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St Mary’s C of E Primary School

‘Learning for Life’

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) - Nursery & Reception

The Early Years Foundation Stage at St Mary’s

At St Mary’s we follow Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework which focusses on how children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Four guiding principles shape practice in early years settings. These are:

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • 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 / or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in Early Years. The three prime areas of learning and development are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development; and
  • personal, social and emotional development.

There are four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world; and
  • expressive arts and design.

St. Mary's EYFS Intent & Implementation

In Early Years at St. Mary’s, the learning is child-centred and led by the children. As facilitators, we use the Early Years Framework to provide overarching topics, and within these topics the children are able to self-direct their learning according to their individual interests. For this reason, our topics and activities are subject to change in line with the children’s ideas and each year we will extend our curriculum to meet the needs and follow the interests of our cohort. Our curriculum has been designed to cover the essential foundations our children need to allow them to thrive as they move up through our school, ensuring full and well-rounded development that will prepare them to learn for life. The St. Mary’s Early Years curriculum outlines our goals for the children beyond Development Matters, as outlined in the ‘St. Mary’s Objectives’ for each Area of Learning.

Within Nursery, these objectives are broken down by Area of Learning for the whole year to support our carefully planned Continuous Provision. Below are two documents of examples of planning showing this in more detail.

Within Reception, these St. Mary’s Objectives are broken down into terms as well as within our Continuous Provision planning. Below are three documents of examples of planning showing this in more detail. 

Within our curriculum, we have content that all children will be taught in our carpet time input sessions, including Phonics, Maths, English, RE and Topic. All children engage with this learning. To support this learning, we will provide a variety of enhanced provision activities across the week for the children to explore and develop their learning autonomously within provision. Many of these opportunities will be inspired by our overarching topic theme, and will naturally be influenced by our cohort’s specific interests and abilities.