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Early Years - Nursery and Reception



Nursery and Reception intent is based on our children’s community and culture capital. We implement the curriculum through adult led activities, child-initiated play, continuous provision and enhancements and 1-1 support. We follow the EYFS curriculum in both nursery and reception. This curriculum is informed by 4 guiding principles:

  • 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.
  • We put a great focus on language development, which is central to self-regulation. This includes oracy in maths and groups for speaking and listening activities. Imaginary play gives many opportunities for children to be imaginative and interact with others.
  • Open ended and problem solving activities provide opportunities for children to focus their thinking, persist and plan ahead.
  • We understand that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. Our curriculum covers the education and care of all children in early years’ provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Phonics and Early Reading:
  • We use the systematic approach of Little Wandle. Lessons are taught daily from the first full week of school. Children are assessed regularly and put into smaller groups led by a trained adults. Reading books are sent home weekly which match the phonics book they have read in school. Whilst children are still learning their sounds, they are sent the sounds home they have learnt so far so they can continue to practice at home. Workshops are offered to parents in the Autumn term to provide support to parents with phonics.


  • Developing a strong grounding in number is essential for providing children with the platform to excel mathematically. In our EYFS classrooms, we want our children to develop a deep conceptual understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationship between them and the patterns therein. We plan to provide frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding so that children develop a secure base of knowledge from which mathematical mastery is built. We follow Can Do Maths in line with the rest of the school.

Continuous Provision:

  • Children are provided with sustained periods of time to engage in continuous provision through a variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them. The curriculum is designed for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. Experiences are cross-curricular, to enable all aspects of the children’s development including the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.  We hold children's interests and fascinations in high regard and during this time, children have the freedom to follow interests and create their own mini projects. During continuous provision, adults are committed to supporting children in play, working together to contribute ideas and coming to conclusions together. We enable children to learn to be more curious and find their own solutions, while learning about each child’s understanding and knowledge. This sustained, shared thinking allows us to meet the needs and interest of all children and move learning forward through challenging their thinking. Developing communication and language skills underpins everything that we do so adults spend lots of time deep in conversation with children.


  • As part of the learning and teaching process, children are assessed in relation to their progress towards the Early Learning Goals throughout the year using ‘on track’ and ‘not on track’ judgements on Sonar. These judgements are made on the basis of observations and in depth knowledge of the children acquired through ongoing assessment. We value the professional knowledge and judgment of our teachers and support staff and give time for professional dialogue between senior and subject leaders throughout the year for information sharing and professional challenge. Ongoing assessments are used to inform curricular planning, continuous provision and intervention planning for all children. Recording of children’s learning is flexible and purposeful, teachers make choices about how and what is recorded, following three key points:
  • To show a wow moment or point of concern
  • To enable planning of next steps
  • To share with parents and carers

Parent Partnerships:

  • 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.  Parents are invited in for morning/afternoon each term to look at what the children have been doing and look at the learning journals with their child. An email is sent weekly to inform the parents on the learning for the next week and how they can help and support the children’s learning at home. The parents are also involved in three parents evening during the year.


The impact of the EYFS curriculum is reflected in having well rounded, happy and confident children. We know that by the end of Foundation Stage at Lakefield Primary School, our children will have developed knowledge and skills required for everyday life and lifelong learning. Our children will be actively engaged in their learning and the enjoyment of this learning will be apparent in their daily provision.  All children will have experienced a curriculum that provides exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities for them to learn through educational visits and practical experiences.

We measure progress and children’s learning across the year through formative and summative assessments which are based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child, their learning journals and photographs. We aim to exceed the National and Local Authority data for children achieving Good Level of Development. The judgements of our school are moderated with other schools within our Trust (DGAT).

The teaching and pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly through meetings with the head teacher, EYFS Team and DGAT. We ensure that the areas we discuss and develop are reflected in changes and developments in our classroom practice.

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