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Latest News

Playgroup Children Photo

- Tuesday 21 May, 2019
An opportunity to have a photo with all the children on Wednesday 5th June. See attached for deta...


Potters Bar Carnival 9th June 2019

- Tuesday 21 May, 2019
Please see attached newsletter with everything you need to know about this years Carnival on 9th ...


May 2019 Newsletter

- Thursday 16 May, 2019
Attached is our summer newsletter outlining the topics of focus including important dates for you...

The Curriculum

THE EARLY YEARS

At St John's we are very aware that the years before a child goes to school can never be recaptured; this is the time when so much is discovered and absorbed. Children of this age rapidly progress from being very dependent on their main carer (normally the parents) to being able to cope with parting from their primary carer, to becoming more independent in their self-help skills.

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child's experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children's 'school readiness' and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

Learning through Play

At St John's Nursery Playgroup we incorporate play opportunities and activities to ensure that children are able to build knowledge and skills to cover the 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas of learning within the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). There is further information available about the EYFS on the website: www.foundationyears.org.uk including a parent's guide.

Play is essential for children's development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by an adult. Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play challenges children's problem solving skills, develops their thinking, manipulative and social skills and leads to increased self confidence and self-esteem. For this reason St John's is committed to planning and providing a learning environment full of interesting and stimulating play activities appropriate for each child's age and stage of development. This helps children progress in each of the areas of learning and development within the EYFS.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory Framework for all Early Years settings working with children from 0-5 years. The EYFS was last updated in March 2017.

The EYFS is divided into 7 areas of learning and development. There are 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas.

At St John's Nursery Playgroups we recognise the importance of ensuring every child achieves to the best of their ability. To help children to achieve it is important that children have a firm understanding of Personal Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. Once children have good communication, are settled and are physically able; then we support children to learn in the Specific Areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

However for children to learn confidently we will also make sure we understand each unique child's Characteristics of Effective Learning - which will change many times in a child's journey towards learning. Playgroup Practitioners will look at how a child's engagement (through playing and exploring) a child's motivation (through active learning) and how their thinking (through creating and thinking critically) helps your child to engage with all the activities and areas of learning we provide.

St John's uses the early learning goals and their developmental steps to help us to record and celebrate each individual child's progress and achievements enabling us to provide the right activities to help all of the children to achieve their potential.

What's important:

Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Through the EYFS St John's Nursery Playgroups seek to provide:

quality and consistency in its early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind;
a secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly; partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers;
equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

Educational programmes involve activities and experiences for children, as follows.

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Registered Charity Number: 1130633