Vision

At St Thomas More primary school, we want our children to be happy, confident, well-rounded individuals with a love of learning. We aim to provide high quality education that allows our children to reach their full potential and follow our school mission statement, ‘Do more, Be more, and Achieve more.’

Intent

At St Thomas More, we recognise the importance of giving our children the best possible start to their education by planning and implementing teaching and learning opportunities that supports them in reaching their full potential. In order for us to achieve this, we aim to:

  • Work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
  • Understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
  • Create a well-structured, safe and stimulating learning environment both indoors and outdoors which supports all areas of learning and development.
  • Encourage children to develop self-confidence and decision-making skills.
  • Promote enjoyment for learning through providing purposeful, fun and challenging play opportunities.
  • Encourage children to develop their sense of curiosity through hands on learning, exploration and discussion.
  • Prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make good progress from their starting points.
  • Support effective transition into the next stage of their education into Year One.

 

Implementation

At St Thomas More we recognise that children learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe, and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence that helps them to achieve their fullest potential from their various starting points.

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. All areas are planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum.  The children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum:

Prime areas of learning

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

Specific areas of learning

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 

These seven areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported. We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested.  We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to enable us to effectively support their learning. Our creative school curriculum is based around different termly topics and within these, we focus on key story books that are linked to the overarching topic. These story books excite and engage the children and provide a love for reading.

Daily whole class and small group time activities are carefully planned for and delivered. These focus on different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to learn in an exciting way and develop their next steps in learning.  There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently within the classroom environment, allowing children to apply their learning within different contexts and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play are provided.

We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

 

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.  Our outdoor area is used all year round and in most weather conditions.

Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s Learning Journey.  We regularly assess where the children are using the Development Matters and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps.

Staff support transition into Key Stage 1. Preparing children for Year 1 with visits to their new class, meeting the teacher and ensuring the environments are similar at the end of Reception and the start of Year 1.

We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with parents and carers to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed.  This includes Stay and Play mornings, parent workshops, assemblies to celebrate successes, engaging with parents using the Marvellous Me app, home visits, and parent consultations.

Impact

With the successful implementation of both an enriched, rounded and balanced curriculum and a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors children will be able to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to be successful learners. Children will be actively engaged in learning and their enjoyment of this learning will be apparent to all. All children will have experienced a curriculum that provides, exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities for children to learn through educational visits and hands on experiences. Children will be successful learners and fully prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from Foundation Stage to Year One. At the end of Foundation Stage, children will be well rounded, happy, inquisitive and successful learners.

We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points and that children reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be near National expectations. This is achieved through the following methods:

  • Evidence in children’s paper Learning Journeys support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
  • Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
  • Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using month bands in the Development Matters.  This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or who are disadvantaged.
  • Assessment judgements are moderated both in school and externally with local schools.