Search M
Can't find what you're looking for?
Translate N
Translate / Traduire / Übersetzen / Tłumaczyć / Išversti / Tulkot / Traducir
School Logo

St Monica's Catholic

Primary School

Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

Get in touch

Contact Details

Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

Early Years Overview

Early Years Foundation Stage 




At St. Monica’s, we believe that in the Early Years all children deserve to have an equal chance of success. ‘A child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances’ (DfE, 2021). Our high-quality Early Years education acknowledges that children are powerful learners and that every child can make progress in their learning with the right help. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are at the heart of our pedagogy and through these we enable our children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable and promote their spiritual, moral and cultural development. This approach, coupled with enriched experiences enables all children to develop a rigorous understanding that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.


Through high standards of teaching and learning we provide a curriculum that is progressive across the Foundation Stage. All staff work hard to ensure that learning is built upon giving our children the opportunity to progress and achieve their full potential. We provide a safe and stimulating environment in which the children’s wellbeing is of paramount importance. Across Foundation Stage we strive to empower children to take control of their own learning and become motivated, self-confident learners equipped with the skill, knowledge and attitudes ready for the demands of Key Stage One.



At St. Monica’s, a carefully planned transition into the setting promotes the children’s emotional well-being. From the early days, key carers build positive relationships with children and parents sharing information that informs interactions and provision for the children. In our setting we work as a team where all staff are involved in the education of every child.


The Early Years curriculum at St. Monica’s is taught in themes throughout the year with flexibility to capitalise on learning opportunities through children’s interests as they arise. This thematic approach supports inter-relation of curriculum areas to allow for mastery and depth in their learning; ‘All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected’ (Dfe, 2021). Teachers have identified the key skills of each theme and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout both year groups and across every child’s journey from Nursery to Reception. In addition to this we collaborate with subject teams to ensure progression throughout the school. Themes are carefully mapped out to give depth of coverage for all areas of the EYFS framework throughout the year. For each topic we provide first hand experiences to promote cultural capital and inspire interest and enthusiasm.


At the start of Foundation Stage, Prime Areas are the main focus with Communication and Language at the heart of our curriculum. This approach is supported by EEF research, which recommends prioritising the development of communication and language (EEF, 2018). We build on these fundamental skills, extending learning to the Specific Areas; ‘The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development’ (DfE, 2021).


Weekly planning, based on formative assessment, means that children’s progression is carefully monitored and planned for, allowing them to meet their full potential. Quality interactions ensure learning opportunities are captured and learning is enhanced at an appropriate level. All staff work closely to share information which feeds into planning to inform next steps. Using assessment information for Maths and Phonics, as the Reception year progresses, the children are grouped according to their needs. Crossclass teaching ensures that adult –led input is targeted for maximum impact. Time is dedicated to ongoing staff CPD related to any identified needs or areas of development.


For children who have been identified as in need of additional support, quality staff interactions have a valuable role in moving learning forward. As EEF research has proven, ‘Once Early Years provision is in place, improving the quality of provision, for example by training staff to improve the interactions between staff and children, appears to be more promising than increasing the quantity of provision’ (EEF, 2021). However, EEF research also indicates that ‘Once children fall behind, it is hard for them to catch up they are likely to fall further behind throughout school’ (EEF, 2020). If necessary, for children who are struggling targeted interventions are used to meet their specific needs and the impact is closely monitored.


We value the importance of parental involvement and strive to build positive relationships, working in partnership to support their children’s learning and development. As EEF research has found ‘Parental engagement in early years education is consistently associated with children’s subsequent academic success’ (EEF, 2018). We do this through a range of approaches:

  • Transition meetings and videos 
  • 1:1 key carer meetings 
  • Parent/teacher meetings 
  • Stay and play sessions
  • Home learning books 
  • Seesaw 
  • Curriculum workshops 
  • Open door policy



Through providing a challenging and enjoyable curriculum we want the children to be equipped with the confidence, motivation and skills to undertake new life experiences now and in the future. Teachers and children have high expectations in an atmosphere where children confidently strive to reach their full potential. Formative assessments are used throughout the year to inform next steps in learning. Baseline and summative assessments are used to track children’s progress against national expectations and ensure that all children make value added progress. As children progress across the Early Years, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the seven areas of learning. The Early Years at St. Monica’s extends children’s interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experiences. The visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approach to teaching and learning is fundamental in all our curriculum provision. Children make relevant links from their learning to other curriculum subjects and leave the Foundation Stage as motivated learners ready for the curriculum challenges for Key Stage One.

Click on the link below to see our amazing work in Nursery: