Curriculum Statement: Early Years

 ‘Excellence, Truth and Grace’


EYFS Intent


We are proud of the ambitious, meaningful, spiritual curriculum that we provide for all of our children.  Our school motto is “Excellence, Truth and Grace.”  Our child led approach emphasises this, as we focus on the unique child and allow all children to fulfil their true potential, within a supportive and caring Christian community. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework provides the underpinning principles for all learning and development in our Nursery and Reception classes. We intend for our children to have a sense of belonging and to become happy, resilient and confident problem solvers who are keen to learn, share stories, develop their ideas and to think creatively. We enable children to learn holistically, through play, exploration and experimentation whilst developing personal and social skills and becoming kind and thoughtful friends. We want our children to have the confidence and courage to try new things and to not be afraid to make mistakes or to take risks with their learning. We intend for our children to leave the Early Years with the cultural capital needed to successfully continue their learning journey.


EYFS Implementation


At Middleton Parish Church School, our EYFS curriculum is designed to recognise the unique child. The children’s prior knowledge and ongoing interests, both from previous settings and their experiences at home, are drawn upon to ensure that we capture their engagement and provide a smooth transition into school life. We place high priority on children on children’s levels of well-being and involvement.  Supported by staff, children are encouraged to collaborate, persevere and problem solve together whilst they continually develop personal and social skills.  We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Parish, ensuring each individual reaches their full potential from their various starting points.


Our curriculum recognises the central role of the Prime Areas of learning within the EYFS framework; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language, in ensuring that children have the necessary skills to access the wider curriculum and develop into confident, independent and resilient learners.  At Parish, we recognise that oracy not only improves academic outcomes, but is a life skill to ensure success beyond school and into the future. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we encourage all children to develop a love of books and to become competent early readers.  High quality texts are carefully chosen to match our themes and children are given lots of opportunities to revisit favourite stories and rhymes.  Our enabling environments and warm, skilful adult interactions, combined with our strong focus on early identification of need, support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration right from the start.


We believe that high level engagement maximises the opportunity for high level attainment.

Therefore, we provide first hand learning experiences that allow children to develop interpersonal skills that build concentration and resilience. Our child-centred approach enables our children to make meaningful links and choose their own learning, which inspires enthusiasm.  We aim to foster a lifelong love of learning by providing opportunities for open ended discovery and problem solving, real world experiences and purposeful play. 


We implement our curriculum through a careful balance of an adult and child led approach which means each child receives an individual learning experience, tailored to their needs.  Our daily routines are key to ensuring all children are learning effectively all of the time.  We provide children with high quality adult led teaching, which has been carefully planned to ensure that children make progress throughout Early Years.  Our long-term planning ensures we introduce new learning, vocabulary and concepts at a time that is meaningful for the children. We aim to create a sense of Awe and Wonder in the natural world.   Nursery and Reception share some themes allowing skills to be developed embedded through a spiral curriculum, whilst ensuring progression for those in our Reception class. 


Short, interactive adult led activities are planned to ensure children learn key concepts systematically.  Nursery have a daily Phase 1 phonics activity and Reception are taught RWI phonics.  In Reception, children quickly begin to bring home phonetically decodable books (carefully matched to their phonic learning in class) as well as a library book to share.  Nursery children take home library books and the weekly Nursery Rhyme is shared on Class Dojo to practise at home.  Nursery children love their nursery rhyme and story times where they have the opportunity to revisit and retell favourite rhymes and stories.  Teaching in early mathematics is carefully structured but practical and fun.  Reception follow the Mastering Number scheme which allows children to develop a deep understanding of numbers to 10.  Nursery maths teaching, directly underpins the mathematical learning in reception with children being given regular meaningful opportunities to develop early number skills.  Our children are excited about numbers!


New learning from taught sessions is supported and developed through children’s independent play. Our staff are responsive to our children’s needs and have the freedom to take learning in the direction of the children’s interests.  Our highly skilled staff team capitalise on learning moments as they arise, during prolonged periods of uninterrupted play. The adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for next steps in the moment). 


Our approach to observation ensures individual progress is carefully monitored whilst ensuring that staff have the time to develop high quality interactions, moving children’s learning on within the moment.  Huge focus is placed on developing children’s communication and language skills.  We know from research that where interactions are child led there is much more potential for them to develop language and for sustained-shared thinking to take place.  Therefore, we place high value on children’s play and all of our staff have a high-quality insight and knowledge of child development, enabling them to enhance and extend children’s learning at the appropriate level, allowing next steps to occur spontaneously.


At key points of the year, including baseline in the autumn, children’s progress is assessed and monitored.  Key actions are taken for vulnerable groups to ensure high levels of progress and attainment for all children, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, social economic background or starting points.  Where children are identified as not on track, interventions are quickly put in place to help them keep up.  All children are Wellcomm screened when they arrive at Middleton Parish and supporting speech and language is a key priority.  Positive relationships and good communication are vital, and where children have a high level of need, we work closely with parents and external agencies to ensure appropriate support is in place.


EYFS Impact


We believe that our child led approach, underpinned by the EYFS framework and research, perfectly suits the way young children learn and this is evident through the high levels of well-being and involvement our children show and the progress made. Both Nursery and Reception place a heavy emphasis on supporting all children to make excellent progress throughout the year and interventions such as Wellcomm, Elklan, Attention Autism and Intensive Interactions are proving effective in allowing targeted children to make accelerated progress to catch up with their peers. All staff work collaboratively and with a shared vision, Excellence, Truth and Grace is embodied in all that we do. Through a system of highly effective adult-child interactions, child led learning and high-quality adult led direct teaching - our children are learning effectively all the time!


By the end of the Reception year, our children are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1. Our Christian values and strong focus on personal, social and emotional development and oracy, reflect the skills and character needed for future learning and success. Our children finish their Reception year as kind, curious and independent learners.



Updated: 24/11/2022 971 KB