‘We Care, We Share, We Value’


Learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage

At Holy Cross we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). This curriculum is based upon four themes and principles.

Unique Child – Every child is unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities,


The EYFS Framework

There are 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning in the Foundation Stage framework curriculum. In the 2 Year and 3-4 Year old Nursery provision, the focus is on the 3 Prime areas. Both settings are equipped with both age and developmentally appropriate resources to meet the individual children’s needs. In Reception, the focus begins to be on the Specific areas once the Prime areas are embedded.

In all EYFS settings within Sacred Heart, children spend their time within a free flow enabling environment between indoors and outdoors, and through both adult led and child initiated activities.


Prime Areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional 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.

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.

Physical Development – involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and 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.


Specific Areas:

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 interest.

Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

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.

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.


What sort of things will children learn during the Foundation Stage?

In the Prime Areas children will learn to:-

  • Share, take turns and develop respect for each other.
  • Make friends and become confident independent learners.
  • Behave appropriately when playing with others.
  • Listen to others and understand spoken language.
  • Learn new words rapidly and use them in conversations.
  • Join in conversations with adults and children.
  • Develop control of their bodies using both large scale movements such as running and jumping, and small scale movements such as holding pencils and using scissors.

In the Specific Areas children will learn to:-

  • Enjoy sharing books and stories with adults and friends.
  • Read words and simple sentences (Reception children).
  • Draw, make marks, write letters and words.
  • Count accurately groups of objects and recognise numerals.
  • Add, subtract and problem solve during practical activities.
  • Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, distance, time and money.
  • Look closely at how things work, why things happen, living things and the natural world.
  • Use ICT equipment, e.g. programmable toys and computers.
  • Be imaginative, sing songs, dance and create fantastic models, drawings and paintings.


What will children do during a Nursery or Reception class session?

Your child will take part in a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors. Your child will learn through activities he or she has chosen, or from those that are led by an adult. Children in the Foundation Stage learn through play based activities that are fun and enjoyable. These activities are supported by caring adults who will work closely with you to ensure your child makes progress. We keep careful progress records for each child which are linked to the Development Matters in the Foundation Stage Guidance. Parents are actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s learning journals.


How you can help your child?

  • Encourage and praise them because they need to feel successful.
  • Look at their work and help them with their homework where necessary.
  • Come into school whenever you can – such as assemblies, fayres, play and stay sessions – Children really love to see you in school.
  • Always encourage your child o take pride in their work.
  • Take time to share a book with them – take them to the library regularly.
  • Talk about what they are reading at school.
  • Encourage good manners and respect at all times to everyone in and out of school.


How you can help your child's school?

  • Ensure that all contact information is up to date.
  • Make sure that we are aware of any medical problems.
  • Let us know immediately if you child is absent.
  • Let us know if you have a change in home circumstances – this information will kept confidential.
  • Make sure your child is in school on time every day.
  • Send your child into school in the correct school uniform.
  • Send your child in with their PE kits.
  • Ensure that homework books and reading books are returned to school daily.
  • Make sure that everything is named clearly.
  • Check your child’s hair regularly.
  • If there is a change in the person collecting your child, please let us know!


School Readiness

What is School Readiness?

The EYFS defines school readiness as ‘the broad range of skills, knowledge and attitudes children need as foundations for good future progress.’ (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, page 4).

School Readiness at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

We believe that school readiness is about children becoming confident learners who don’t giving up when things get tricky, it’s about being happy to leave familiar grown-ups and come into school willingly and be excited about what the day might entail.

We believe it is about children being able to take care of their own needs at an appropriate level such as putting on a coat; washing their own hands and being able to go to the toilet by themselves.

Being school ready is also about children:

  • Developing their language skills so that they can make their thoughts and feelings known to others.
  • Being able to share.
  • Asking questions to find out how and why things happen.
  • Being curious about the world around them.
  • Having a sound general knowledge about their world.
  • Being able to recognise and name objects, colours, shapes and actions such as running and jumping.
  • Saying their number names in order.
  • Counting objects carefully.
  • Make sure that everything is named clearly.
  • Using pencils to to draw recognisable pictures.
  • Use scissors safely.

How you can help your child to be school ready?

There are lots of ways that you can help your child to be school ready too, here are a few ideas:

  • Having fun with your child: playing, talking and sharing together regularly and frequently.
  • Doing familiar and different things together and showing your interest iin discovering new things.
  • Asking questions to find out how and why things happen.
  • Singing songs, nursery and finger rhymes and making time for talk.
  • Supporting your child’s self-help skills so that they learn to do things for themselves.
  • Recognising and talking through your child’s feelings and different emotions.
  • Providing opportunities for your child to meet and relate to others including adults beyond close family and friends so that they positively experience socialising, sharing toys and turn taking.
  • Establishing a good sleep routine.
  • Reading with and to your child, everyday if you can.
  • Involving your child in getting to know their school before starting.
  • Ensuring your child is as active and healthy as they can be.
  • Teaching your child how to use a knife and fork or open packets and bags ready for school lunches.

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