St James’ R C Primary School
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and, at St James’, we ensure that their first experiences are positive and exciting, both in Nursery and Reception. We provide a caring, secure and safe environment where every child is valued and respected as an individual, striving to reach their own full potential.
EYFS Curriculum Intent
At St James’ Catholic School, we believe in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development for our children. 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! Reception and Nursery work closely with each other to ensure continuity and consistency within the Foundation Stage.
Our Mission statement, ‘Together we are learning to follow Jesus’, is at the heart of everything we do.
We place a strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral and cultural development of all our pupils, with learning at St James’ being based upon our Mission Statement.
Our values shape how we behave, what we say, how we build relationships and how we learn. They are incorporated into every aspect of life at St James’. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome the differences within our school community
EYFS Curriculum Implementation
The St James’ 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’.
We use a hands-on approach to promote positive attitudes to learning, which reflect the values and skills needed to promote responsibility for learning and future success.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year.
The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and interconnected. However, 3 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 St James’ 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, including Development Matters, White Rose Maths, Read Write Inc, ‘The Way, The Truth, The Life’ and WELLCOMM.
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. 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 James’ Primary School, we believe that the whole curriculum can be covered in a well planned outdoor environment, and that there is some learning that can only take place outdoors. The children have the right to the outdoor environment all the year round and access to the area is available daily throughout the session with constant adult supervision and interaction.
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 through ‘WOW’ moments and these are celebrated within school.
EYFS Curriculum Impact
We want each child to get the best possible start in life and to be ready to thrive in KS1. At St James. 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.
We use a paper-based learning journey to record focused activities and each child’s own independent work. We also use Evidence Me to record in-the-moment observations and next steps for learning.
At the end of EYFS, staff completes the EYFS profile for each child, with pupils being assessed against the 17 early learning goals.
The EYFS team meet for regular meetings and receive necessary training linked to the SDP. Teachers attend in-house and external moderations and attend regular pupil progress meetings to ensure progress is being made for each individual child.
The EYFS lead is committed to raising standards and ensuring each child at St James’ has the best start on their school journey.