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Early Years

Children learning in Nursery and Reception classes are known as the Early Years Foundation Stage or EYFS for short.  We follow the statutory EYFS framework for teaching and development.  This stage is very important in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. 


The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development and provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.


Children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development, these are split into Prime and Specific areas.


Children start developing in the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.


These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning, these weave through our Early Years Curriculum

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.


All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. We make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like the curriculum in the rest of the school but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests, while also teaching them the most important skills and knowledge to prepare them for future learning.


    The Burnside Learning Challenge Curriculum

    The 'Golden Threads' and our 3 core values are weaved through the children's learning. The Golden Threads - Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Kind  starts in the EYFS.


    What is it like in the Early Years on a day to day basis?

    Our children are happy.  They are excited and motivated to learn through rich and challenging learning experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first-hand experiences. Every day, we provide opportunities for children to come together to share their experiences, learn and have fun.  


    We have high ambitions for all our children and recognise that children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to children’s stage of development so all can thrive and develop. We aim for children to be well-rounded individuals who are independent, resilient, and confident in themselves and with others, ready to move into Year 1 and the National Curriculum.


    Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.  The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that children are born ready, able and eager to learn.  They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them.  Development is not an automatic process, however.  It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.


    This does not mean that all your child's learning is divided up into specific areas.  One experience may provide a child with opportunities to develop a number of skills and concepts across several areas of learning.  Our expectation is that your child's records will be passed on from Nursery and/or Pre-school groups, enabling us to ensure continuity throughout the Early Years Foundation stage.

    Phonics teaching is  a key part of  children’s learning, this is where children learn to link letters and sounds and develop early reading and writing skills.  We use a systematic synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. Please use the link below to find out more. 



    Assessment at the end of Reception

    Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers, teachers and other adults to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an important part of what we do. We continually make observations about each child's learning and development  and use these observations  to identify learning priorities and plan relevant learning experiences for each child.


    The EYFS curriculum consists of 17 goals for learning or 'Early Learning Goals', we use these to make final assessments on your child's learning and development at the end of the Reception Year.

    To find out more about the Early Learning Goals click the link below.

    Teachers indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:

    • Emerging - not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
    • Expected - reached expected levels of development for age 


    These judgements are shared with parents in the annual report and Year 1 teachers during transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers. They are used to assist with the planning of learning at the start of Year 1.


    Nursery Timetable Morning Session

    Nursery Timetable Afternoon Session

    Reception Timetable

    Contact Details and Useful Links