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Early Years



Our curriculum is based around the seven areas of learning and development. These are communication and language, physical development, personal, emotional and social development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. We also use the Characteristics of Effective Learning as a foundation for our children to build confidence, curiosity and resilience.

The Environment

Our classroom is a place for children to feel safe, develop positive relationships with staff and peers and express their feelings freely. It is an environment that is carefully planned to accommodate the children's changing needs and interests. High quality and open-ended resources are provided for children to use on a daily basis reflecting their curiosity. Every resource has its place and we teach the children use the resources respectfully and tidy away when they are finished. 

Our outdoor area is set up to develop children's physical development, problem solving, creativity and teamwork. Reflecting the indoor environment, resources are open ended and allow children to create their own leaning and play. We also encourage the children to take calculated risks. 

When planning for the children’s play, known as independent learning, we create hooks for learning to excite and engage the children. Staff will use observations and questioning to move children’s learning forward. Staff will also set up activities as an invitation to learning which have intended outcomes. Staff will work with children to teach and assess knowledge through play.

Planning and Teaching

Staff create a curriculum map for the school year with topics that will be covered together with weekly planning which includes daily phonics, literacy and mathematics. Our timetable is well planned to ensure a balance between adult led and child led activities. We ensure that children have sustained periods of play so that they can become truly immersed in their play and learning.

During the autumn term children are introduced to Rainbow Challenges. These are tasks set out by the teacher for children to access throughout the week encouraging independence.

To support our literacy teaching we strive to create a language rich environment using stories for teaching, daily class storytelling, key words and labels around the environment, and modelling language. We follow the EY2P scheme.

We teach the children to read and write by delivering daily phonics sessions. Children are provided with a weekly decodable reading book that matches the sounds they have been taught. Children are encouraged to read at home daily and are read with three times a week in school. We follow the Little Wandle scheme.

To support our mathematics teaching we follow the NCETM mastering number programme. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Children in Reception have daily adult-led maths inputs to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions.


"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul." -Froebel

Play is one of the most important aspects of our curriculum. Children gain essential knowledge and skills through play and hands on experiences. Play is joyful, meaningful and engaging which enables children to take ownership of their learning and experiences. 


Through a creative and well-planned curriculum our aim is that children will leave the Early Years with a foundation of skills needed to support their learning journey. These skills include problem solving, resilience, confidence, listening and responding. We also aim to ensure that children feel safe, secure and happy in school.

We measure children’s progress across the year through formative and summative teacher assessments based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child.

The children will be assessed at the end of their Reception year against the statutory Early Learning Goals in the seven areas of learning. This will be communicated to parents in an end of year report.

Working Together

We work closely and collaboratively with parents, ensuring that home achievements and experiences are valid and used to develop a true reflection of the whole child. We also use an app called Evidence Me so that parents can see what their child has been engaging with and learning about in school. We communicate with parents through our weekly news book. We share what the children have learnt in the previous week in school and the children respond with their news from home.

You know your child better than anyone, which is why at St Wilfrid’s we work on developing positive relationships with parents.

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