At St Francis, the aim is to provide the very best possible start to every child’s education and enable them to fulfil their potential.

A stimulating, secure environment is provided, where children are encouraged to develop key learning skills. A broad-based, high quality curriculum is provided to all pupils based on the guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage Revised  Framework.

Well-planned, structured activities and opportunities for children to discover and be curious are provided within the classroom and outdoor learning area.

There are seven areas of learning and development. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to learn and a firm foundation to the start of their academic career. Also to form relationships and thrive. These three areas are known as the prime areas:

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are:

• Literacy:

Reading is key to your child making good over-all progress throughout their time in Our Early Years. The more stories we as adults share with a child the more words we are exposing them to. The more we repeat those stories and those words the more your child will pick up that language and then in turn will explore using that language. How can we expect a child to write a story of their own unless they have been exposed to lots of different stories and settings. Reading stories helps to feed your child’s imagination and also their range of language they are able to use in daily life. The more experiences we offer our children the more likely they are to question the world in which they live in and learn more!

• Mathematics

• Understanding of the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

Early Years Foundation stage staff (Class Teachers, Early Years Practitioners and Learning Support Assisstants) plan and work closely together. They regularly observe and assess learning to inform the next steps in teaching.

Before children start in Reception, a nursery setting or home visit is offered to new parents to our school, to be able to talk informally with the Early Years Foundation Stage staff. The open morning gives each child the chance to explore the opportunities and activities in the Reception Class before starting school.