Early Years

The EArly years foundation stage

The purpose of the Reception year is to ignite children’s interest in, and excitement for, learning.  The curriculum at St Philomena’s encourages children to be independent, confident, strong and curious.  If children can learn to ‘have a go’, learn from mistakes and try again, they will succeed in their future learning.

Our Reception class children learn by engaging in a mixture of self-initiated and adult led experiences. The Reception class teacher enables each child to access the curriculum, supports their pastoral care and ensures effective links with parents.

The Early Years is an important stage of a child’s development because it helps to prepare children for the more formal learning they will encounter in Key Stage 1 and beyond. In addition, essential social skills and learning attitudes are acquired as children interact with their peers.

The Curriculum

The curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage is carefully structured to provide for:

  • The different starting points from which children develop their learning, building on what they can already do.
  • Relevant and appropriate content that matches the different levels of young children’s needs.
  • Planned and purposeful activities that provides opportunities for teaching and learning both indoors and outdoors.


None of us like to think about four year olds being assessed, but it is important to work out the starting point for each child when they join Reception class. 

Baseline assessments support the development of every child. They allow the class teacher to quickly identify what children know and can do at the start of the school year, and identify what support they need to help them progress. Used again at the end of the same year, individual progress is identified and reported to parents in a written report.


The process of working out your child’s attainment according to the Early Years Foundation Stage profile is not intrusive. It is based mainly on the teacher’s knowledge of each child and observations of what they can do.

Throughout their time in Reception Class, the teacher will watch, listen to and interact with each child as they take part in formal learning, and also as they play and go about their daily activities like eating their lunch and getting changed for PE.