We have written our own bespoke Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which places focus on providing an environment which supports children's Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional development, as well as Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. We aim to support each child to identify their own sense of identity and self - worth, as well as focusing on each and every child’s individual needs and interests. All children have the opportunity to independently engage in activities, both indoors and outdoors, whilst exploring different themes during the course of the year.
Communication and Language
We aim to provide the children with a vocabulary rich environment, providing lots of opportunities for speaking and listening. In Reception we learn to understand how to listen attentively and respond to what we hear through relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class and small group discussions. We encourage the children to participate, explain and express their ideas and feelings using newly taught vocabulary. We also encourage and model the use of language when learning through continuous provision.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
At St James’ we provide a welcoming a nurturing environment for all children. We encourage them to be independent learners and have confidence in their abilities, as well as support them in learning how to manage their feelings and those of others. The children learn how to regulate their behaviours accordingly.
We are very fortunate to have a large outdoor area providing lots of opportunities for the children to develop their gross motor skills. We have a variety of equipment including bikes, trikes and scooters, balls and building bricks as well as a trim trail which children have access to on a daily basis. We also help to develop the children’s fine motor skills through carefully selected activities such as play dough, scissors, tweezers, threading, paintbrushes, pencils and cutlery. These activities help the children strength the muscles in their hands that are needed for writing.
Early reading and writing skills are of upmost importance to us. As such children are provided with lots of opportunities throughout the day to listen to and talk about stories, including using and understanding recently introduced vocabulary during discussions from fiction, non fiction, rhymes, poems and during role play. The children learn to use their phonic knowledge to read and then write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
We help children develop their mathematical awareness through daily taught lessons and in our continuous provision. We create opportunities for children to improve counting skills, use and recall number bonds, as well as use and describe shape, space and measure. Examples of this include singing number songs and rhymes, comparing the size of toy animals and sorting objects by shape or weight.
Understanding the World
We aim to promote a natural curiosity about the world and provide opportunities to explore and investigate through everyday activities. Children have access to the natural world around us through our outdoor provision and we often set up activities for children to take part in planting, hunting for bugs and nature walks. We also aim to provide children with an understanding of the wider world through storybooks, short video clips and discussion.
Expressive Art and Design
Children are encouraged to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in a range of ways including through art, design and technology, role play, music and dance. We have a range of resources for the children to independently access and use including musical instruments, a ‘home’ corner, creative and painting areas.