ST BEGA'S EARLY YEARS INTENT STATEMENT
St Bega’s Early Years encompasses a nursery with additional 30-hour provision and a Reception class. Across all phases, we aim to provide a nurturing, rich, inspiring and inclusive learning environment and curriculum which meets the needs of all of our children.
Come and See aims to deliver Religious Education in our Early Years. The intention of this programme is to raise questions and provide material for our children to reflect on their own experiences. It endeavours to provide opportunities for our children to explore the beliefs and values and ways of life of Catholic traditions, as well as other faith traditions.
We aim to continue to develop and implement a curriculum which will prepare all of our children for the twenty first century and we intend to deliver a curriculum which is well – structured and one which fosters the development of each child’s unique character.
In addition to incorporating the statutory areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we also aim to provide opportunities for the children to follow their own interests, so as to scaffold, consolidate and extend their knowledge, skills and understanding across the curriculum.
We intend to provide happy and positive indoor and outdoor experiences, with the aim of fostering a love of learning whilst embedding and celebrating the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) and, providing experiences that strengthen British Values.
We endeavour to support all of our children in reaching their full potential and to make at least good progress from their individual starting points, in a learning environment in which the children across all of our phases feel safe, happy, loved and secure.
A goal of ours is to nurture life-long learners who are ambitious, curious, active and confident with the intention that these children go on to make valuable contributions in society and are prepared for life in Modern Britain.
In recognising the crucial role that the Early Years has to play in children’s future learning, we intend to provide firm foundations upon which both their academic success and personal, social and emotional development can be built. To do this, as well as utilising local community links, we work in partnership with parents, carers and as we collectively endeavour to give our children the best possible start.
Fundamentally, caring, skilful and experienced Early Years practitioners with high expectations, interact constructively with the children and work passionately to deliver a resourceful curriculum which maximises the opportunities for learning and meaningful experiences and ensures that all of our children experience success.
The seven areas of learning outlined in the Development Matters Curriculum Guidance (2020) and The Early Adopter Framework are all valued here at St Bega’s, with all areas of learning equally incorporated and planned for, in order to ensure that there is a broad, balanced and progressive curriculum. We ensure that content of the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all of our learners and is taught in a logical progression so that our children can build on their prior learning. Children learn through a balance of whole class and group teaching. During small group work, staff can systematically check for understanding and promptly respond to misconceptions and provide verbal feedback in real time which results in the acquisition of new learning. Planned activities are directed by adults with others been initiated by both adults and children.
Our children’s voices are enthusiastically acknowledged across all phases and the curriculum is designed so that their interests are integrated into the curriculum. A topic-based approach to our long-term planning is implemented across all phases, however with regard to medium and short term planning, plans are adapted to address the ever changing and growing needs of our children. Indeed, our curriculum is designed to be flexible in order that our children’s unique needs and interests are supported as necessary.
Our new 3-year-old starter children receive a visit from members of the Early Years team. Children who join us from others setting also receive a visit as well as having the opportunity to experience time in our setting. These early home visits promptly establish positive relationships with parents and carers and give us the opportunity to convey our Open-door policy. Parents are welcomed to our many events in the setting and are kept informed about and are involved in their child’s education by variety of means, for example: starter packs, Reception new starter meetings, meet the teacher events, consultation evenings, Seesaw remote homework learning portal, St Bega’s Facebook page and our whole school weekly Wednesday letter.
The Catholic Primary Religious Education Programme Come and See is currently delivered across the Early Years by Mrs Pattison. Three topics are covered each term and in addition to this, children learn about other faiths and religions throughout the year. Class rejoice assemblies at the end of each topic are used as an opportunity for our children to share their Come and See learning with the rest of the school and their families. In Nursery a floor book is used to evidence the children’s Come and See learning whereas in Reception, individual books, photographs and displays are used to evidence the children’s learning.
Staff across all of the Early Years phases make regular observations of the children’s learning. These continuous, daily formative assessments provide us with an in-depth knowledge of the children and are used to inform planning and the next steps in teaching and learning.
Throughout the Early Years, as part of our termly assessment, children will be assessed in relation to their progress with regard to the observation check points outlined in the Development Matters Curriculum Guidance (2020) and The Early Learning Goal judgements within The Early Adopter Framework. End of phase summative assessments are finalised during the summer term where each child’s development, at that point, is recorded.
Our inclusive approach means that all of our children learn together however we have a range of additional tailored interventions which may include either closing gaps or moving children on. When a need is identified, bespoke Intervention Programs (IPs) are generated by the class teacher and are then delivered in groups or on an individual basis. Other research-based programs are also used to provide timely intervention and include: Blast, Wellcomm and Nessy. In addition, interventions may include making referrals to and working alongside colleagues in Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, Educational Psychology, Sensory Therapy, School Nurses and Health Visitors in order to deliver personalised support for our children.
Various trips, visitors, themes and events which have a clear curriculum focus take place throughout the academic year, with local community connections, in keeping with our SIP, being utilised as an integral part of active learning within our EYFS. For example: autumn walk, visit from a local author, theatre visits, trips to the local swimming pool, Chinese New Year morning, Easter Extravaganza, Hatching Chicks and Touring Pantomimes, are to name but a few.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING (COEL)
We ensure that the COEL’s are celebrated within our setting. ‘COEL HERO’ displays are accessible to the children in each setting, these displays are refereed to throughout the day when children demonstrate a particular superhero COEL skill.
Due to staff consistency and the many shared experiences within the EYFS, transitions within the EYFS phases are smooth. Transition from the EYFS into Key Stage 1 is further supported by enabling the children to have ‘Year 1’ experiences throughout the summer term. In addition to this although largely cohort dependent, efforts are made to ensure that the classroom environments are similar to that end of Reception and the start of Year 1.
The impact of Early and prompt identification of our disadvantaged children and children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) ensure that:
The impact of our broad and balanced curriculum alongside our active and challenging learning environment will ensure that our children:
The impact of incorporating the statutory areas of learning within the EYFS, in addition to other approaches that are bespoke to St Bega’s Early Years ensures that:
The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by: