At St Swithun Wells’ we believe each child is a valued unique individual made in God’s image. Children are made to feel safe, secure and loved. Independence is fostered as are positive attitudes to learning. Each child is encouraged to reach their full potential regardless of ethnic socio-economic background, race gender or ability. Children enjoy and achieve through high quality teaching and learning. Children enter Nursery just after their third birthday. Currently, we have a 26 place full time nursery (with provision for 30 children) offering mornings or full days. We have one intake into Reception and all children entering the EYFS will have a carefully structured induction programme.
All children work towards the Early Learning Goals, which most children achieve by the end of Reception. There are seven areas of learning and development of which three are “prime areas” and four “specific areas”.
The Prime Areas:
Communication and Language
This is broken down into three sub sections. These cover Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking. These outcomes cover important aspects of language development and provide the foundations for literacy. The Early Years Policy places a strong emphasis on children’s developing competence in speaking and listening and understanding. Other areas of learning also make a vital contribution to the successful development of literacy.
This covers both fine and gross motor development and keeping healthy. Physical development is implicit in all areas of the EYFS framework. Teaching concentrates on children’s developing physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in indoor and outdoor environments. Positive attitudes are encouraged towards a healthy and active way of life.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This area has three sub sections. These are Making Relationships, Self-confidence and Self-awareness and Managing Feelings and Behaviour. The outcomes focus on children learning how to work, play, co-operate with others and function in a group beyond the family. They cover important aspects of personal, social, moral and spiritual development including the development of personal values and an understanding of self and others.
The Specific Areas
This area of learning has two sub sections of Reading and Writing. The objectives ensure success in early reading and writing skills. Phonics plays a big part in this area and the ability to blend for reading and segment for spelling are skills that are promoted daily in the Foundation Stage.
This is broken down into two sub sections. These are Number and Shape, Space and Measures. These outcomes cover important aspects of mathematical understanding and provide the foundation for Mathematics. They focus on achievement through practical activities and using and understanding language in the development of simple mathematical ideas.
Understanding of World
This covers the subjects Geography, Science, DT, History and ICT. This is a major area of learning and enquiry focusing on children’s developing knowledge and understanding of their environment, other people and features of the natural and made world. It provides a foundation for historical, geographical, scientific and technological learning.
Expressive Arts and Design
This covers art, music, and drama. This area of the EYFS framework focuses on the development of children’s imagination and their ability to communicate and to express ideas and feelings in creative ways.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The characteristics of effective learning describe factors which play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. They are vital elements of support for the transition process from EYFS to Year 1. The characteristics of learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning, representing processes rather than outcomes. Information regarding the child’s characteristics of learning will provide the Year One teacher with vital background and context when considering the child’s next stage of development and future learning needs.
Playing and Exploring- engagement
Active learning –motivation
Creating and thinking critically- thinking
As we are a Catholic School we follow a programme linked to the Curriculum Directory that permeates throughout the entire learning environment.