our children are drawn from immediate locality and come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Some of our families have parents who attended our school as pupils themselves, whilst other families are newly arrived in the UK. Many of our children start school not speaking any English and not having mixed outside their immediate family circle, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. We aim for our children to grow in confidence and social skills, to embrace English as a common language in order to build bridges and relationships that are key in their development and also to give children the best possible access to all that the school curriculum can offer. We place an emphasis on early language acquisition, supported by  the WellComm language programmes. We understand that language is central to our sense of identity and belonging to a community and therefore linguistic diversity is considered as a strength that is recognised and valued. The principles of good practice for children learning English are the principles of good practice for all children. Pupils will have opportunities to engage in activities and first hand experiences that do not depend solely on English for success, and where they can participate in ways that reveal what they know and can do in the security of their home language. Practitioners will help the parent(s)/carer(s) understand that strong development in the child’s home language will support their learning in English.

EYFS Curriculum Intent

Our EYFS curriculum allows children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative thinkers. We aim to provide a fun, secure, challenging and rich educational environment that enables each individual to thrive. Nursery and Reception work closely with each other to ensure continuity and consistency across the foundation stage also ensuring smooth transition from one class to the next. Our intent is to lay the foundations for all the subject areas the children will move on to study in their future years in primary school.

Our Mission statement is ‘Live Together, Pray Together, Learn Together and Grow Together in Christ.’

We place a strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral and cultural development of all our pupils. Our vision and values are at the core of everything we do. They underpin our teaching and learning, and provide an environment which prepares our pupils as confident, happy citizens.

Our values shape how we behave, what we say, how we build relationships and how we learn. They are incorporated in every aspect of life at St Patrick and St Edmund’s. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome differences within our diverse school community.

EYFS Curriculum Implementation

The St. Edmund’s EYFS curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:

  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
  • Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Developing the skills that are needed so that the wider curriculum can be accessed and understood as pupils move through the school.

We use approaches to promote positive attitudes to learning which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.

The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, three areas known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn. The 4 specific areas provide a range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their skills in Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. This is taught through daily stories and rhyme and Little Wandle phonics teaching. Our maths is taught through a mastery approach, using resources from White Rose Maths Hub.

The St. Patrick and St Edmund’s EYFS Curriculum engages all children and ensures that all children make good progress from their starting points. A number of key resources are used to support the development of the curriculum. This ensures strong early learning is achieved.

Where possible, the children’s own interests are used by the adults to engage the children in higher level thinking and deeper learning. Child initiated learning is valued and encouraged. To ensure that all skills and knowledge is taught and experienced in early years, a curriculum vehicle is created this links all the learning and provides valuable cultural capital opportunities. It also ensures that each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult- led and child initiated activities.

At St. Patrick and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that the whole curriculum can be covered in a well-planned outdoor environment. The children have the right to the outdoor environment all year round and access to the area is available daily throughout the session with constant adult supervision and interaction. There is no such thing as bad weather in the EYFS! Over the last 12 months our outdoor area has undergone a transformation – it is now a vibrant, colourful space which offers excellent opportunities for learning.

Parents are valued as first educators and every effort is made to inform them of the EYFS curriculum whilst providing them with the tools to continue in learning at home. Parents are encouraged to share their child’s achievements. Strategies to include and inform parents include transition sessions, workshops, reading records, our open door policy and parent consultation meetings.

EYFS Curriculum Impact

We want each child to get the best possible start in life and to be ready to thrive. At St. Patrick and St Edmund’s we do this by ensuring ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning process. Staff observe pupils and these observations are used to plan next steps.

Our assessment depends on us getting to know our children very well and to this end we gather information from a range of sources; observations of the children in play; in adult- led activities; focused activities; through discussions with parents and carers and through talking to the children.

At the start of both Nursery and Reception children are assessed to determine a baseline, or starting point, for their future learning. Judgements will be based on the adults’ observations of children during activities and play. Parents/carers will be given information of these starting points and information about next steps in learning at parent’s evening.

The EYFS Team have regular meetings to discuss the development of all children and their next steps in their learning journey. At the end of EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals.

Children develop their characteristics of learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.

From their own starting points, children will make progress academically, emotionally and socially, developing a sense of themselves.

The EYFS staff are committed to raising standards by attending relevant CPD and ensuring each child at St. Patrick and St Edmund’s has the best start on their school journey.