St Patrick's Catholic Primary Academy

Welcome to the Early Years Unit

Meet the Early Years Team

 Mrs T Marsden

Educational Teaching Assistant

Mrs M Chandler

Nursery Teacher

Mrs R Cheetham

EYFS Leader/Reception Teacher

Mrs J Dunne

Educational Teaching Assistant

Mrs D Tinti

Educational Teaching Assistant

Please see the flyer below regarding an opportunity for prospective parents to come and visit the St Patrick's Early Years Unit.

At St Patrick’s Catholic Primary Academy our Early Years vision is to provide the best start to school life, enabling children to become happy, enthusiastic, resilient, and confident lifelong learners illuminated in the light of Christ.

Our Early Years Curriculum aims to provide a secure foundation for future learning where children gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. Children develop positive learning behaviours through the Characteristics of Teaching and Learning

– Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking.

Our Curriculum has a strong emphasis upon personal social and emotional development and communication and language, supporting children’s development by helping them to interact effectively and developing positive attitudes towards themselves and others. We believe that ‘talk’ is central to the learning process. Our enabling environment and highly skilled practitioners facilitate talk and sign, helping children to articulate their ideas and emotions and develop an understanding of other peoples' point of view. The use of Makaton has a significant impact upon our children with SEND and supports our inclusive environment.

Story time is an exciting, magical time and we prioritise this daily. Through our reading time we immerse our children in a wide repertoire of stories, books and rhymes as we know this is where children acquire new vocabulary, language patterns and understanding. Above all we aim to instil within our children a love of story and a love of reading – opening the door to new adventures and a world of imagination.

Our holistic curriculum maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking following children’s interests and ideas.  We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision and weekly forest school sessions.

Our Christian values shape how we behave, what we say, how we build relationships and how we learn.

They are incorporated into every aspect of life at St. Patrick’s.

Every child is recognised as a unique individual.


IMPLEMENTATION – How do we teach what we teach?


At St Patrick’s we use the revised EYFS framework and Birth to Five Matters documents to inform our curriculum, the enhancements in our provision and the next steps for pupils. Children work towards meeting the Early Learning Goals at the end of their Reception Year.

Prime areas of learning:

Communication and Language (Listening, attention and understanding; and Speaking)

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships)

Physical Development (Gross motor skills and fine motor skills)


Specific areas of learning:

Literacy (Comprehension, Word reading and Writing)

Maths (Number and Numerical patterns)

Understanding of the World (Past and present; People, culture and communities; and The natural world)

Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with materials and Being imaginative and expressive)


Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.  

The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching in English, Maths and Phonics everyday with regular sessions that focus on PSED. Children are then invited work with practitioners and their peers in small groups to develop their individual targets.  This focused time means the practitioner can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.   

Children engage in ‘exploration’ in a variety of play-based experiences in both the inside and outside classrooms.

The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of a child’s development, including understanding the world and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. 

Children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised program faithfully which provides a clear sequence and progression so that they are able to read and write simple words, sentences and phrases as soon as they are ready. We follow the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education [CLPE] which places quality children’s books at the core of all learning. From this, we have chosen multiple high-quality texts to engage and motivate children to become passionate readers and writers.

Practitioners read to the children daily through planned story time and spontaneously within provision.

Reading a book aloud creates a fantastic shared experience, giving children access to texts that they may not be able to read themselves and introduces them to new authors, adventures and worlds.

We follow White Rose Maths with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. 

Pupils learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration.

Nursery pupils begin to develop these key skills during their maths meetings where they explore sorting, quantities, shape, number and counting awareness.  These early mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help pupils remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts.


An integral part of our school is learning about and living our Catholic faith and we do this by placing Christ at the centre of everything we do.

To fulfil our aims and objectives as a Catholic School we use ‘The Way, the Truth & the Life’ scheme. The aim of this curriculum within the Early Years Foundation Stage is to help children grow in the awareness that God loves each one of us immensely and to explore ways in which we can show our love for Him. The great strength of this series is its simplicity and clarity. It is attractive, lively, practical and therefore appealing to children.  

Children are given the opportunity to relate what they are learning to their own lives. There are opportunities to help them understand what it means to be part of a family and that we all belong to God’s family. Incidents in the daily life of the classroom and playground will provide opportunities for children to experience the love and care of adults. They will then be able to help children to understand that God is our Father in heaven and to think about what this means for us.

We always start with the child’s experience, explore it, build on it and then connect it to the religious content. 


IMPACT: How do we know what pupils have learnt and how well they have learnt it?


The impact of our curriculum is measured by ongoing formative assessments. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related expectations and those that are on track for a good level of development [GLD] throughout the academic year, and put supportive interventions in place if and when needed.

Our assessments are celebrations of learning and achievements that focus on children's interests and strengths.

Through the use of Tapestry – our online journal, we recognise children's development with their parents and carers and with the children themselves. Floor books allow the children to look back upon their learning journey and celebrate their achievements and those of their peers.

We believe that it is essential that practitioners are present during children's learning experiences, to extend and scaffold their play.

This is when we notice something important about a child’s learning and respond to it. Our responses can take different forms – we might

-stand back and be encouraging

- get involved to extend the learning, by joining in with the play, engaging in a conversation;

- show the child a specific skill to help them accomplish what they want to do;

- reflect afterwards and bring in new resources or plan something special in response to what we have noticed.

This type of assessment work is not always written down. It shows how we can assess what children know and can do, and help them to progress, through our minute-by-minute interactions.


Our children experience a smooth transition between pre-school settings, nurseries and Reception and Year 1. They soon settle into the environment and develop the skills required to become independent, resilient and confident members of the school community. They build strong relationships with each other and the adults across the provision.

At the end of Reception, children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of skills, ready for the learning opportunities provided in Key Stage 1 and beyond.

Reading with your child

Make reading fun with your child-please click on the link below to access videos from The National Literacy Trust, supporting and guiding you how to successfully and purposefully read with your child. 


Information for New Starters 

Nursery Newsletter

EYFS Policy Document

Our Class Prayers


Here at St Patrick's Primary Academy the staff and children are really proud of our Early Years Foundation Stage and love coming to school to learn. Take a look at some of our provision areas. We can't wait for you to come and play! 








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