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Early Years

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our mission:

Our values:

Aspiration, Respect, Resilience, Community, Creativity

Our EYFS Team: 

Ms Connolly 
Early Years Phase Leader 



Childcare Choices at St Joseph’s Nursery (3 - 4 year olds)

OPTION 1 – 15 Hours of Free Early Education

All three and four-year-olds are eligible for up to 15 hours of free early education (FEEE) up to 38 weeks per year (term time only) free of charge.
These 15 hours can be taken as flexibly as we are able to offer. Your child can attend for 5 mornings (8:30am – 11:30am) or 5 afternoons (12:30pm - 3:30pm) or a combination of full days and half days each week.
If parents wish for their child to remain in nursery for more than 15 hours this can be arranged, if the hours are available. You may ‘top up’ your child’s time in Nursery (payment will be requested in advance) if places are available.
Preference will be given to parents who are able to prove they are at work or studying.

OPTION 2 - 30 Hours Free Child Care

This is an entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4 year old children. It is an additional 15 hours per week entitlement to the existing 15 hours free early education place.
We are planning to offer a limited number of places of 30 free hours of early education a week from September 2021, subject to sufficient interest. These hours are to be taken between 8:30am and 3:30 pm during term time only.
Parents will need to provide a packed lunch for their child.
You don’t have to take up the full 30 hours to receive funding. If you want to take up, for example, 25 hours per week, this will still be funded by the government under the 30-hour offer.
Visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk to find out if you are eligible.

How to apply for the additional hours

Apply online www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

It is recommended that parents apply as soon as possible to make sure they receive their code in good time and before the deadline*. Not all parents receive a code straight away, sometimes more information is required which can delay the application. Child’s 3rd birthday falls between:

Ideal time to apply

* Deadline for receiving the code

30 hour place can start from the beginning of the:

1 January - 31 March


31 March

Summer term (April)

1 April - 31 August


31 August

Autumn term (early September)

1 September - 31 December


31 December

Spring term (early January)

You can apply outside of these recommended dates but you might not receive your code in time. You must have a valid code by the end of the month before a new term starts.
It usually takes 20 minutes to apply. You may find out if you're eligible straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.

Other Schemes to Help with Childcare Costs
There are a number of Government schemes available to support working parents with childcare costs, it is important to choose the right one. 
If you are eligible for Universal credit, then you could claim back 85% of your childcare costs. 
If you are eligible for Tax Credits, then you could claim back 70% of your childcare costs. 
If you are not eligible for either of these credits, then you could apply for Tax Free Childcare, where the Government pays 20% of your childcare costs – our School is registered for this scheme. 
If you have a partner who already receives Childcare Vouchers, then you may be better off staying in that scheme.
When you apply for the ‘30 Hours Free Childcare’ online, it is a joint application with the Tax Free Childcare, so if you are better off with Tax Credits or Universal Credit then you should opt out of this application.
The schemes are explained in more detail on the Childcare Choices Website. There are calculators on the site to help you work out which option is best for you before committing to any changes.
If your childcare costs reduce, for example when you start receiving additional hours, you will need to notify HMRC so that they can adjust any Credits you are receiving.


Curriculum Implementation: (Learning Reification)

Our curriculum design is based on evidence from cognitive science; three main principles underpin it:

  1. Learning is most effective when classroom instruction breaks learning down into small steps and cognitive load is managed
  2. An integrated approach to curriculum development and planning helps pupils to discriminate between topics and aids long-term knowledge retention
  3. Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, which increases both storage and retrieval strength.

In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.

At St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School we meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all our children. 

We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and progressive, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of phonics. The children learn nursery rhymes and develop their mathematical thinking through direct teaching and exploration. Topics are supported by quality key texts.

These are chosen carefully to encourage children's speech, language and communication development. All planning however, is flexible and responsive to children’s needs so plans can be changed and adapted depending on children’s interests.

We understand the importance of parental engagement and believe that our parents have a crucial role to play in their children’s education. We work hard to create strong partnerships between home and school.   As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made on the basis of accumulative observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.


Curriculum Impact: (Cultural Capital)

Measuring the impact of our highly ambitious curriculum will need to be done in two ways.

First, through the success of children meeting a Good Level of Development and further up the school through standardised tests in Key Stage 1 and 2. Then, second, through the personal development they show as resilient learners, who can live a healthy life and who are respectful Catholic citizens.

In relation to the Good Level of Development and standardised tests, our aim is for every child to make outstanding personal progress. In particular our pupils will;

  • From their different starting points, make good academic progress and have strong attainment in the Prime and Specific areas when compared to local and national results.
  • Have knowledge, understanding and skills that is secure and embedded so they are fully prepared for Key Stage 1 & 2, secondary school, further education and the world of work.

In relation to their personal development, our pupils will;

  • Have strong communication skills and will listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others. They will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best.
  • Demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge.
  • Develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities creatively, socially and physically
  • Be kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our Catholic community and the wider society.
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