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Early Years

Early Years at St. Joseph's

Early childhood, from birth to five, are the most important years of a child's life. The foundation for learning that is set by parents, carers, family members, early years practitioners, the school community, and local services, should ensure that every child receives the best possible start in life and enables them to fulfil their potential.

At St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide children with a secure, safe and happy environment which is combined with high quality early learning opportunities. Our practitioners are responsive to children's needs in their Personal, Social and Emotional development, helping children to actively regulate their emotions and build resilience. Learning in specific areas such as reading, writing and maths are extended during continuous provision time to draw out children's understanding and provide opportunities for learning to be applied.

We believe play is essential for children's development, helping them to build in confidence as they learn to explore, socialize, problem solve and set goals for themselves. We strongly believe in both adults modelling and guiding play, as well as letting children lead their own play. There is also an emphasis on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning such as reading, writing and mathematics to prepare children for Year 1. Our St. Joseph's curriculum is designed with the children and the local community in mind, taking into considerations children's emerging needs and interests. Positive and warm interactions from adults make children feel safe and secure. Definitive structure and consistent routines set the foundation for the delivery of an exciting and relevant curriculum.

Reading and sharing stories is at the heart of our curriculum, it is integral to children's language and vocabulary development and also touches upon so many other areas of the early years framework such as personal, social, emotional development and being imaginative. From the very first week in school children will be learning how to read using phonics, following a structured and rigorous programme of study.

Parents/carers are actively involved in their child's learning, working in partnership with practitioners to ensure quality learning outcomes for every child. The online learning journal platform Tapestry allows us to share learning updates, homework, observations of 'WOW' moments and communicate quickly and effectively with relatives. At St. Joseph's we ensure equality of opportunity, ensuring that every child is included and supported in all aspects of their school life; this is achieved through working in partnership with parents and local services if appropriate. We celebrate individual achievements through celebration time and assemblies and provide children with the opportunity to reflect on their successes.

Through regular assessment, practitioners identify pupils that are making good progress and those that may need extra support to ensure all children at St. Joseph's possess the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. Our staff undergo regular training to ensure they are skilled and are able to deliver the best possible outcomes for children.

At St. Joseph's we aim for children to be independent, confident in their own learning, confident in their environment, confident to develop friendships, initiators of activities, negotiators, active in their own learning, decision makers, problem solvers, experimenters, explorers of new and old ideas, risk takers, reflective, and co-operative. Life long learning is a journey and the reception year is the most important step toward fulfilling ones potential.
Learning in the Early Years
Please see our timetable of learning- this changes term-by-term as the children come closer to being in Year 1; a gradual shift to formal learning is embraced by the end of the summer term in reception.

Our School Day

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Our teaching practitioners aim to model and instil the three characteristics of effective learning within our pupils. These 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.

We help the children to understand these learning behaviours through our 'Achievosaurs'. These are friendly dinosaurs which help us on our learning journey. We have Explorosaurus, Tryatops and Thinkosaurus for each of the characteristics. If children are displaying any of these learning behaviours during continuous provision, they can put their picture onto the dinosaur and will receive a special dinosaur sticker.
Early Learning Goals

There are 7 areas of the early years curriculum and 17 early learning goals which children should reach by the end of their reception year in school to meet a good level of development. These goals are broad, varied and holistic and encourage an overview of the child as a whole when considering their development.

The 7 areas of learning are:

  • Speaking
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive Arts and Design
If you would like a closer look at the Early Learning Goals in more detail, please click here and see page 11.
Reception Baseline Information
standards and Testing Agency - information for parents:
Class Dojo
Please see below for our letter containing information on the online learning journal platform Class Dojo which we use at St. Joseph's.
Welcome to EYFS September 2023
Our Environment

Please take a moment to enjoy pictures of our learning environment and the learning taking place.
Thank you

Thank you for reading our Early Years page, we hope it has been informative and given you a clear picture of how your child will fit into our school community and their first reception year in school. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via the school office, or preferably, Class Dojo.

Mrs Perringwood and Mrs Cobb

Reception class teachers