The focus in Bethlehem is to support and teach children today for tomorrow, building on what they know and extend this through a combination of self-initiated and adult-led play-based learning.
At St Robert Southwell, The Bethlehem EY curriculum is planned and adapted to promote and encourage all children to become confident, inquisitive and independent learners. We aim to reate a happy, productive and calm learning environment. The themes are linked to the classes RE topic as well as the children’s personal interests and ideas.
The curriculum is planned to develop the children’s current skills and knowledge and support them in reaching the Early Learning Goals, and being their best in all areas of their learning. Learning is planned to ‘hook’ the children in through creating questions, excitement, wonder and wanting to know more. Hooks have included, the ‘Bethlehem ball’, caring for tadpoles, a Chinese restaurant, airhostess & pilot visit and a birthday party.
The EY team encourage good attitudes to learning, like curiosity, willingness to ‘have a go’, determination, perseverance, and concentration, in everything we do.
The class teacher and EY Educator have a thorough knowledge of each pupil within the class; learning is planning to support the unique child. Each child is assessed with a baseline as they start the school and provision and activities are put into place to support progress according to each child’s need. Our next steps are personal to each child and these are used to inform planning and the classroom environment.
Play is fundamental in the Early Years curriculum and reinforces all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult support, and it is through play that they develop academically, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally. We provide a balance between adult-led and child-chosen activities and experiences. Children are supported in their development through play, whole class teaching, and smaller adult-led groups.
We ensure all children experience the seven areas of learning as set out within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework:
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Physical Development
• Communication and Language
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts & Design
The Early Years Foundation Stage provides the end goals of the children’s learning, it is down to the classroom planning on how we get there and what opportunities are provided along the way. The ELGs summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should gain by the end of the Reception year however this is the beginning of what they learn, at St Robert Southwell we provide creative opportunities to inspire and enrich the children’s learning. The carefully planned curriculum includes frequent opportunities for repetition and practice to ensure that essential knowledge, understanding and skills are developed across all areas of learning. Our design gives children time to revisit previous learning, allowing them to gradually develop a deeper understanding of the skills they have learnt.
Children have the opportunity to ‘choose-their-learning’ between the classroom and the outdoor area; independence is encouraged with children selecting their own resources and taking responsibility for their classroom. The children’s play is purposeful and learning opportunities are skills-based supported by children’s interests and themes.
We aim to ensure that all children across the EYFs achieve their full potential. Our children leave Reception being confident, resilient and perseverant learners. We strive to ensure all children make a good level of progress through to the ELG's at the end of the Reception Year from their individual starting points when they left Pre-School. The children at St Robert Southwell are given the foundations needed to succeed as they transition into Year 1.