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St John XXIII Catholic Primary School Inspiring Faith in our Future


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is made up of the Nursery and Reception classes. It sets the standards for learning development and care for children from birth until the end of the Reception year.


It aims to develop each child to their full potential by offering a 'principled, play based approach to learning and development'. Young children learn best through play and Early Years Practitioners will be able to provide your child with appropriate play and learning experiences for their stage of development and help them to develop new skills. The activities that are provided will underpin the skills they will need to work towards the Early Leaning Goals at the end of their Reception year at school.


For young children, it is important that they are made to feel safe and secure in their surroundings. This is aided by the support from the Class Teacher and Early Years Practitioners who get to know you and your child well and build strong relationships with you as a family.

The areas of learning and development are broken down into seven areas. Three areas are primarily important for igniting children's enthusiasm for learning; these are the three prime areas of: Communication and language, Physical development, Personal, Social and Emotional development.


Leaving four specific areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. These are: Literacy (reading and writing), Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive arts and design.


All areas of learning are important and interconnected and many activities provided will cover many of the areas. The EYFS also encourages practitioners and parents to work together. This is an opportunity for you to provide input in to your child's development in discussion with the class teacher and by using the 'WOW' cards. At St John XXIII's, we have an open door policy which means we are always ready to help and discuss anything concerning your child's welfare and education.



At St John XXIII, we see phonics as the fundamental building block which supports your child in their reading and writing. Daily phonics happens in Nursery and Reception to equip your children with these vital skills. At St John XXIII, we follow a combination of Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds. The two schemes have been carefully planned out to ensure full coverage of all the letters and sounds you child needs to support their reading and writing development.


Phonics teaching at St John XXIII is a  multisensory experience.  This means children will learn using all their senses e.g. by singing, dancing, acting, using magnetic letters, making shapes in the air, looking at pictures, playing games, using computers, making sounds, making choices and as many other ways as possible. This is vital because all children learn differently.


Careful monitoring and assessment of the children ensures that the children are learning at a good rate of progress and to suit their needs and abilities.


The running of our phonics programme looks like:

Children in Reception have a 15-20 minute phonics session every day. This session should be fast, fun and multisensory. Each session will follow a clear sequence as follows:


  • Introduction - The teacher will explain to the children what they will be learning today and get them enthusiastic and motivated for the session.
  • Revisit and review - The children will play a quickfire game to practise something they have learned before and help build their confidence.
  • Teach - The children will be taught a new phoneme/grapheme or a new skill - this will be taught in a fun multisensory way and may well involve: songs, actions, pictures, puppets, writing giant letters in the air.
  • Practise - The children play fast, fun games to practise the new thing they have just learned. Many of the games on this site will be used in this section of the session.
  • Apply - The children will have a quick go at reading or writing sentences that involve the new thing they have just learned.


Each of these sections lasts a few minutes at most.


Outside of the phonics session children should be given lots of opportunities to apply the new skills that they have learned in all the lessons that they do. The more opportunities they are given the sooner they will become confident with these skills.