Early Years Foundation Stage

The beginning of the journey.

Welcome

 

Welcome to our Early Years @ St Michael’s, the place where your child’s learning journey begins! We have a fantastic and experienced team on hand to support our children in their early development.
Our children are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences, opportunities to explore, take risks, and first-hand experiences. 

We have high ambitions for all our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive and develop. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others.

Family Cafe’s

Involving all family members is at the forefront of our ethos because a strong family bond equals great learning opportunities. Every half term we put on our ‘Family Cafe’ where all family members are welcome to join in the learning with your child. Our cafe’s range from Harvest and Easter celebrations getting creative with the children to more focused cafe’s such as fun phonics or marvellous maths. These focused cafe’s are a great way to see how the children learn particular concepts to support learning at home.

“The cafe’s are a great way to socialise with other parents” Reception parent

“I learned a lot in fun phonics, I feel I can help more at home now with my child’ reading” Reception parent

“The craft activities the teachers provide are lovely and it is nice to have the time to join in the learning” Nursery parent

First hand experiences

Hands on learning is important to our EYFS and the children love to join in new experiences. Wellington boots are a must because come rain or shine the children can access our outdoor areas as they choose. Throughout the year the children will engage in a weekly forest school session exploring our wonderful grounds, speak to local community visitors such as a nurse and the police, observe chicks hatching from eggs in the classroom and go on trips to support our topics. Parent volunteers are always welcome to join in teaching and enhance our children’s experiences. All of these opportunities develop our children’s well-being, confidence, imagination and exploration which in turn support them in their more focused activities in Literacy and Maths.

Learning

The learning in our Nursery and Reception follows a child-led approach with planned adult-led activities to help strengthen learning. Our weekly timetable ensure the children engage in all 7 areas of the curriculum listed below with clear progression from Nursery – Reception – Year1. The learning follows the children’s interests and our topics are adapted to this each year ensuring all children have access to the learning and are hooked in to spark great imagination.

We capture your child’s learning and exploration through the use of tapestry, an online learning journal. This journal allows us to share school learning with you, and for you to share home learning with us. More information can be found below:

EYFS Curriculum

There are 7 areas to the Early Years curriculum and these are taught in nursery and reception classes. These areas are all important and are inter-connected.

Our school’s Christian values are woven throughout our curriculum as we believe they are essential in preparing the children to become lifelong learners.

Prime Areas
  • Communication and Language – We will focus on the development of your child’s listening and spoken language skills, which underpin all areas of their learning.
  • Physical Development – This area of the curriculum is all about getting your child active and developing their gross motor (e.g. playing football) and fine motor (e.g. drawing with pencils) skills.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – We’re all about developing healthy and happy children. We will help your build friendships, become resilient and persevere in the face of challenge.
Specific Areas
  • Literacy – Through acting out and listening to stories, developing imagination and the teaching of phonics, we will begin to teach your child to read and write.
  • Mathematics – Developing a strong grounding in number is essential for providing children with a platform to excel mathematically. We will provide frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply skills in number, pattern and shape.
  • Understanding the Word – Your child will learn about the natural environments, past and present and different cultural communities that make up God’s wonderful world.
  • Expressive Arts and Design – The exploration of different materials and performance of song and dance will enable your child to develop their imagination and creativity.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
  • Playing and Exploring – your child will learn to investigate, experience new things and adopt a ‘have a go’ approach to learning.
  • Active Learning – they will develop concentration skills and perseverance when challenges arise ensuring they enjoy all achievements.
  • Creating and thinking Critically – the children will learn to create their own ideas, make links in learning and develop strategies to test and improve.
Religious Education

We follow the Staffordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE and cover the following units of work:

  • Religious Communities – helping the children develop an awareness and enjoyment of church activities and the Christian Harvest Festival.
  • Key Religious Figures – we will enable your child to become familiar with the nativity story and the way in which some churches celebrate the birth of Jesus, through stories and a nativity play.
  • Worship and Ceremonies – This topic looks at relationships, promises and church wedding celebrations.
  • Sacred Texts – We will focus on the Easter story, remembering Jesus the teacher; sad times and happy times.
  • Questioning the World – We will teach your child about caring for all creation.
  • Exploring stories about the lives and teachings of key religous figures – learning about helping others is the focus for this unit.