Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
At St Mary's we strongly believe that young children learn best through play and exploration in a vibrant, bright and creative environment. Children are encouraged to be independent and explore a wide range of stimulating resources and activities both indoors and outdoors. Our approach leads to happy, successful children in the early years. Experienced staff support and extend the children's play during child-initiated learning. They extend their language skills by introducing them to new vocabulary.
The classrooms are carefully set up into different areas of learning where the children can learn, following their own interests.
We plan in response to the children's needs and interests and enhance the learning environment with this in mind.
The reception and nursery children play and learn together during child-initiated learning ensuring a seamless transition from our nursery to the reception class. The younger nursery children learn from the older reception children who model how to play and learn and the older children learn how to care, nurture and support their younger peers.
In reception, we have daily Phonics, handwriting and Maths sessions as well as writing, Topic, R.E. and P.E. sessions. The skills that the children learn in these lessons are then practised during their independent child initiated learning time. In nursery, the children have daily phonics and maths sessions separately from reception and weekly P.E. sessions with reception.
In reception, we follow the 'Little Wandle Phonics' programme. Children learn to recognise letter sounds and blend them to read and write words quickly, leading to confident readers and writers by the end of the reception year. In nursery, children follow the 'Little Wandle Foundations for Phonics programme.' This programme prepares them for Phonics in reception through listening, rhyming and sound games.
We follow the Ark Maths Mastery programme in reception, ensuring that all children become confident in using numbers to 10 and beyond. Children practise the skills that they have learnt in their whole class maths sessions using a wide range of resources in the classroom including the maths area, the snack cafe where they pay for their snacks using real money, the home corner and the construction area.
At St Mary's we are developing a 'Reading for Pleasure' culture. In both nursery and reception, we promote a love of reading through reading a range of high quality books aloud to the children daily, sharing books with the children during child initiated learning and using books and stories in our topic work. There are books in all areas of learning. We welcome parents to come in and share books with the children.
Our topics throughout the year include, the four seasons, Superheroes and minibeasts. However, as we plan in response to the children's needs and interests, our topics do vary each year.