EYFS at Saint John Southworth RC Primary School
The Intent, Implementation and Impact of our Curriculum
Our EYFS Lead is Dionne Whittaker
At St John Southworth RC Primary, the EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first hand learning experiences, allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers. Our curriculum embraces the community in which it is situated, recognising local history, heritage, geographical situation and most importantly, the aspirations of all our children.
We place strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our school community has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome the differences within our school community.
The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity and there is a thirst for new experiences and knowledge.
The SJS 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 Growth Mindset 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. Children leave the school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
The St John Southworth RC Primary EYFS Curriculum engages all children and ensures that all children make good progress from their starting points. A number of key resources are used support the development of the curriculum including Development Matters, Lancashire EYFS Curriculum Support Materials and Come & See RE.
The school has recognised the use of clear, focused learning intentions as an effective tool in gaining intended learning outcomes. Staff working within the EYFS receive regular training to ensure their interactions with the children reflect current best practise, are valuable, support each individual child and move learning on.
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. Through adult led learning we introduce new concepts and knowledge, the progression of which can be led by the children through enabling environments and continuous provision.
Each half termly topic is enhanced through a variety of first hand experiences (visits and visitors). These give all of the children a shared experience through which to explore and develop language, knowledge and skills. Constructed and deconstructed role play is also seen a valuable tool to support delivery of the curriculum and the development of key language skills.
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 school learning at home. Parents are also encouraged to inform school of their child’s interests and achievements at home as these are an essential part of each child’s learning journey. Strategies to include and inform parents include, ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, Big Talk Topics with topic vocab attachments, Phonics Workshops, The PlayClub project, Learning Diaries, Reading Records, This Week in EYFS info and ‘Family Friday’.
At SJS the impact of the EYFS Curriculum is that all children make good progress from their individual starting points. All children get the best possible start to their school life and develop the knowledge and skills to reach and exceed their potential in KS1. They develop and nurture strong, positive attitudes where they become proud and respectful of themselves, others and their environment.