At St Joseph's we believe that all children deserve an education rich in wonder and memorable experiences that allows children's natural creativity and curiosity to flourish, alongside the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge. We believe that an education that does all of this gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed in an ever-changing world.
At St Joseph's we recognise the importance of giving our children the best possible start to their education by planning and implementing teaching and learning opportunities that supports them in reaching their full potential. We know that our children enter the Reception classes with varied life experiences and we aim to plan teaching and learning opportunities accordingly to address this.
The Development Matters document along with the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals set out end of reception year expectations for children by the end of the Foundation Stage. St Joseph's recognises the crucial role that Early Year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based.
We aim to provide children, with a well-structured, safe, active learning environment both indoors and outdoors. This will enable them to develop the skills, attitudes and understanding that will form the basis of lifelong learning and encourage them to become useful, active members of a diverse and constantly changing society.
At St Joseph's we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. We recognise that children will learn most effectively when they are healthy, safe and secure, when their individual needs are met and when they have positive relationships with the adults who care for them. We aim to provide a setting that encompasses a safe and stimulating environment where children are able to enjoy learning and grow in confidence that helps them to achieve their fullest potential.
We meet the legal requirements for:
- Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare.
- Providing suitable adults with appropriate qualifications, training, skills and knowledge.
- Maintaining records, policies and procedures for the safe and efficient management of the setting and to meet the needs of the children.
- Planning and organisation to ensure that every child receives an enjoyable and challenging learning and developmental experience tailored to meet their individual needs.
Our policy on teaching and learning defines the features of effective teaching and learning throughout the whole school. The combination of a learner centred model and a problem centred model of curriculum design effectively underpin the curriculum at St Joseph's. The curriculum is planned and implemented using a cross curricular thematic approach across the school and links with the Cornerstone Imaginative Learning Projects are made. This approach we feel gives children the opportunities to apply learning from across the curriculum that gives their work practical context and also opportunities to apply knowledge and skills they have learned within “real world” problem solving. Each half term, children will cover a new topic or theme of work, this topic is introduced to the children as the ‘Big Question’ and children are given the opportunity to influence and plan the direction of their own learning by identifying, what they already know, understand and would like to know about each new topic of work. Each topic is then flexibly delivered through a staged approach incorporating an initial engagement to ‘hook’ the children’s imagination in their new topic or theme of learning. This learning then develops through a series of lessons that builds skills, knowledge and understanding within that topic of learning. At the end of each topic of work children are given the opportunity to evaluate their learning and celebrate their achievements within each topic of learning and this celebration is often shared with parents and carers and other family members.
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage reflects the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning identified in the Early Learning Goals, all of which are equally valued at St Joseph's. These experiences our children meet through a healthy diet of both adult initiated and adult directed activities, child initiated and a problem solving approach to learning, enabling them to develop a number of competences across all areas of learning. The Early Learning Goals are in line with the National Curriculum and provide the basis for planning throughout the Foundation Stage.
St Joseph's provides a safe, stimulating outdoor learning environment in order to enhance teaching and learning against in engaging, problem solving, investigative and explorative ways. Children have daily opportunities to access the outdoor environment which also enables them to increase their levels of physical activity. Children’s learning is enabled within the outdoor learning environment which is seen as an extension of the classroom within which children are encouraged to use and apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills through outdoor learning opportunities that also engages all pupils in a positive way with their local, natural environment.
Throughout Reception as part of the learning and teaching process, children will be assessed in relation to their progress towards Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year. End of year assessments are finalised during the summer term, summarising each child’s development at that point against the Early Learning Goals and Development Matters.
With the successful implementation of both an enriched, rounded and balanced curriculum and a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors children will be able to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to be successful learners. Children will be actively engaged in learning and their enjoyment of this learning will be apparent to all. All children will have experienced a curriculum that provides, exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities for children to learn through educational visits and hands on experiences. Children will more fully appreciate and understand the world around them, experiencing and learning about different cultures, music, dance, art and history. Children will actively ask questions about the world around them and their learning experiences and they will never fear making a mistake but instead see this as an opportunity to learn. Children will be able to make links with their learning develop their skills as they are able to use and apply skills learnt within their learning across the curriculum. Children will also be skillful at solving problems and they will have effectively developed their personal levels of resilience and independent learning skills. Children will be successful learners and fully prepared for the next stage of their education as they transition from Foundation Stage to Year One. We will also aim to help children to make sense of the world around them, to develop tolerance, compassion and an understanding of their rights and the rights of others in an ever evolving world. Children at the end of Foundation stage will have developed essential knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. Children at St Joseph's will be well rounded, happy, inquisitive and successful learners.