Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. In The Dunstan Catholic Educational Trust we greatly value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development, however we also believe early childhood is valid in itself, as part of life. It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply preparation for the next stage of education.
• That we provide a safe, challenging, stimulating, caring and sharing environment which is sensitive to the needs of the child, including children with additional needs.
• Provide a broad, balanced, relevant and creative curriculum that will set in place firm foundations for future learning and development in Key Stage 1 and beyond
• That there is quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind. Every child is valued and their individual needs are assessed and used to inform next steps.
• That we provide opportunities for children to learn through, planned and purposeful play in all areas of learning and development. These opportunities enable choice and decision-making and foster independence and self-confidence.
• There are close partnerships working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
• Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and antidiscriminatory practice.
Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in Educational Programmes within the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021. 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
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development
The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas.
The specific areas are:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design
Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum are the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning:
• playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
• active learning – children will have time and space to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements
• creating and thinking critically – we encourage and support children to have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing this.
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.
The documents below outline our intent in each area of the framework and the expected progression across the year in order to meet the Early Learning Goals (ELGs)
Intent, Implement and Impact Statements
The EYFS setting is in a large, light and airy space set up into zones. The pupils have free flow access to both the indoor and outdoor spaces throughout majority of the day.
Parents as Partners
We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between staff and parents and/or carers. Parents and/or carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development. The progress check and EYFS profile helps to provide parents and/or carers with a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. We use a variety of systems to make sure that parents are aware of the progress their children are making and sharing key steps in their learning.
Phonic Information for Parents