Our children access a broad and balanced curriculum that gives them the broad range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life.
Pupils access quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
We enjoy close working partnership between staff and parents and/or carers.
Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.
Our practice is based on requirements set out in the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 2023 . https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At St Hilda’s C of E Primary School, Nursery children can join our school from 3 years old. Reception aged children who join the Reception in September of the school year they turn five, join us from a variety of Nursery settings, not just our own. In partnership with parents and carers we enable children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life.
“Children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with adults caring for them.”
The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and interconnected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:
Understanding the world
Expressive arts and design
Play based learning is paramount and children direct their own learning using the carefully selected open- ended resources which can be found in both the inside and outside environment. Staff will enhance play and extend as needed to further individual learning. We aim to create an attractive, natural and stimulating learning environment where children feel happy, confident, secure and suitably challenged. At St Hilda’s C of E Primary School, children have access to the indoor and outdoor environments, both set up with discrete areas of learning as part of planned continuous provision.
Staff plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. In order to do this, staff working with the youngest children are expected to focus strongly on the 3 prime areas.
Staff also consider the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, staff consider whether specialist support is required, linking with relevant services from other agencies, where appropriate.
In planning and guiding children’s activities, staff reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice.
Reception aged children are taught daily phonics using ‘Essential Letter and Sounds’, which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme. These sessions are fast paced and include the whole class. Throughout the day, those children who may find phonics a little tricky, additional sessions are provided to support their learning and development. Story sessions are planned into the day to ensure the children have plenty of exposure to a language rich environment.
We follow half-termly topics but also follow the children’s interests. We feel that it is important for our children to be aware of the world around them, for example experiencing the changing seasons plays a big part in our learning environment.
The resources used within the EYFS reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping
Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Staff respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
As children grow older, and as their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to help children prepare for more formal learning, ready for Year 1.
We teach children about boundaries, rules and limits and help them understand why they exist. We provide children with choices to help them develop this important life skill. Children are encouraged to take appropriate risks, but they are also taught how to recognise and avoid hazards.
At St Hilda’s C of E Primary School, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Staff also value any comments and/or observations shared by parents and/or carers. As a school, we use Development Matters to track the children’s progress as they progress through the school.
Within the first 6 weeks that a child starts reception, staff will administer the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).
At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 early learning goals, indicating whether they are:
- Meeting expected levels of development
- Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)
The profile reflects ongoing observations, and discussions with parents and/or carers. The results of the profile are shared with parents and/or carers for their child.
The profile is moderated internally (referring to the Development Matters guidance) and in partnership with other local schools, to ensure consistent assessment judgements. EYFS profile data is submitted to the local authority.
At St Hilda’s C of E Primary School, we understand the importance of building a strong partnership with every child’s parent/carer. Before children start at St Hilda’s C of E Primary School, parents are invited to a ‘Meet the Staff’ meeting, where parents are informed about school procedures, routines, what the day will typically look like and the staff that will be working in class.
Children are invited to attend transition sessions prior to officially starting school, this enables us to build relationships with both the children and parents.
Parents are invited to curriculum evenings to learn how we work with their child, particularly in relation to reading and phonics.
We have an ‘open door’ policy and encourage parents to talk to their child’s teacher if there are any concerns.
We arrange a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents: stay and play sessions, celebration assemblies, school visits, enrichment weeks and the Nativity.
We invite all parents to attend formal parents’ meetings twice a year (Autumn Term and Spring Term) at which the teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress.
Throughout the year, we provide parents with opportunities to celebrate their child’s learning and development by inviting them into school so we can share with them what we have been learning.
Parents are encouraged to share any relevant comments or observations about their child/ren either in person (at the beginning or end of the school day), via email or sharing photos.
Formal reports detailing their child’s attainment and progress are shared at the end of the school year.
We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between staff and parents and/or carers. Due to being such a small class, each child’s Key Person is the class teacher but strong relationships are built with the class Teaching Assistants, who also contribute to the assessing and recording of each child’s progress.
The class teacher and the teaching assistants support parents and/or carers in guiding their child’s development at home. The teacher and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) helps families to engage with more specialist support, if appropriate.
Our Personal, Social and Health education begins from the very start of early years. We promote good oral health, as well as good health in general, in the early years by for example talking to children about:
- The effects of eating too many sweet things
- The importance of having water in their drinking bottles, rather than juice
- The importance of brushing your teeth
The rest of our safeguarding and welfare procedures are outlined in our safeguarding policy.
Procedure for dealing with nappy changing and intimate care click here