The Learning for Life Proud to be part of The Learning for Life

Early Years


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 chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high-quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Department for Education 2023


We adhere to the ‘Statutory Framework of the EYFS’ 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/ carers;

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



At Wheelock Primary School, we aim to provide the highest quality care and education by giving our children a progressive and stimulating curriculum that will encourage each child to develop the skills, understanding and attitudes to reach their full potential. We create a safe and happy environment with engaging and challenging learning experiences, to enable our children to become confident and independent learners.

To help children achieve their potential we will:

  • Ensure all children feel safe, happy and included.
  • Offer provision that is rich in possibilities.
  • Offer a curriculum that is coherently planned and sequenced throughout EYFS to build strong foundations and prepare children for Year 1.
  • Provide children with exciting environments, enabling them to explore their interests, in order to make sense of the world in which they live.
  • Value and listen to all children, resulting in happy children with high levels of self-esteem and engagement.
  • Teach children how to contribute positively to their own physical and mental well-being and support them in learning how to overcome challenges.
  • Equip children with the basic skills needed in order to read, write and understand basic number.
  • Celebrate the diverse nature of our setting, developing children’s awareness of and respect for others.
  • Work in partnership with parents and carers to understand and meet the needs of every child.


The Curriculum

The Foundation Stage (Reception) follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework which stipulates what we teach. The characteristics of effective learning, which include: playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically are woven through our curriculum. The curriculum also requires the children to access learning both indoors and outdoors.

The statutory framework includes seven areas of learning and development. The first three areas are important to allow the children to show curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, develop further self-esteem and form relationships that will allow them to thrive. These areas are called ‘Prime areas’. Prime areas are:

Communication and Language – Listening Attention and Understanding and Speaking;

Physical Development – Gross Motor skills and Fine motor skills;

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Self regulation, Managing self and Building relationships

The other four areas of learning are referred to as ‘Specific areas’. These areas help to develop essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society. Specific areas are:

Literacy – Comprehension, Word reading and Writing;

Mathematics – Number and Numerical patterns;

Understanding the World – Past and Present, People, Culture and Communities and The Natural World;

Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with Materials and Being Imaginative and Expressive.

Each area of learning is implemented through carefully planned, purposeful play in which practitioners have considered the individual needs, interests and stages of development of each child.

In planning and guiding the children’s activities all practitioners observe and reflect on the different ways that the children learn.

These are formally known as the characteristics of effective learning and are described using the following three key characteristics:

Playing and exploring – how the child investigates and experiences things, or their ‘have a go’ attitude;

Active learning – how the child concentrates and can keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy their own achievements;

Creating and thinking critically – how the child develops their own ideas, makes links between their ideas, and develops strategies for doing things

We effectively plan and design our Early Year’s curriculum that not only meets the emerging needs of the children but also supports, extends and develops curiosity and engagement with learning. Long term planning is frequently improved to ensure that it is well sequenced and progressive. Our planning is responsive and flexible, ensuring that we cater to emerging needs, interests and fascinations. The curriculum is planned to ensure that the unique child is considered. The sequence of the curriculum builds on prior knowledge of the child from their pre-school and home experience.



We have an overarching topic that the children are immersed in to offer a deeper learning focus. Through careful planning, we build on the ideas and interests of the children within each topic, responding to them in different ways to enable us to support each child’s learning and development. Opportunities for the children to access learning both indoors and outdoors are provided daily. Language enrichment is central to learning across our curriculum and we have a strong focus on teaching children the basic skills. We prioritise creating a ‘language rich’ environment through the use of open-ended provision indoors and outdoors, through songs, nursery rhymes, stories and providing time for quality interactions between adults and between peers. Trained staff ensure that interactions are positive and of a high quality, allowing children to flourish and gather words at pace in order to become confident communicators. Staff run an effective communication programme, WellComm, which enhances communication, vocabulary and expressive skills.

The children learn and develop their social skills, communication and language skills and their gross and fine motor skills across the Foundation stage. This is balanced with the specific areas of learning. The children have daily Literacy, Maths and Phonics sessions, as well as opportunities to follow their interests within each topic. Each Literacy unit is planned around a high-quality text through the Literacy Counts scheme. Children are encouraged to become early readers through enjoyment of books and the systematic teaching of our phonics programme, Read Write Inc. We also place a very high importance on story time within our curriculum and both classes will engage with high quality story time, a minimum of once daily. Our daily Maths sessions follow the Mastering Number programme which supports our children in securing firm foundations in the development of good number sense. This is supported by a bespoke plan following the White Rose Scheme to support the development of other Mathematic concepts including; shape, measure and pattern.


Topic overview:Curriculum themes

(Please see long term plan for more details) 



Parent partnership

Parents are a child’s first educators and have a prime teaching role with their children. At Wheelock Primary School we understand the importance of the parent partnership as part of the school community and the crucial role as part of their child’s learning journey. We create strong relationships through our welcome to school meetings, 1:1 meetings and stay and play sessions at the start of the school year. During the school year, parents receive updates through our online learning journey, Tapestry, and also receive regular updates to inform them of what their child is learning, key vocabulary explained and how they can support learning at home. Parents are supported to contribute to their child’s profile through Tapestry, at least once each half term. We also invite parents into the setting to take part in our ‘watch me learn’ sessions and various family learning workshops throughout the year. Staff are available at the end of each day for parents to talk to if they have any queries or concerns and parents are invited to a formal meeting (parents evening) three times a year at which the teacher/EYFS Practitioners and parent discuss the child’s progress.






Page Downloads Date  
Wheelock Primary School EYFS policy 2023 2024 17th Sep 2023 Download
Wheelock Primary School 2023 2024 Reception Long term plan F 16th Oct 2023 Download