At Our Lady’s Primary School, we are concerned that the children should enjoy coming to school, feel successful and know they are in a happy secure environment where they are able to work towards their full potential. We plan daily for the indoor and outside areas. This is largely based on the children's interests, rhythms of the year and significant events and experiences. Our children are able to free flow between both classrooms; indoor and outdoor.
The following statements indicate how we feel that children learn best.
- Play has a fundamental role in young children's learning. It allows children to practise over time, explore observe, investigate, repeat, copy, problems solve and represent. It is also a means whereby children can come to terms about themselves, other people and the world around them.
- Children should have a positive image of themselves and feel successful and confident in what they do.
- Young children need to be actively involved in their learning and understand the purpose of what they are doing. They will learn best through first hand experiences.
- Children bring to school considerable knowledge and experience and this should be the starting point of their learning. Therefore, the learning environment and activities need to be relevant to the children's own experiences, reflecting their heritage background.
- Young children learn best when they feel confident and valued. They need the support of sympathetic adults who are interested in them as individuals.
- Young children will learn when they are in an environment where they have the opportunity to follow through their own learning and interest through sustained high-level play. This will help them develop as autonomous independent learners.
- As a staff we have high expectations and believe that the children should be encouraged to share these expectations for their own learning.
- We believe that the learning environment should be well organised, attractive and stimulating so that each child can learn in a happy relaxed atmosphere. The learning environment should reflect the rich cultural diversity of the children in our school.
- All children will learn best when there is a good partnership between all the adults working with them. At Our Lady’s we value the support of parents and carers, as they are the children's first educators.
The school provides a curriculum which is especially suited to the needs of young children and covers all the areas of learning described in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). These are:
- which focuses on children learning how to manage their feelings and behaviour as well as build relationships and develop confidence.
- which focuses on children developing physical control, mobility, awareness of space and manipulative skills in the indoor and outdoor environment. This also includes Health and Self-Care.
- which focuses on children developing competence in speaking, listening, attention and understanding.
- which focuses on children's first steps towards becoming readers and writers.
- which focuses on children's first steps in exploring number, shape, space and measure; as well as problem solving.
- which focuses on children's developing knowledge and understanding of their environment, other people and features of the natural and made world as well as technology.
- which focuses on the development of the children's imagination and their ability to communicate and express ideas and feelings in a creative way.
Physical development is one of the prime areas and at Our Lady’s we are proud of our outdoor area. Children have continuous access to the outside area where there is provision to encourage them to run, jump, climb, balance and swing and more. These activities are vital to help their fine and gross motor skills develop, which in turn help them be able to write and use tools effectively.
Recent research shows a strong link on physicality helping brain development and the importance of young children being able to move their bodies freely. To be able to sit and listen to stories or work in groups, children need to be able to control their bodies. They gain this control by doing all the physical activities we offer here.