Early Years Curriculum
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through play, physical activity, and meaningful interactions with those around them. During their child-led learning, children will be able to explore the activities and resources on offer as part of learning through play and exploration. Our early years practice at Bolton St Catherine's Academy is based on on-going observation and assessment of the children and their interests, with staff highly motivated to create exciting experiences linked to the children's interests and their next steps.
Our Early Years principles are based on EYFS statutory guidance and the four overarching principles of good practice:
- 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 school and home.
- 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.
Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 Statutory Framework of the EYFS.
The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, three areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children's capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These prime areas are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The prime areas above are strengthened and applied through four specific areas:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Each area of learning and development is taught through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Practitioners respond to each child's emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
Here at Bolton St Catherine's Academy, staff follow the 'ABC Does' approach and principles which advocate objective led planning. This involves targeting small groups of children who are heading towards the same next step, entering their play and taking the objective that you want them to achieve into their learning experience. Through encouraging high levels of learning through their play experiences, rather than taking children away for a planned activity, we are able to gain an excellent knowledge of where all the individual children are and where they need to go.
At BSCA, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. Staff observe pupils on an ongoing daily basis- it is about knowing what the children can do and what their interests are and then using this assessment to plan a challenging and engaging curriculum. At the end of the EYFS teachers make a judgement about the level of the development of each child against the 17 Early Learning Goals- this is the Early Years Profile.