Learning at St Theresa’s begins when children enter the foundation stage at age 3 and 4.
At St Theresa’s we aim to provide an engaging and nurturing environment that develops children’s love of learning through exciting topics and engaging experiences. Our teaching and learning is organised to make a developmental difference to each child, no matter what their starting point is.
Our curricular goals are designed with the particular needs of our community in mind and in keeping with the rest of St Theresa’s school.
There is a balance between adult-initiated experiences and child-initiated experiences and this reflected in the organisation of the day: there are periods of sustained uninterrupted play to encourage in-depth exploration; as well as structured sessions where children come together to be guided by an adult. Priority is given to setting aside the necessary time for children and adults to be together and become fully engaged in cooperative learning.
In both Nursery and Reception high priority is given to children’s personal, social and emotional development, communication and language skills and physical development.
Although we have a clear map for children’s learning through our phonics, English and maths programmes, we understand the importance of balancing a spontaneous approach to planning with a long-term view of what children need to learn. Throughout the school day, staff are skillful in spotting teachable moments and choosing specific activities and strategies that promote and scaffold learning.
All children make strong progress from their starting points and their progression through the curricular goals ensure they are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.
They feel safe and secure and are motivated to learn, as demonstrated by high levels of well-being and involvement. Learning - whether as part of our topics or initiated by children’s own interests – allows children to make progress towards achieving the early learning goals.
By the end of Reception children’s communication and language and reading skills are significantly improved. They develop their vocabulary and understanding of language, and most can express themselves and their thoughts in more fluent and cohesive sentences.