At St Joseph’s our Early Years comprises of:
•Preschool 2+ to 4 years
Our Curriculum Vision
At St Joseph’s Catholic School we aim to provide the highest quality care and education for each and every child by giving children opportunities to gain fundamental learning skills within the Early Years Foundation Stage. We value each child as a unique individual and children’s interests are at the centre of our curriculum. This enables us to create a safe and happy environment which is stimulating and motivating for learners. We endeavour to work in partnership with parents to enable children to reach their full potential and ensure children become successful learners within the foundation stage and beyond.
We follow the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum and statutory guidance. Please use the link ‘What to Expect When’ which is supported by the Department of Education for more information. It offers guidance for children’s learning during the Early Years Foundation Stage which runs from birth to the end of their Reception year. Also, look at our 'EYFS end of year expectation' document to see our own expectations, as a school, during your child's early year's journey with us.
We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observations of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed in their early learning goals. At the crux of our curriculum is:
Language Development – Our Early Years environment has been developed to create wonder and awe. It is a language-rich environment and traditional tales and high-quality texts are used as themes to scaffold learning. Role-plays are developed by the children and added to by staff 'in the moment' to further challenge children's thought processes and stretch their knowledge base. As a result, children develop an understanding of story structure, a love of reading, acquire new vocabulary and can articulate themselves appropriately. For children who may need a little extra support, we have developed the use of Signalong to reinforce word meaning and offer an alternative way for them to communicate their understanding.
Physical Development -Children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful, first-hand experiences in which they explore, think creatively and are active. Little Leaves provides a natural learning environment in which the children can explore all that the natural world has to offer. Our access to the school hall also enables us to deliver memorable physical development sessions such as bike-balanceability and mini yoga. Fine motor skills are developed through finger-gym, playdough disco and tool development at Little Leaves. Our Physical Development curriculum develops key fundamental motor skills early on so that children develop stamina for writing. Children who need a little extra support have access to progressive interventions such as Smartmoves, pegboards and Jimbo-Fun.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Children are able to develop their personal, social and emotional skills through endless opportunities to play alongside and in co-operation with others. We create whole class rules, which we promise to abide by, to keep us all safe and happy while we are at school together. When disagreements occur children are encouraged to demonstrate empathy and understanding of one another's feelings and, with support, are able to compromise to overcome differences. Circle times are used to discuss emotions and help children build confidence to share their own experiences and feelings. Adventure Ted and Marvellous Me boxes are ways in which the children can share their lives with the rest of their friends, giving them opportunities to ask each other questions and gain more understanding about similarities and differences between themselves and others.
At St Joseph’s we use Building Learning Power Characters to promote key characteristics of learning which will enable the children to be successful life-long learners and enable necessary skills for later employment. These are:
Bradley Bat – listening to detail
Have a Go Hare – giving things a go
Resilient Rhino – being resilient, bouncing back after difficulties
Busy Beaver – being resourceful, thinking of how they can help themselves
Tom Tortoise – being evaluative and thinking of new ways to do things
Team Ant – working as team, listening to others