Early Years Department - Foundation Stage

Welcome to St Catherine's Early Years department. 
We are made up of two classes. The nursery (Foundation Stage One - age 2-4) and Foundation Stage Two (Reception age 4-5) but work closely as a unit to ensure that your child gets the best start to their school life. 
  • To give every child a positive start to their school life, in which they can establish solid foundations on which to develop into confident and independent lifelong learners;
  • To encourage children to develop independence within a secure and friendly atmosphere;
  • To support children in building relationships through the development of social skills, such as problem solving and sharing;
  • To help each child to recognise their own strengths and achievements through experiencing success and by creating achievable challenges to stretch learners;
  • Our high expectations will enable each child to develop socially, physically, intellectually, spiritually and emotionally and to achieve their full potential;
  • To ensure every child has the opportunity to be their best and contribute to the school community through sporting activities, choir, local visits and school visitors.
  • To ensure that children are kept healthy and safe and that they achieve the knowledge and skills they need to start school.

The EYFS is based upon four principles:

  • A Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning and Development

A Unique Child

We recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We understand that children develop in individual ways, at different times. Children’s attitudes and dispositions to learning are influenced by many things. We use praise and problem solving to encourage the children to find their own ways to complete learning tasks. With the support of our evidence gathering app both teachers and families alike can capture and share learning opportunities that will create a well rounded picture of each and every child.

Positive relationships

We understand that children learn to be strong and independent by developing secure relationships with the adults and others around them. Every child has a role in society and we aim to teach the children how to become responsible members of their family, school and wider communities. We aim to develop caring, respectful and professional relationships with the children and their families.

Enabling environments

We recognise that the environment in which the children learn is the “third teacher”. It plays a key role in supporting and extending the children’s development. Through ongoing observations we assess the children’s interests and stages of development before planning challenging yet achievable activities and experiences to extend their learning for each individual child.

Learning and development

Our foundation stage has one nursery classroom and one reception classroom both with access to outdoor classrooms. All our learning environments are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, be quiet and rest. The environment is set up daily by staff to encompass all seven areas of learning and gives the children opportunity to be independent and self selective in their learning challenges.