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Early Years Foundation Stage

St Mary's has its own Nursery on site which together with the Reception class, forms the Early Years Foundation Stage.
St.Mary's Early Years team pride themselves on a creative approach to teaching. We aim to create a stimulating and engaging environment that nurtures a love of learning. This is achieved by building on the children's interests, questions, thoughts and ideas. Our main focus is to develop their social and language skills which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their journey through St.Mary's and beyond.
We understand that each child is special and unique. We aim to work as closely as possible with parents at this critical stage in the children's education. By working together with parents, we can ensure your child thrives in all aspects of their school life. 
We follow the Early Years Curriculum which is divided into 7 areas of learning:
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Physical Development
Understanding of the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Topics are planned following the children's interests; sometimes these last for half a term and at other times they may last for a shorter period. The current topic is always shared with parents in our EYFS Newsletter.
In addition to the 7 areas of learning, we incorporate how the children learn. This is demonstrated by the Characteristics of Effective Learning:
  • Playing and Exploring - where children investigate and experience things and have a go.
  • Active Learning - where children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties.
  • Creating and thinking critically - where children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 
Children take part in a wide variety of activities that cover the 7 areas of learning, which are recorded electronically on an online Learning Journey called Tapestry. All children are regularly assessed in these areas through a variety of activities including direct teaching or adult-led tasks, observations of the children at play and through parental contributions.
Children develop and practice their skills just as much at home as at school. Parents are encouraged to tell us all about their talented children and can download the WOW! sheet at the bottom of the page which can be placed in their child's Learning Journey. Parents can also upload photos and observations to their child's Tapestry account.