Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS at St Catherine's is a learning environment which aims at all times to be happy because we know that happy children are responsive, receptive and enthusiastic to learning and challenging because we know children are capable and keen to learn, and enjoy the challenge and the achievements that come with it.
Through planned, purposeful play, children are able to discover, practise and refine their skills in literacy and mathematics as well as find out about themselves and their environment. In a broad and balanced way, our provision ensures coverage of the seven areas of learning and responds to the needs and interests of all our children. At all times, we consider characteristics of effective learning which promote positive attitudes to learning, an enthusiasm for knowledge and the confidence to become successful learners.
Within EYFS we follow the curriculum as outlined in the EYFS 2021 DFE Statutory framework for the Foundation Stage. The EYFS curriculum is based on seven key features of effective practice as set out in Development Matters 2020
As part of our best practice we:
Supporting Your Child: Expectations for Learning
There are seven areas which form the basis of the EYFS curriculum. These areas are made up of Prime Areas and Specific Areas. Each area of learning has a set of related expectations for typical development through the Early Years. National expectations are that within Nursery most children will work within the 3 – 4 year band of development and some within the earlier band and that children will start Reception being secure in the knowledge, understanding and abilities within the 3-4 year band and begin to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding and abilities within Reception Band. By the end of Reception, most children will have reached the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) at the Expected level. Some might still have knowledge skills and understanding which is Emerging and are still working towards their Early Learning Goals.
The prime areas are:
The specific areas are:
Supporting Your Child: Characteristics of Effective Learning
We place a good deal of importance on the characteristics of effective learning:
Our assessment data for older children shows that those children who demonstrate strong characteristics of effective learning are more likely to enjoy and achieve at a higher level as they get older. Support your child to develop these characteristics just as much as you support the academic side of things. This document gives you more information about the characteristics – it might help you get an idea of how you can support your child to develop good ‘learning behaviour’
At St Catherine's we believe effective learning in the Early Years is the result of a balance between:
Research shows that the best outcomes for children’s learning occur where most of the activity within a child’s day is a mixture of child-initiated play (actively supported by adults) and focused learning (with adults guiding the learning through playful, rich experiential activities).
A key aspect of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to move the learning from their starting point. Staff within EYFS find out what children want to know – what interests them, sparks their natural curiosity, engages them to be effective learners – by making lots of observations of the children and having discussions with children and parents to inform the direction of learning.