MENU
SEARCH
SCROLL TO EXPLORE

Early Years Curriculum

In the Nursery (age 3) and Reception (age 4) years the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum of England.

We take the approach that each child is unique, with special talents and abilities and an individual learning style. We acknowledge that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and believe that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

We see our children as naturally competent learners from birth, resilient, capable, confident and self-assured, and have designed a programme to build on these qualities, developing positive supportive relationships to nurture an inquisitive approach to learning where making mistakes is viewed as an important part of the learning process. In educating our children to become strong, responsible, independent learners, our teachers recognise that the learning environment plays a key role in supporting and extending a child’s development.

Our Nursery and Reception classes offer a safe, caring learning environment, which promotes physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being, with good communications skills, as part of the core curriculum. We have a strong focus on developing key literacy and numeracy skills, artistic abilities and interests and a general knowledge and understanding of the world.

In addition to the core curriculum, we also offer a rich programme of class trips and extracurricular activities, and work in close partnership with parents to support our children on their learning journey through Nursery and Reception, to Year 1.

The Early Years Curriculum is based on seven key areas of learning.

In the Nursery Class we focus strongly on the three Prime Areas which are the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas:

  • Personal, social and emotional development;
  • Physical development
  • Communication and language

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.

As children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas, the balance will slowly shift towards a more equal focus on all seven areas of learning, including:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Literacy development involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves.  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 practise and improve their skills in counting 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 supporting 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.

Children’s progress in each area is continually assessed so that their development needs are met early.

Communication and language

Listening and attentionchildren listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understandingchildren follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speakingchildren express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical development

Moving and handlingchildren show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own 11 basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Personal, social and emotional development

Self-confidence and self-awarenesschildren are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviourchildren talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationshipschildren play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

 

Literacy

By the end of Reception our key aims for children are:

Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Mathematics

By the end of Reception our key aims for children are:

Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore 12 characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding the world

By the end of Reception our key aims for children are:

People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive arts and design

By the end of Reception our key aims for children are:

Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

In accordance with the Mission, Vision, and General Aims of the school, the EYFS programme aims to:

  • To provide a safe, secure learning environment in which all children feel valued and supported
  • To provide a secure foundation through the provision of learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child, assessed, and reviewed regularly
  • To make learning a fun, meaningful, engaging process in which students are actively involved
  • To link classroom learning to the world outside the classroom
  • To ensure quality and consistency across early years programme, so that every child makes good progress
  • To form a close partnership with our parents, keeping them well-informed about the progress of their child and any areas where additional support may be needed
  • To prepare children for successful entry in Year 1