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Newton Burgoland Primary School

Newton Burgoland Primary School

Together We Can Achieve Excellence

Early Years

Together We Make Learning A Memorable, Unmissable Adventure

Curriculum Intent

We have high expectations of our children and staff as we understand the importance of a strong foundation as a basis for future learning. We have chosen to maintain a mixed reception and year 1 class so that those pupils who need longer to develop early skills can do so though a curriculum which is child centred and based in learning through play.

As outlined in the Statutory Framework “Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chance.

We adhere to the Statutory Framework and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings:

  •  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.
  •  Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Alongside these guiding principles we also aim to:

  • Provide children with an ambitious, appropriate to them curriculum that gives them, (particularly disadvantaged) the knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  • To have the same academic ambitions for all children. For children with particular needs, such as SEND, their curriculum is designed to be ambitious and to meet their needs.
  • Design a curriculum that is coherently planned and sequenced.  Building on what children know and can do, towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning.
  • Carefully plan an enabling environment that remains consistent for children. encouraging them to becoming independent learners.
  • Ensure layout of provision and resources are carefully planned by EYFS leads to maximise learning potential.
  • Develop independent learners with high levels of resilience and emotional well-being. Children are able to respond well to set backs and are aware that adapting work is part of the process. This is evident in the beautiful work they carry out during adult guided and independent learning sessions.
  • Ensure there is a sharp focus on ensuring that children acquire a wide vocabulary, communicate effectively, and secure a knowledge of phonics which gives them the foundations for future learning to become confident and fluent readers.
  • Ensure that schools approach to teaching reading and synthetic phonics is systematic and ensures that all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception.

Our curriculum is led by children’s needs(what knowledge and skills they need to obtain in order to be successful with their later schooling) and interests across the 7 areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals.


Underpinning our curriculum are the Characteristics of Learning, which are;

  •  Playing and Exploring - Engagement
  •  Active Learning - Motivation
  •  Creating and thinking critically


All the seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.


Our curriculum is based on the prime areas guided by our curriculum drivers for all pupils:

  • Reading
  • Character
  • Creativity, reasoning and communicating

Curriculum implementation

  • Learning is coherently planned and sequenced to support new knowledge and skills, it is meaningful and relevant to the children.
  • The curriculum is built around essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for future success.
  • Practitioners know the children well. Knowledge/themes and skills are carefully selected from the children’s starting points focusing on what the children need to learn in order to move their learning on.
  • There are opportunities for child initiated learning within planned learning to capitalise on children’s interests in order to achieve learning outcomes.
  • Vocabulary is carefully selected and displayed on working walls. Retention and use of this vocabulary is of high importance for all staff.
  • The curriculum is taught through a stimulating, creative, play based curriculum which covers the seven areas of learning.
  • There are opportunities for children to engage in both adult and child-initiated activities.
  • All activities, provocations, and lines of enquiry are designed to enhance vocabulary, build curiosity and engage children with enthusiasm for learning.
  • Observation and assessment inform planning to ensure all children are meeting their next steps.
  • Resources in the environment are carefully selected and introduced appropriately to support and embed new knowledge.
  • the environment is organised so that learners can find the resources they need to support .

The quality and nature of indoor and outdoor learning environments are seen as central to effective practice and good outcomes in Reception as these provide the breadth of opportunity necessary to ensure that all aspects of the statutory EYFS are addressed appropriately (Early Excellence, 2016).’

  • Children have access to both indoor and outdoor carefully planned provision. Outdoor provision does not mirror indoor learning but supports active play based learning and movement, managing risks and taking challenge, problem solving, creativity and language in a way which may not be possible in the indoor environment.
  • Children show high levels of involvement in their learning. Taking responsibility for their learning means children are engaged with what is being taught and able to show their understanding in a way that is appropriate to them.  Learning is then more likely to enter long term memory.
  • We promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support. Use of picture books from the No outsiders scheme enable children to understand that difference is valued and respected.
  • We value our partnership with parents and work closely with them. All parents are invited to attend a meeting with key staff prior to entry and an introduction to school life event in September. Parents are offered an opportunity to be paired with a current parent ( parent buddies). Our year 5 and 6 pupils volunteer to buddy with new pupils and their families to support transition to school.
  • There is a high priority to support children’s emotional security and development of their character in line with our curriculum drivers.
  • We are keen to develop the following ‘executive functions’ which children need to make progress, which appear to be vital for children to develop if the gap in achievement is to be narrowed between disadvantaged and their peers. Through enabling environments, positive relationships and PSHCE we develop and celebrate:

1. Cognitive Flexibility i.e. switching perspectives;

2. Inhibitory Control: ability to stay focused despite distraction, have selective focused attention, stay on task;

3. Working Memory: holding information in mind and mentally working with it, making sense of what unfolds over time, relating events, ideas, learning from before to now, reasoning, cause and effect, remembering multiple instructions in sequence and following step by step in correct order (CREC, 2014).

The evidence indicates that these aspects of development are more important than IQ, entry level reading, or maths (Blair and Diamond 2008).


Equality of opportunity

We recognise the importance of speech, language and communication in accessing the curriculum. There is a close link between the number of words children know and their future success (Ofsted, 2019). Children with poor speech, language and communication will have difficulty in accessing thinking skills, needed to explain, suggest, reason and discuss and also will have difficulty in accessing the language skills needed to read and write with meaning (Fisher, 2016).

We provide opportunities in all settings for children to develop language to:

  • Build strong relationships
  • Communicate their ideas and their feelings
  • Think creatively and critically
  • Use it as a tool for learning
  • Use it to become confident with the written word (Fisher, 2016).

We acknowledge that some children who start school disadvantaged need support with their communication and language skills in order to access the curriculum.

Adults  use language to:

  • Build warm relationships
  • Get to know and understand the children better
  • Model language
  • Model the process of thinking
  • Scaffold learning
  • Affirm and consolidate children’s learning
  • Extend children’s thinking and learning (Fisher, 2016).


You will observe a balance of the following adult interactions (definitions taken from Fisher, 2016):

  • Adult led learning: learning that is carefully planned with outcomes they want the children to achieve. These are planned with prior knowledge of the children’s learning experiences and with guidance from the EYFS.
  • Adult initiated learning: The practitioner still has a clear purpose for planning an activity, enhancement or experience based on the knowledge of the children and previous learning. Children are given opportunities to consolidate their learning, knowledge and skills and embed them into long term memory. The practitioner will set up a learning activity with the express intention of promoting certain kinds of knowledge or understanding. The children then access this independently. The practitioner will return to this activity later but the children have the opportunity to take the planned learning in different directions and arrive at different end points. Through observation, the practitioner can identify what the children know and where the learning may go next.
  • Child lead learning: the practitioner supports learning within a carefully planned environment. They will follow the children’s thinking and engage in sustained shared thinking with the child/ children (Fisher, 2016). This encourages dialogue, negotiation of meanings and co-construction of understanding (CREC, 2014).


Personal, Emotional And Social development

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities

PSED has three aspects:

Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

What does this Look like in School?

Sharing and learning together at forest schools.


Working together to build a den for Super Tato.

Physical development

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food

Physical development has two aspects:

Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

What does this Look like in School?

Climbing, constructing and working with tools and fire in forest schools.


Designing and making together at the woodwork bench.

Communication And Language

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations

Communication and Language development has Three aspects:

Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events

What does this Look like in School?

Enjoying being together, talking sharing, listening.



Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest  

Literacy development has two aspects

Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

What does this Look like in School?

Preparing to write.

Sharing a favourite book.


Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure

mathematics development has two aspects

Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

What does this Look like in School?

Counting, Measuring, Making.

Understanding The World

Understanding the world (UTW) is one of four specific areas of learning in the EYFS Curriculum Framework.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

UTW has three aspects;.

People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

What does this Look like in School?

Problem solving together using the Bee-bots.

Expressive Arts And design

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a  variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

Expressive arts and design has two aspects:

Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

What does this Look like in School?

Learners worked with an artist to look at different ways of making marks then experimented to create their own pictures.