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At Saint Patrick’s, 'we strive to establish a love of learning in the early stages of life, encouraging children to be caring, resilient, confident and independent'. We believe that every child is wonderfully unique and aim to support them on their individual learning and development journeys.

Within Early Years our curriculum is designed to provide all children with the opportunities and experiences that they need in order to develop positive dispositions and attitudes to be able to succeed as learners and in life.


As children begin their EYFS journey, planned learning opportunities are heavily weighted around Personal, Social and Emotional Development and upon developing children’s ability to communicate effectively and interact positively. Once these foundations to learning are embedded then other areas will be focused upon. All children, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and those with English as an additional language, are able to participate equally. 

The Characteristics of Effective Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. 

To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm.

Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the Areas of Learning and Development.


Our curriculum is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Our children begin to learn and grow by finding out and exploring. They are content whilst playing with what they know and are willing to ‘have a go’. They quickly transition to become active learners. They are able to concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties. They enjoy achieving what they set out to do. Over time our children start to thinking critically. They have and develop their own ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

All staff have high expectations and the enhancement of skills for learning is achieved through a well-resourced, stimulating and continually developing environment that allows children to repeat and consolidate their own learning.


As a school we understand the importance of keeping our children engaged in what they are learning and in EYFS this is achieved through providing new and exciting stimulus for learning. Each term has an overarching theme:


๐Ÿ Autumn Term 1:

         Knowing Me, Knowing You!

๐Ÿ Autumn Term 2:

         People Who Help Us!

๐ŸŒฑ Spring Term 1:

         All Creatures Great & Small!

๐ŸŒฑ Spring Term 2:


โ˜€๏ธ Summer Term 1:

          Around The World 

โ˜€๏ธ Summer Term 2:

          We're All Going On A Summer Holiday!


The overarching theme is split into small two-week chunks of learning stimulus. A focus book linked to the overarching theme is used over a two week period to capture the children’s interest and provide opportunities for discussion and learning development. Enhancement provision opportunities, linked to the book, are added to the teaching area on a fortnightly basis to ensure the children have new and interesting provision activities to capture their interest and develop their knowledge, skills and learning.


Not only does a different book provide a new and exciting stimulus for learning but also helps staff promote and encourage both confidence and independence!


We believe every opportunity is a learning opportunity! 

Take a look at some of the books we explore:



Here at Saint Patrick’s, our children are happy to take risks as they learn and often succeed in the challenges set out for them during focused activity work and within continuous provision.

The Areas of Learning and Development affect each other. For example, developing communication and language will support children to understand and explain mathematical ideas. Developing physical skills will allow children to be more active explorers and so enhance their progress in Understanding the World. The more concepts they develop within Understanding the World, the more they will be able to relate to what they find in books and so support their development in Literacy. Experiences and activities that relate to Areas of Learning and Development, when they offer children opportunities to have autonomy and develop their own ideas, can also provide the contexts for children to practise their learning behaviours, and so reinforce the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

Take a look at how our EYFS children learn through the 7 Areas of Learning:


The Prime Areas of Development and Learning lay vital foundations in the Early Years.

The Prime Areas: 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Communication and Language (CL)

Physical Development (PD)

are always in action for a young child. In every activity, the child is experiencing feelings and developing a sense of self and others, is physically engaged through their senses and movements, and is learning to understand and communicate with others. It is through these aspects that a child accesses the world around them and relationships with other people, which in turn opens the door to learning in all areas. The Prime Areas therefore strongly influence learning in the Specific Areas of Learning and Development.

Staff are experienced in identifying where children are currently working and how this foundation can be built upon in order to ensure at least a good level of progression for individuals through their EYFS learning journey. In each child’s unique learning journey, staff highlight a child’s successes and achievements and identify next steps in their learning and development. As a result, specific areas of concern are quickly identified and instantly addressed in the best way possible to continue moving forward. Children are encouraged to take an active part in their learning journeys and become independent learners.


We aim to foster excellent attitudes to learning by providing effective and timely adult interactions to ensure that learning is instantly captured and enhanced. Our EYFS staff love to observe the children as they explore and learn something new each day! Observations are relevant and purposeful, leading to improved outcomes for children.

Our main goal is to ensure that children are ready for the next phase of school life and we focus in particular on ensuring all children have developed a sound base of early reading and writing skills as well as phonics knowledge. Staff are knowledgeable about the areas of learning they teach and are confident in the teaching of phonics as a result of an extensive training programme in Rocket Phonics. Staff generate an enthusiasm for reading and a love of books through access to daily reading. A range of reading materials are available for children to capture their interest and enthusiasm for reading. Reading areas include known stories that children can revisit and retell orally, phonic based books where children can develop and consolidate their skills in blending sounds to read, comics and magazines linked to children’s identified areas of interest and information texts for children to explore linked to topics and areas of interest. Daily story time slots ensure a range of stories, poems and information are shared with children. Children are encouraged to continue their reading journey at home with access to a wide online library of appropriate texts. Staff provide clear purposes for writing and as a result, children are keen and eager to develop their early writing skills. Children’s writing skills develop alongside their phonic knowledge, as they learn to segment to spell a wider range of words.

By the end of the Foundation Stage, the majority of children read accurately and are starting to develop fluency in their reading. Their vocabulary and understanding of language is admirable and most children achieve the Early Learning Goals, particularly in Mathematics and Literacy, representing high achievement from low starting points.

Early Learning Goals

Children enjoy their learning and they participate eagerly and enthusiastically. They are beginning to self-regulate, manage self and build relationships, understanding how these have an impact on others. Throughout EYFS, children are continually developing their skills to be able to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas effectively with others. We pride ourselves on ensuring that within our EYFS, our children develop the skills they need to continue successfully on their unique learning journey.

As we work alongside all of our families, to provide the best possible care for our children during the time they spend with us, we ask that in return our parent/carers continue to promote our love for learning by providing as many experiences as possible, as the children learn and grow, and by encouraging them to explore as many new and exciting possibilities as they can.


We take great pride in sharing our children’s exciting learning journey with others (in school, in the community and with the wider world).

As a result of the provision we provide, by the end of the Foundation Stage our children flourish and develop into confident, motivated, independent learners ready for the next stage of their education.