EYFS at St Ursula’s E-ACT Academy

At St Ursula’s EYFS we aim to:

create a happy, safe and secure environment, where all children derive pleasure and confidence in their learning

encourage the children to develop their self-sufficiency so as to help them become independent learners

build strong links with home/school relationships and the local community

create an engaging and stimulating environment which challenges every child and helps them to learn and develop at a level appropriate to their needs.




All children's learning is based on the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which underpins all future learning by supporting children's development in all areas in a cross-curricular fashion. Children are encouraged to play and explore both inside and outside, whatever the weather! Adults work with the children as they play, supporting them to move their learning on by building on their existing knowledge. Teachers and support staff closely observe the children as they play, writing notes and taking photos to build up a detailed picture of where each child is at, what they are interested in and what they need to do next. We aim to work closely with parents to do this, as you know your child best, and will ask you to help us with by sharing any information you’d like to share about your child and any interests your child may demonstrate at home. We use all this information to help us plan meaningful, challenging and stimulating learning opportunities, through a mix of whole class teaching, smaller focus groups and independent play so that learning will be fun!



We carefully look at how your child learns in order to help move them on. There are three ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum:

Playing and Exploring- engagement

Active learning- motivation

Creating and thinking critically- thinking


We teach the children to be able to talk about how they are learning which helps them to think about how they can move on their own learning independently. To help with this we have attributed an animal to each characteristic of learning, a monkey for playing and exploring, a spider for active learning and a dolphin for creating and thinking critically. We will send home ‘home challenges’ for each child three times a year which will link to one of the characteristics of effective learning and are designed to set a specific challenge the help each child stretch themselves to reach their targets.


The EYFS Curriculum is outlined below:



Personal, Social and Emotional Development

▪ Self-confidence and self-awareness

▪ Managing feelings and behaviour

▪ Making relationships

We learn to play together co-operatively and constructively
We learn to respect and take care of each other
We learn to do things for ourselves
We learn how to behave in a range of settings
We learn to express our thoughts, ideas and feelings in circle time
We learn to share and take turns

Communication and Language

▪ Listening and attention

▪ Understanding

▪ Speaking

We learn to communicate with others in a range of ways
We develop a wider vocabulary and descriptive language
We learn to listen to others and take turns to speak
We learn to listen attentively to stories, songs, rhymes and poems and respond to what we hear
We learn to follow instructions and answer questions
We learn to communicate our own ideas and stories

Physical Development

▪ Moving and handling

▪ Health and self-care

We use PE equipment like hoops, balls and beanbags to play games
We develop our fine motor skills by learning to tear, cut, thread, weave and manipulate different materials
We handle tools and equipment effectively, including pencils and pens
We learn the importance of physical exercise and a healthy diet and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe
We learn to manage our own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently


▪ Numbers

▪ Shape, space and measures

We learn to sort, match, order, sequence and count
We solve problems
We begin to understand the language of position and size
We use appropriate language to talk about size, weight, position, time and money
We recognise, create and describe patterns


▪ Reading

▪ Writing

We learn letters and sounds during daily short phonic sessions

We develop our phonic knowledge by applying our phonics in reading and writing activities and in our independent play
We share books with each other, choose books to share at home and read with our teacher on a regular basis
We talk about books and stories and recognise the different features of printed text
We write words and sentences for a range of purposes in our play (for example: labels, lists, instructions, maps, recipes, books, invitations, letters)

Understanding of the World

▪ People and communities

▪ The World

▪ Technology

We enjoy exploring and becoming familiar with our local environment
We love to examine the insects in our garden
We plant seeds and plants in our garden and learn how to care for them.
Our outside classroom is very important to us; we learn so much and have lots of fun and will be outside whatever the weather
We like to use the iPads and other ICT equipment to support our learning and development
We recognise a range of technology and select and use it for a particular purpose
We share stories about our friends and families
We investigate why and how things work, using lots of construction kits and materials

Expressive arts and design

▪ Exploring and using media and materials

▪ Being imaginative

We sing songs, make and explore music and dance
We love to explore and develop our creativity using a full range of materials
We explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function
We work alongside each other and with creative people
We build pretend homes, space ships, boats, and trains and let our imagination take us on all sorts of adventures


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