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EYFS (Nursery and Reception)


At Joseph Turner Primary School, we aim to provide a well-planned, exciting and engaging early years curriculum which will inspire children to nurture a passion for learning. We firmly believe that our children need to engage in a variety of real-life learning experiences which are both challenging and meaningful. By working in partnership with parents, carers and other settings, we recognise children’s prior knowledge and various starting points in order to create a holistic curriculum that allows pupils to develop cross-curricular links and build strong foundations for their future. Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is carefully designed and evolves to provide children with important skills and knowledge that will later be enhanced and embedded in Key Stage One. Our inviting indoor and outdoor provision follows the children’s interests and takes account of children’s ‘next steps’ in learning, fostering exploration, curiosity and investigation skills, whilst building upon the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning. Our curriculum is designed to be flexible, allowing teachers to explore the fascinations and meet the needs of the individual children in their class. We ensure that the skills and expertise of the staff working in EYFS are continuously updated through regular and comprehensive professional development, organised by the Senior Leadership team, EYFS Lead and other outside providers.



Each area of the EYFS curriculum is implemented through a balance of child-initiated activities and well-planned adult-led sessions. When children start in Nursery, the main emphasis is on developing the Prime areas of learning, evolving to a more equal focus on all areas as children grow in confidence and ability. The EYFS timetable is carefully planned and structured so that the children have direct teaching in Literacy, Mathematics and Phonics. We also deliver daily circle time sessions to focus on Communication and Language and Personal, Social and Emotional Development skills. Adapting a ‘Key Person’ approach helps the children to develop strong relationships and feel emotionally secure when they away from home. We recognise that play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, solve problems and relate to others. Children in our EYFS learn by leading their own play and making decisions in their learning, whilst being supported by highly skilled practitioners. Quality interactions between the children and adults strengthen the children’s learning, encouraging appropriate challenge and sustained thinking. In EYFS, we operate a two-year rolling programme, which is based upon themed learning units such as ‘Marvellous Me’, ‘Traditional Tales’ and ‘Ground, Air, Water.’ For each unit we have selected a variety of high-quality, diverse texts to create an integrated approach to the curriculum. In addition, children also enjoy reading a plethora of books at school through their phonics, 1:1 reading and Jackanory sessions. Each week, fully decodable phonics reading books that are tailored to the children’s individual phonics levels are sent home, alongside library books to promote reading for pleasure. A rigorous and sequential approach to the reading curriculum through the Read, Write, Inc scheme develops pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment in reading, with the expectation that they will make good progress in order to become fluent readers. Throughout all stages of the phonics programme, children’s reading attainment is assessed and gaps are addressed quickly and effectively.

Our curriculum has a key focus on developing children’s vocabulary to ensure that our pupils have the words to express themselves effectively. As part of our weekly planning, teachers clearly identify vocabulary to be introduced to the children. Staff are ‘radiators’ of language; sharing and modelling rich vocabulary and thinking. We use the ‘Every Child a Talker’ and ‘Language First’ strategies to engage in meaningful conversations with the children and develop their speaking and listening skills. We have created a curriculum that is full of opportunities for children to experience and see the wider world. We ensure that every half term the children participate in at least one offsite visit or have a visitor in to school to deepen the children’s learning experiences and develop a sense of awe and wonder.

For Mathematics in Reception, we follow the ‘Mastering Number’ approach, with an emphasis on the children developing a strong sense in number. Significant time is spent developing a deep understanding of the key concepts that are needed to underpin future learning. Children improve their ability to clearly communicate their mathematical ideas and thinking through interactive whole class games and tasks, using concreate manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied into their own learning during child-initiated and adult directed activities. Teaching Mathematics in a kinaesthetic and practical way supports our children to become logical problem solvers who can demonstrate resilience and justification.

All classes in EYFS have an ‘Our Learning Journey’ display, to which photograph’s, children’s comments and examples of work are added to record the children’s progress. This information is then transferred to class floor books at the end of each half term, which are then shared with parents and children. These are also supplemented by individual exercise books for Phonics, Literacy and Mathematics in Reception. Summative assessments are recorded using our whole school tracking system, linking to the Development Matters age related expectations for each area of Learning and Development. These assessments are updated regularly in order to carefully monitor each child’s progress. This allows us to assess the impact of our teaching and consider if additional measures are required to help specific children. Our inclusive approach means that all children play and learn together, however staff use their knowledge of interventions, to provide additional support where required to ensure children make good progress. These include personalised action plan targets, Wellcomm screening, Speech and Language targets and RWI phonics intervention. Information regarding the children’s attainment and progress is regularly shared and discussed with members of the Senior Leadership Team during pupil progress meetings and shared with parents during Parents Evenings.



The positive impact of our EYFS curriculum is reflected in having happy, confident and independent learners who are ready to transition into Year One. Our children embody our school motto of ‘Eager to Learn, Proud to Achieve’ and carry with them the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners who will contribute successfully to the wider community. We have high expectations for all children in our foundation stage to make at least good progress from their starting points, in order to meet their ‘End of Year’ targets for Nursery and Reception. We strive for the majority of our pupils to achieve a Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of their EYFS journey.