At St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School, we believe that a good early education is fundamental for a child’s success. Through achieving the balance between play and adult led sessions, our early year’s curriculum is designed to provide children with the best possible start in life. The children’s interests are at the heart of our syllabus which enables us to deliver a high quality and child led learning.
We strongly believe that children thrive in an environment where they feel safe, happy and respected. At St Francis, we achieve this through providing children with fun and engaging lessons, forming positive relationships with parents and listening and responding to each individual child’s need.
Each half term, we plan a topic which we feel will interest the children. This topic is then broken down into seven areas of learning which are: personal social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development, literacy. mathematics, expressive arts and design, and understanding the world. When delivering these sessions, children will participate in physical activities, discussion and role play activities to enable them to gain good knowledge and understanding of what is being taught. We strongly believe that children learn best through play therefore, anything which is taught is placed into the provision for children to explore in their own time either independently or with their peers.
Communication and language is essential in ensuring that children are able to reach age expected levels (or higher), across all areas of learning. Communication and Language is broken down into three vital parts which are: listening and attention, understanding and speaking. At St Francis, we provide the children with these skills through introducing a wide range of stories, poems and rhymes. We also ensure that children are exposed to high quality texts which build their vocabulary and promote questioning to develop their understanding further.
To promote cultural capital, we aim to attend three trips per year to provide children with a unique learning experience which they will remember for life. This may involve activities such as: paying for something at the shop, going on a bus ride or visiting an education site.
We recognise that all children are unique and will therefore develop individually in their own time. At St Francis we continually assess the children across all seven areas of learning and provide additional support for those children who may require it.
Delivering an enriched curriculum in the early years will provide children with the foundations they need to reach their full potential. By the time the children leave the foundation stage unit, they have learnt skills which will enable them to be successful throughout their school life. Explicit modelling, promoting independence and providing ongoing assessments, promotes high levels of engagement in learning, and enables the children to make rapid progress throughout their early years.
Learning in the Foundation Stage
At St Francis Xavier the Nursery and Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). This curriculum is based upon four themes and principles.
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 carers.
Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning in the Foundation Stage framework curriculum.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
In the Prime Areas children will learn to:-
- Share, take turns and develop respect for each other.
- Make friends and become confident independent learners.
- Behave appropriately when playing with others.
- Listen to others and understand spoken language.
- Learn new words rapidly and use them in conversations.
- Join in conversations with adults and children.
- Develop control of their bodies using both large scale movements such as running and jumping, and small scale movements such as holding pencils and using scissors.
In the Specific Areas: -
- Enjoy sharing books and stories with adults and friends.
- Read words and simple sentences (Reception/FS2 children).
- Draw, make marks, write letters and words.
- Count accurately groups of objects and recognise numerals.
- Add, subtract and problem solve during practical activities.
- Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, distance, time and money.
- Look closely at how things work, why things happen, living things and the natural world.
- Use ICT equipment, e.g. programmable toys and computers.
- Be imaginative, sing songs, dance and create fantastic models, drawings and paintings.
What will children do during a Reception (FS2) class session?
Your child will take part in a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. Your child will learn through activities he or she has chosen, or from those that are led by an adult. Children in the Foundation Stage learn through play based activities that are fun and enjoyable. These activities are supported by caring adults who will work closely with you to ensure your child makes progress. We keep careful progress records for each child which are linked to the Development Matters in the Foundation Stage Guidance. Parents are actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s learning profiles.
How you can help your child
- Encourage and praise them because they need to feel successful
- Look at their work and help them with their homework where necessary
- Come into school whenever you can – such as assemblies, fayres, morning reading sessions. Children really love to see you in school
- Always encourage your child to take pride in their work
- Take time to share a book with them – take them to the library regularly. Talk about what they are reading at school.
- Encourage good manners and respect at all times to everyone in and out of school.
How you can help your school
- Ensure that all contact information is up to date
- Make sure that we are aware of any medical problems
- Let us know immediately if your child is absent
- Let us know if you have a change in home circumstances – this information will remain confidential
- Make sure your child is in school on time every day
- Send your child into school in the correct school uniform
- Make sure that everything is named clearly
- If there is a change in the person collecting your child, please let us know.
Parents in school
When families support their children with their learning they make better progress, so we are very keen to get you involved in school life wherever possible.
Parents drop their children off each morning from 8.45am, so that we can start our day.
In both Nursery and Reception we encourage parents to leave their child at the door to foster independence.
Morning – 8.45 am – 3.20 pm