Early Years Curriculum
Early Years Education at Our Lady School
Reception is where the excitement begins! In Reception we make learning fun and enjoyable at all times. Your child will learn in a safe and stimulating environment, which is based around their interests. Your child will learn in a variety of different contexts and situations such as whole class and small group sessions as well as through adult directed and child initiated play sessions. We provide stimulating experiences for your children to investigate, discover, explore and create, which will develop inquisitive minds. Your child will be encouraged and supported to learn through play and we will ensure we plan and provide rewarding experiences, which will stay with your child forever.
The Early Years Team
At OLS we have an enthusiastic and dedicated Early Years team which is led by an experienced EY Leader who is an expert in her field.
Early Years Leader
I am passionate about Early Years education and this passion drives my commitment to providing the highest quality Early Years education for all the children in the Early Years setting. At Our Lady’s we ensure every day is filled with stimulating experiences, which engage the children and excite their passion for learning. Teaching in Early Years is not a job, it is a privilege.
Early Years Teacher
Having taught across a number of key stages for a number of years I feel that I am best placed to provide the perfect possible start for each child as I know exactly where they are headed on their educational journey and as a result, can provide the strongest of foundations.
I firmly believe the Early Years ethos of Learning Through Play and as a result, ensure that all aspects of the learning environment within Our Lady Primary School provide an engaging and stimulating opportunity to play and learn. I love all things Early Years!
Early Years Assistant
Early years is a wonderful place to work (and play!) I have worked in Early Years for 12 years and I would not want to be anywhere else. Being with a class of small children, every day is truly like an adventure. Watching them learn, grow & develop daily is a pleasure & something very special to be a part of. Children are starting their educational journey with us & it is our job to create learning environments, which are fun & engaging. It really is a magical place to be.
“The first five years of every child’s life can unleash a lifetime of potential”
The Early Years Curriculum
In Reception our Foundation Stage children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). The curriculum is based on four themes and principles:
The unique child
We understand that every child is an individual child who is capable in their own right. Children are constantly learning and with the right support can be resilient, capable and confident.
Social interactions are key to a child’s development. By building positive relationships with adults and peers, Children can develop a strong and independent character.
A safe and stimulating environment which reflects the needs and interests of the children is vital for a child’s development. Children learn and develop well in an environment where their experiences respond to their individual needs and where there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
Learning and development
Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The Early Years Environment
At Our Lady School, we have a large inside and outside classroom where our Early Years pupils can learn and develop. Our safe and stimulating environment reflects the needs and interests of all the children in our setting. We want our children to feel happy, relaxed and comfortable in their classroom and so we strive to create an environment where our children feel they belong. We recognise the importance of the children having ownership of their learning environment and therefore we provide learning spaces and resources that reflect their interests and their needs.
We have recently invested heavily in our Early Years environment and continue to strive for the best and provide the best for our children. Our inside and outside learning classrooms have all been redesigned and resourced together with the Early Years team and the children. The classrooms are continuously enhanced and adapted in response to the individual children in the setting to ensure the children are stimulated and excited and they want to learn.
The Early Learning Goals
Our committed team of staff will liaise closely to support your child’s learning and plan their next steps. The EYFS sets out how our curriculum should be structured and identifies 13 Early Learning Goals, which the children aim to achieve by the end of their year in Reception. This forms the basis of how we structure our setting, the activities and experiences we provide and how we assess the children.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. The 3 Prime areas are:
- Communication & Language
- Personal, Social and emotional development
- Physical development
These prime areas are those essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
All children learn and develop in different ways and at a difference pace. Understanding how your child learns best is important in ensuring they progress to their maximum potential. The Early Years Framework sets out 3 characteristics of Effective learning.
- Playing and exploring
- Active learning
- Creating and thinking critically
The ways in which your child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.
Child initiated learning is a very important part of the Early Years curriculum. It is a key way in which children learn. Through their play, in a secure environment, with effective adult support, children can:-
- Explore, develop and represent learning experiences which help them make sense of the world
- Discover new and exciting experiences
- Practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills
- Co-operate and collaborate with others
- Understand the need for rules
- Think creatively and imaginatively
- Communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems
Express fears or relive anxious experiences in a controlled and safe environment.