We strongly believe that the Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives on. At John Gulson Primary School we greatly value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development. We ensure that Our Early Years curriculum is relevant & meaningful to each child and it enables children’s individual skills, knowledge and understanding to develop progressively right from their entry to our School. We have a nursery class (2-4 years) and reception class (4-5 years).

Our curriculum opens children’s eyes to the world around them and provides first-hand experiences; creating memorable moments and knowledge that become life-long building blocks for all pupils regardless of educational needs and background. We believe in a language rich curriculum and a ‘talk valued’ environment so that our pupils learn a breadth of vocabulary to communicate for a range of reasons within a range of contexts. Talk for Writing, Stories, rhymes and music are key tools for our curriculum delivery as well as discrete phonic sessions that allow pupils to begin accessing print around them.

Our Early Years environment is thoughtfully planned to provide rich access to all areas of learning. The characteristics of effective learning are at the heart of our day and pupils, from an early age, are encouraged to ‘have a go’, take risks, ask questions, make links, solve problems and be individual in their thoughts and ideas. Early Years Practitioners plan a balance between adult directed and child-initiated learning using children’s individual needs and interests as starting points.

Through positive staff relationships and care, we help our young children to learn about themselves personally and encourage each child to be resilient and reach their potential. We teach our children how to be healthy and safe and how to be a good friend.

Our Nursery and Reception curriculum reflects the guidance set out in the ‘Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’.  The framework sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. The EYFS framework specifies the requirements for learning and development which must shape activities and experiences for the children in their early years.

Half termly themes are planned to activate children’s curiosity, understanding and development. All seven main areas of learning are incorporated into both the indoor and outdoor curriculum and planning is cross curricular across all areas. Adult led activities are planned to develop and move children’s learning on in all areas of their learning.  Free-flow activities are planned to include opportunities for extension; child requested activities and adult led activities informed by assessment and observation. The children have independent access to a stimulating curriculum both indoors and outdoors on a daily basis.

Areas of learning

There are seven areas of learning that shape the educational programmes. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three of the areas are called Prime areas of learning and four of the areas are known as specific areas.

Prime Areas Specific areas
Communication and Language Literacy
Physical Development Mathematics
Personal, Social and Emotional development Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design

The staff take account of individual needs, interests, and stage of development of the children. Children who are at the early stages of learning English are encouraged to use their first language and first language support is provided where possible. Opportunities are carefully planned for these children to learn and reach a good standard in English language.

EYFS provision takes account of Three Characteristics of effective learning.

Playing and exploring – engagement

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’

Active learning – motivation

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keeping trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically – thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things

Useful links

EYFS Brochure (1.5 MiB)