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Early Years


At St Peter's it is our intent that children who enter our Early Years begin their lifelong learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.

St Peter’s Early Years curriculum provides the cultural capital we know our pupils need so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. They can only do that if we embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning – Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking.

INTENT - Our Curriculum Intent

The curriculum at St Peter’s aims to inspire children to learn, celebrating the rich diversity across St Peter’s school, church and wider local community. Our curriculum places every child at the centre of learning. We endeavour to nurture our children’s individuality, supporting their development of interpersonal skills and resilience to become creative, critical thinkers.

St Peter’s curriculum works in parallel with the Early Years Foundation Stage and provides opportunities for all children including those with SEND and aims to break barriers and challenge stereotypes.

We teach how to listen, speak and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind. We prioritise personal, social and emotional development and communication and language in the Nursery curriculum. Our enabling environment and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. As the pupils move into Reception, we invest time and energy into helping pupils set and reflect on their own goals by aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number. This is delivered through both adult-led and child-initiated teaching opportunities which maximise opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences. We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside high-quality resources, trips, visits.

We pride ourselves on having a curriculum that gives a voice to all pupils which enables them to build important life skills, knowledge and cultural capital required for successful life opportunities.

IMPLEMENTATION – How We Will Deliver Our Curriculum

Our children are receptive to learning and have great potential and every adult will continue to promote high standards and a true love of learning. Our teachers will always attempt to use local learning opportunities within walking distance from the school (museums and galleries) to provide meaningful enrichment opportunities for the children.

Our pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.  The timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, maths and phonics every day. These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets.  This focused group time means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.  

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development including understanding the world and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning. Co-planning is led by the phase leader every week where the teachers are able to reflect on learning and discuss what can be changed to exploit the learning and interests of the children.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.  Children follow the rigorous and highly successful Read, Write Inc program faithfully so that they meet good outcomes for reading by the end of the year. It also prepares them well for the expectations for KS1 and the National Curriculum outcomes.

We follow the Numicon Firm Foundations approach for maths in Reception with an emphasis on studying key skills of number and numerical patterns. Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration. Nursery pupils begin to develop these key skills during daily through stories; exploring sorting, quantities, shape, number and counting awareness.  These early mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts.

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, but we have a range of additional interventions and support to enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential or moving on children who are doing very well. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations of children.

Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes coaching and feedback from the phase leader and targeted support from LA consultants so that teachers develop a good subject knowledge and are effectively supported.  This is alongside regular support from the SENDCo and our Speech and Language therapist.

IMPACT – How We Will Evaluate Our Curriculum

Children at St Peter’s will develop detailed knowledge and skills across the whole curriculum taught and given regular opportunities to articulate their learning through opportunities for retrieval practice; to showcase that their fluency and mastery is incrementally improving. They will demonstrate a love of learning through pride in all that they do with the ability to persevere when challenges arise. The quality and breadth of work seen in books and learning environments will showcase their learning over time.

Service, hope, love, forgiveness, faith and wisdom will be integral to their values and relationships.

Information on how to apply for a primary school place for reception