Foundation Stage 1 at St Matthews Catholic Primary School
What Is A High-Quality Nursery Education?
- It is about much more than just learning numbers and letters.
- It is about developing the whole child – learning to be confident, sociable, independent and inquisitive. It is about having a positive attitude and forming positive relationships.
- What your child learns at Nursery will build upon the experiences they have already gained at home. Young children learn by watching and doing, by exploring and investigating, by listening and speaking, by creating and experimenting.
- If children learn to “have a go” they can learn from their mistakes and not be afraid to try again.
- The education we provide is based on a philosophy of play and active learning. Play is children’s work and playing hard is very tiring.
- We observe and assess each child carefully and record their overall development.
Children are assessed on entry using the Early Years Foundation Stage Assessment.
This gives us a “baseline” from which activities are planned to ensure all children develop at the appropriate rate.
Staff then continually monitors and record your child’s progress in their own personal learning journal which is available for your child and you to look at whenever you want to and to discuss with staff on the ‘stay and play days’ throughout the year.
The Nursery Curriculum – What Did You Do At Nursery Today?
When children make something, draw or paint you can see what they have done but often their play has nothing to show for it. Therefore, do not presume that they have not been learning anything if they do not leave nursery with a finished product. Our displays in Nursery aim to celebrate children’s play and explain the learning taking place. Please feel free to look at our displays when you bring /collect your child.
Please do not put pressure on your child to always produce something for you, or compare what they have made, as this can damage their self-esteem.
During the nursery session children are offered a free choice of activities both indoors and outdoors, whatever the weather, from a balanced programme. We place a strong emphasis on learning in our outdoor environment. Some activities will be adult-led, and some child led. Waterproof outdoor clothing is provided for outdoor use.
We have a website designed to share regular information about our school life, photographs of the children enjoying a range of activities, interactive games, community events and much more. This site also enables you to access information detailing the different experiences being offered in Nursery each day.
We will keep you updated by a Newsletter, which will include information about upcoming events and also activities about the current interests, your child is taking part in at nursery. You will receive a learning journal as part of your child’s progression of skills in the nursery environment.
All aspects of children’s growth and development are woven together but they can be separated into 7 different areas of learning. These areas are consistent with the Early Learning Goals within the Early Years Foundation Stage for 0 to 5-year-olds. The 7 areas are split into 3 prime areas (these are the areas the children should mostly develop first) and 4 specific areas (these will develop as the child grows). Below you can see a breakdown of each area of learning and development.
The Prime Areas:
1. Communication and Language: Involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
2. Physical development: Involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
3. Personal, social and emotional development Involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and to others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
The Specific areas:
4. Literacy: Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interests
5. Mathematics: Involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their social skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
6. Understanding the World: Involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
7. Expressive arts and design: Involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.
These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. We make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a bit like a curriculum in Primary and Secondary schools, but it’s suitable for very young children, and it’s designed to be really flexible so that we can follow your child’s unique needs and interests.
Children at Nursery will learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.