Welcome to Early Years
At Holy Redeemer Early Years comprises our Hopscotch Pre-school and Reception Class.
At Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School our youngest learners arrive with a diverse range of skills and prior learning experiences. Some may start at two years old, whilst others may enter at Reception age, and others at any point in between. We build on their current knowledge giving first hand, real learning experiences. We celebrate and develop each child’s uniqueness, allowing the children to reach their potential to become creative, critical thinkers that have the resilience to succeed in life, and to love their learning journey. We are non-judgemental in our approach to our curriculum and take into account all of our learners’ differences.
The ability to learn is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, imparting knowledge, concepts and values. We develop inquisitive and engaged minds by creating learning opportunities and challenges that stimulate and develop, inspired by the desires and interests of the children.
Holy Redeemer’s curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning:
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
- Active learning– children keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their achievements.
- Playing and exploring– children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
We use a Building Learning Power approach to promote these positive attitudes to learning to ensure our learners develop the responsibility for learning and future success.
The catholic life and values of our school underpins our religious, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils. We teach our children a sense of belonging; to a school and to a community. Community involvement is a key part of our curriculum as a vehicle through which to learn essential social skills. Children leave the school with a sense of belonging to a tightly knit community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections and become lifelong learners.
At Holy Redeemer Catholic Primary School, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We are part of the EYFS reforms Early Adopter from September 2020, and will follow this framework for this academic year. This framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides prime and specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.
Our EYFS Curriculum engages all children and ensures that all children make good progress from their different starting points. Parents are pivotal in the learning process, and we recognise them as the child’s first educator. We meet regularly with the parents to ensure they are part of the learning process. This includes a bespoke transition, reading mornings, stay and play, phonics/reading/maths workshops, information evenings, parent consultations, and daily contact at drop off and pick up. We use Tapestry, an online Learning Journey, to inform parents of daily learning and how they can continue this learning at home.
Our curriculum is child-centred and based upon their interests, using wow moments and topics which engage children.
Staff work closely together, receiving regular training to ensure their interactions with the children: reflect current best practise; are valuable; support each individual child; and move learning on. The adults strive to engage the children in higher level thinking and deeper learning, whilst providing language-rich modelling.
The children learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities, supported by their interests. A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis. Continuous provision practise and principles begin in EYFS and support children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. During the school day, children have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and work directly with a member of staff. Daily guided activities are also planned to cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning. Through observation and discussion, areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made. There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play.
All children make at least good progress from their individual starting points. The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. Year on year we exceed national and local averages in terms of the percentage of children achieving GLD (Good Level of Development). Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace. Summative assessment compares individual children’s attainment to age related expectations using month bands, as in ‘Development Matters’.
Our assessment judgements are moderated both in school, and externally with local schools and others in our Catholic cluster. We also partake in Local Authority moderation which validates our school judgements.
Children at Holy Redeemer receive the best possible start to their school life. These skills, knowledge and values are embedded by the time they leave Reception, preparing them to be excellent future learners. This is then borne out by our SATs (Standard Attainment Tests) in which our children again perform at a higher, or significantly higher, standard than local and national averages.