One Family Living and Learning Together in Faith
Our Lady Immaculate Early Years vision is to provide the very best care and education to every child through quality interactions and play-based experiences, which build upon children’s interests and curiosity of the world around them. We are committed to ensuring full coverage of the revised EYFS Curriculum 2020 as well as acting upon current research into effective Early Years pedagogy when planning purposeful, first-hand experiences and opportunities. We enable children to be active, independent learners by providing a safe, stimulating and exciting indoor and outdoor learning environment, in which children are encouraged and supported to develop critical thinking skills in order to achieve their maximum potential.
Nursery and 2 Year Old Provision
Miss Guy – Nursery Teacher
Mrs Gallagher – Higher Level Learning Support Assistant
Miss Farrell– Nursery Learning Support Assistant
Miss Harper – Nursery Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Harris – 2 year old Room Leader
Miss Spellman -Nursery Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Stalker- Early Years Coordinator & Reception Teacher
Miss Doherty – Reception Teacher
Miss Leyland – Reception Learning Support Assistant
Miss Burke- Reception Learning Support Assistant
At times we may have visitors working within our Foundation Stage area; including student teachers, training teaching assistants, outside agency professionals and parent helpers. The schools safeguarding policy and procedures are followed at all times with regard to visitors in school.
EYFS staff plan and work together to ensure continuity, challenge and progression, providing stage related activities to suit individual children from 2-5. Children are taught in a variety of ways; in whole class groups, small group work, Key Person groups and individually. We are dedicated to providing excellent Early Years education as well as supporting every child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through the ‘Come and See’ RE Curriculum as well as taking part in daily Collective Worship.
Staff are fully qualified, have a wide range of experience and expertise in working with and educating children. Our Staff are committed to professional development and attend up to date training courses, have excellent knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage and child development, as well as taking part in Early Years research projects as part of Teaching Schools, in order to continuously review and develop own practice.
Our Early Years setting provides children with a stimulating indoor and outdoor environment in which children are given opportunities to express themselves, apply new skills, set own challenges and manage own risks through play, exploration and investigation. Children’s individuality, preferred learning style and personality is nurtured and developed through child initiated and planned play activities which are supported by staff using effective teaching strategies including shared sustained thinking techniques and mind friendly leaning. Our environment enables children to learn about themselves and the world around them, they are given opportunities to develop confidence, make friends, manage their feelings and behaviour and therefore develop crucial personal, social and emotional skills.
In Our Lady Immaculate Foundation Stage we acknowledge the potential for learning in every activity and situation that arises. Our aim is to provide a secure and stimulating environment in which children flourish and learn to make sense of the real world. We make the children feel valued and give them the confidence to become active learners. Our activities provide first hand experiences through play and discussion, children are encouraged to interact with others, to move about and explore a wide variety of learning situations. There are well-planned areas of provision in the wide range of activities, resources and materials available. Opportunities are provided for sustained activity and continuous provision, as well as spontaneous, self-chosen activities. It is important to us that children experience success, have fun and enjoy themselves whilst learning.
Parents as Partners
At Our Lady Immaculate we acknowledge the importance of parents being their child’s first educator and therefore value working in partnership with parents in order to develop strong, positive relationships with each and every family. We do this through having an open door policy thereby enabling daily conversations between parents, teachers and key workers. Our Key Person system enables staff and parents to liaise closely in order to plan effectively from each child’s current stage of development, in order to positively support learning and accelerated progress.
Parents are regularly invited into school throughout the year in order to take part in their child’s learning and to see how our play-based curriculum supports learning across all seven areas of development.
We embrace parental involvement and welcome parent helpers into school to support learning. If you would like to get involved please speak to your child’s class teacher.
Transition From Home to School
Teachers sensitively and effectively facilitate a smooth transition from home to school through providing children and families with home visits to make early bonds between the child, parent and school. We also accommodate flexible settling in days, which are determined by parents who know their child best. Welcome packs contain an ‘All About Me’ sheet which parents and children complete in order to provide teachers and key workers with information about individual children to initiate conversations and to support the development of relationships. We work in close partnership with our local children’s centre to arrange visits between settings during the summer term so relationships can be developed between the child and their Key Worker.
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The EYFS outlines four key principles, which underpins all planning.
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
- Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning
When planning and guiding children’s activities, we observe different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
Areas of Learning and Development
There are seven areas of learning and development. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations. Adults at Our Lady Immaculate use effective strategies from the Every Child a Talker Framework in order to promote children’s language development.
- Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Followed by the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Maps
The foundation stage curriculum is planned specifically to meet the needs and interests of the class, as well as providing children with new knowledge and understanding across all seven areas of learning. Take a look at our latest Curriculum Map on the Curriculum Maps page on our website.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” (Emilie Buchwald).
At OLI we are passionate about reading for pleasure and therefore have a range of high quality books available for children and adults to share in cosy, welcoming communication friendly spaces both indoors and outdoors. To support reading, children in Nursery experience phase 1 phonics teaching and learning through well planned, play based experiences. Some children who are ready to access phase 2 phonics are invited to join in with Reception continuous provision linking to Letters and Sounds. Teachers use Jolly Phonics actions and songs to make learning fun and to support children’s different learning styles through audio, visual and kinaesthetic ways of learning.
For more information about Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics and to support your child at home, please visit the website below.
Curriculum and Assessment
If you would like to see the full version of the EYFS Curriculum, from which we plan and assess children through play based experiences, please click on this link which will direct you to the document.