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Phase 1
Early Years

Nursery and Reception


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, our language rich, play-based curriculum is underpinned by the 'Understanding the world' area of learning and development. Children are taught through a play-based approach to develop the characteristics of effective learning through continuous provision. The progression of learning is carefully designed to enable children to progress from what they already know and can do so they are ready for their next stage of learning. Working in partnership with parents and carers, we support children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development by creating a learning environment that enables our children to feel known, understood, safe and secure, and enjoy their learning.  

In the prime and specific areas of learning, we plan ambitious and meaningful experiences linked to core texts and children’s interests. 

Prime Areas are fundamental, work together and support development in all other areas: 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

  • Communication and Language 

  • Physical Development 

Specific Areas include the essential skills and knowledge required for children to participate successfully in society: 

  • Literacy 

  • Maths 

  • Understanding the World 

  • Expressive Arts and Design 

Children in the Nursery are provided with learning opportunities and experiences which allow them to build the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for success in their future learning. Opportunities and experiences provided for Reception children are sequenced to build on the foundational knowledge they already have and enable them to secure a good level of development, ready to confidently transition into Year 1.  

Where appropriate, some lessons are taught through direct instruction by the teacher or other adults to the whole class or small groups. 

Children begin Little Wandle Letters and Sounds in Nursery, starting with listening to adults modeling oral blending, joining in with oral blending opportunities and taking part in games. Children continue their phonics journey in Reception by learning to say sounds and write letters that enable them to begin to read books accurately with fluency and confidence. In Reception, phonics assessments are used to determine when the children are ready to start reading a book which is matched to their phonics phase and children are provided with a text matched to their phonics phase to practise independent reading at home. 

The teachers in Phase 1 take part in termly Cohort Keep-Up meetings that allow the Phase Leader to support teachers in delivering the right provision for each child to make an appropriate level of progress as they move through the Phase. 

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