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Early Learning Feature

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School

AT St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School the nursery class has been making the most of the spring sunshine with sensory walks around the grounds.

The children were particularly delighted to see two ducks on the pond and to create flower craft with their collections. “I liked hammering the yellow colour flower,” said one child.

Caring, passionate practitioners welcome and settle each child daily, according to their individual needs. The children have access to both classrooms and the large garden during free flow for long periods each day, with a wide variety of resources and areas available, reflecting all areas of the Early Years Curriculum.

These include a free choice art area, music area and role play zone, providing a variety of opportunities to develop vital communication and physical skills.

Knowledgeable practitioners, including a class teacher, use a combination of the children’s interests and planned activities to teach them new skills in interesting, relevant and practical contexts.

Each child is extended according to their individual development and next steps.

Activities include baking, sewing, music, dance and gardening. Group times are kept short and interesting and focus on developing early phonics and mathematics skills as well as weekly RE and literacy. The aim is to ensure that children not only succeed academically, but also grow spiritually and morally, developing into fully rounded individuals.

Everyone follows the diamond rules at St Joseph’s, working hard on copying the example of Jesus, using good manners, caring for friends and resources and following instructions. The children love to receive stickers for following these rules.

Practitioners develop warm relationships with parents and carers, communicating daily with them face-to-face as well as via an online learning journal.

Families are also encouraged to join in school life and are invited to events such as the Harvest Festival.

One parent commented: “My son got attached to all the staff, which remarks a caring and child-friendly attitude. I can’t thank staff enough.”

As the children approach their Reception year they join in with some whole school events, such as collective worship and World Book Day. There are also opportunities to explore the Reception classroom and share activities with them.

Practitioners sensitively encourage children to be as independent as possible, in collaboration with parents, assisting with a smooth transition into Reception year.

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