At St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, the EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, provide first-hand learning experiences allowing the children to develop interpersonal skills, self-confidence and to provide them with a solid foundation in preparation for their next stage of learning. Our curriculum embraces the community in which it is situated, recognising local history, heritage, geographical situation, and most importantly, the aspirations of all our children.
We place a strong emphasis on the religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. Our school community has identified a clear set of values that underpin expectations for behaviour for all members of our school family. Every child is recognised as a unique individual. We celebrate and welcome the differences within our school community.
The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values. We constantly provide enhancement opportunities to engage inquisitive minds and believe that childhood should be a happy, investigative and enquiring time in our lives where there are no limits to curiosity. We want to create memorable experiences for all of our children.
St Bernadette’s EYFS curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
- Active learning – children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy their achievements.
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
We have embraced a dinosaur-themed approach called ‘Achievosaurs’ to support the children in being able to think and talk about demonstrating the characteristics.
We have a narrative immersion approach to our EYFS Curriculum, where communication and language and literacy are placed at the heart of all teaching and learning. Each half-term we have a quality text, the children are ‘hooked’ into the text by the opening of the Magic Story Box. From this, a variety of learning challenges take place each week and the provision is enhanced in response to what has happened in the narrative. The narrative immersion approach involves problem-solving, dramatic conventions and it embraces reading for pleasure. A variety of enrichment opportunities are planned across the year, these form part of our cultural capital offer and may include trips to a farm, London bus visit, dental visits, musical workshops and experience days.
A key priority in the EYFS is forming strong relationships with our parents, families and local schools and settings. Transition is extremely well planned to ensure that all children have a positive start to their time at St Bernadette’s. We aim to work with ‘parents as partners’ to ensure that they feel supported and included in their child’s learning journey, therefore we hold regular parent workshops, inspire days and send home newsletters. We also recognise that children don’t just learn at school; our parents are able to send in home learning experiences through the Learning Book App.
Community involvement is an essential part of our curriculum as we celebrate local traditions, learning new skills to enable the children to take an active role in events throughout the year. Children leave the school with a sense of belonging to a ‘family’ where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.