Early Years at St Mary's
At St Marys we offer a curriculum rich in wonder and memorable experiences.
We work hard to provide a stimulating environment that provides exciting opportunities, promotes challenge, exploration and a real love of learning.
It is out intent that all children develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally in an environment which promotes the Catholic ethos and gospel values.
We aim for our children to be confident and independent, to believe in themselves and interact positively with others.
We understand that play is an integral part of learning and this is at the heart of our Early Years curriculum. We believe that the correct mix of adult directed and child-initiated play ensures the best outcomes.
Warm and positive relationships between staff and children, consistent routines and strong relationships with parents are key.
We recognise the crucial role that Early Years education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’
At St Mary's we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children.
We prioritise creating a language rich environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics through the Read Write Inc. programme. In reception we follow Power Maths where children develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. In the nursery children follow the progression through Developmental Matters with daily counting and rhymes. We want children to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
We are part of The Plymouth Oracy Project focusing on children being able to talk about what they are learning and use talk to
Our learning environment is adaptable in order to reflect children’s interests and progression. The children are supported to learn to work together, manage their feelings and ask questions.
The curriculum is taught through topics which are enriched with classroom enhancements, trips and visitors. Topics are supported by quality texts. These are chosen carefully to encourage children’s speech, language and communication development. All planning however is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted dependent on children’s interests.
We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school. Parents receive planning each half term to inform them of what their child is learning and how they can support this at home. We use ClassDojo to message parents so they can engage in their child’s learning and share experiences.
As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the children through ongoing assessments. These are then used to inform planning , interventions and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children, from their starting points make good progress. During their time with us children make progress towards the national expectation for a Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of the reception year. Pupils also make good progress towards their age-related expectations both academically and socially, developing a sense of themselves before going into Year One. Children develop their Characteristics of Learning and are able to apply their knowledge to a range of situations making links and explaining their ideas and understanding. Children are confident to take risks and discuss their successes and failures with peers and adults drawing on their experiences to improve or adjust what they are doing.
We believe our high standards are due to our carefully planned environment, enriched play-based curriculum, quality first teaching and rigour ongoing assessments