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St Louis Catholic Academy

St Louis
Catholic Academy

Early Years

Early Years

Our two reception classes have experienced teachers, a Higher Level Teaching Assistant and teaching assistants who are responsible for tracking the delivery of the personal learning journey and providing outstanding teaching and learning for all pupils. As the children move from the Early Years into Years 1 and 2, there is a focus on increasing learning stamina and developing confidence around transitions both in the classroom and around the school building. Pupils are placed in chronologically aged classes and follow the national curriculum, which is modified and personalised. The children follow a visual timetable and a structured day with consistency and a total communication approach, to promote a calm learning environment. Children work in small groups, pairs or 1-1 work where appropriate. Lessons are planned by the class teacher who differentiates the activities to meet the children’s individual targets and interests. Each lesson is planned to incorporate a balance of all learning styles, alongside creativity, exploration and self-led learning. Each class has a vibrant learning environment that promotes teaching and cross-curricular learning. Role play areas and displays within the class reflect the current teaching and celebrate the children’s achievements and build on their learning. In addition, reception classes have access to an outdoor classroom, which is set up daily to mirror the themes taught in the classroom. Children are given independent time alongside allocated teaching time to encourage active learning and first-hand experiences. Children access the woodland for Forest School and explore their wider world through visits off site, visitors into school and experiences that directly support curriculum learning, for example hatching chicks and butterflies.

We use PKC’s EYFS curriculum. The curriculum materials support teachers to plan and teach interesting and engaging curriculum content that focuses on the ‘Understanding the World’ area of learning in Early Years. Through the carefully selected and sequenced, we enable our youngest children to begin to develop a sense of identity, through engaging with the world around them. They can begin to ask and answer questions about the world and their place in it.

Children will learn about their local area and community, their bodies and how we grow, transport and journeys around the world, dinosaurs, space, plants, animals, Greek Gods, heroes, adventurers whilst also taking part in wider school learning, for example the Writers’ Festival. The curriculum plans support play, stories to tell, investigations to undertake, words to learn and use. The plans support Early Years teachers and practitioners to focus their teaching, to scaffold learning and to be ambitious for all children to meet the Early Learning Goals in Understanding the World, but also to develop a love for learning.

Some staff in reception and KS1 are Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) trained to support identified children in their early language development.