Here at SS Mary and John’s Catholic Primary Academy we are passionate about children learning through play and using purposeful experiences to underpin their learning. We know that children learn best when their levels of well-being and engagement are high, so our EYFS team work collectively on ensuring all children feel safe and secure whilst providing many exciting, creative and challenging learning opportunities.


Our Early Years Curriculum provides all of our children with a range of opportunities and experiences for them to:

  • develop positive relationships and attitudes
  • be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • succeed as learners

Here at SS Mary and John’s Catholic Primary Academy we intend to:

  • Carefully plan a sequential and progressive curriculum with a balance of child initiated and adult directed activities that provide meaningful learning experiences
  • Ensure a smooth transition for all learners, regardless of their starting point
  • Promote characteristics of learning by being aware not just of what children are learning, but how they are learning
  • Provide an inclusive and diverse setting where all children can progress
  • Follow children’s interests and provide a range of rich opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps
  • Provide high quality interactions with adults that impact the progress of all children, this includes using high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions
  • Increase children’s vocabulary and speech and language skills
  • Use assessment to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs
  • Work in partnership with parents, carers and our local community to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points
  • Promote and embed an early love of reading
  • Provide a stimulating and challenging indoor and outdoor environment which supports learning
  • Prepare children to achieve a Good Level of Development (GLD) and the Early Learning goals at the end of the Foundation Stage and ensure children make at least good progress from their starting points
  • Support children with a smooth transition from Nursery to Reception, and from Reception into KS1 and beyond to become successful lifelong learners


Our Nursery and Reception Classes follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

All our teaching is planned around the 7 areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The teaching of these areas of learning is playful, fun and inclusive. There is a blend of adult-led, child initiated and teacher directed sessions as well as a wealth of stimulating continuous provision opportunities.

It is vital that all of our staff have high expectations and through a well-resourced and stimulating environment ensure the best for every child. We encourage our children to become independent and active learners through challenging activities and experiences.

We understand that high quality teaching and learning is centred around the children’s individual interests and needs, which in turn provides the building blocks for the wider whole school curriculum.

The curriculum celebrates diversity and the Catholic Faith. Those children with particular needs, including SEND, are supported appropriately allowing them to be successful learners.

Throughout all of these areas of learning and at the centre of our EYFS are the “Characteristics of Effective Learning:”

  • Playing and Learning
  • Active Learning
  • Thinking Critically

Our indoor and outdoor environments are developed to promote curiosity, consolidation, independence and challenge within our children and allow them to access the curriculum independently and confidently with the necessary level of support and challenge.


Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. In Nursery, our main focus is reading stories and rhymes to children to developing their language. These stories and nursery
rhymes are repeated with actions and emphasis every time.

Throughout Nursery sessions, planned opportunities to talk provide children with opportunities to listen to a range of words and phrases and encourage them to build sentences orally.

Children in Reception follow a highly engaging synthetic systematic phonics programme called Read Write Inc. RWI helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.

In the term before starting Reception, children will begin to use pure sounds, using Fred-
talk to orally blend and learning to ‘read’ the picture side of the sound cards. Once developmentally ready, children will then be taught the letter sound through the systematic, daily teaching of phonics.

Please view our Read Write Inc videos on our Phonics page here.


  • Within our EYFS, children are continuously assessed in a range of ways including observations, their work and formal assessments, (Baseline, mid-point & end of year) These provide us with information for in the moment and future planning, for individual children’s next steps in their learning.
  • Observations enable us to capture and have professional conversations about children’s skills over time, ensuring learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make progress within our EYFS settings.
  • ‘Floor books are used to evidence children’s ‘WOW moments’ and may demonstrate the children’s learning and progress over time.
  • Leaders monitor the quality and impact of the EYFS Curriculum through learning walks, pupil voice and evaluating assessment data to inform next steps.


We aim for all of our pupils to access the full EYFS Curriculum. These pupils will be supported in order to provide them with full accessibility to all aspects of the EYFS provision.


Our aim is to ensure that our children benefit from a smooth transition between Nursery and Reception as the EYFS team works together collaboratively to ensure learners leave Nursery with a firm foundation for their learning.

Children will develop a love for learning. They will develop into confident, motivated and independent learners.

Our goal is that by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage the majority of children will have reached their personal best. Aiming for a good level of development measure (GLD) they will have achieved at least the expected level in the ELGs across the Prime Areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and in the Specific Areas of Literacy and Mathematics. All children will have made significant personal progress across all areas of learning.


In Reception class, mathematics is taught using the ‘Mastering Number’ programme offered by the NCETM, this programme aims to develop solid number sense, including fluency and flexibility with number facts, which will have a lasting impact on future learning for all children. In addition to this, age appropriate knowledge and skills of Shape, Space and Measures is taught throughout each term.

In Early Years, there are opportunities throughout the day to learn about mathematics through the environment and through routines, as well as in dedicated teaching time. Children are exposed to mathematical language, both formal and informal, practitioners engage with the children in order to extend their mathematical thinking.

Mathematics is explored through different contexts, including books, puzzles, songs, rhymes, puppet play and games. The development of key mathematical skills is implemented through planned, purposeful activities, where there is a mix of adult-led, child-initiated and continuous provision activities.

EYFS teaching staff, along with the maths subject leader, participate in the SHaW Maths Hub

‘Building Firm mathematical Foundations’ workgroups to further embed the principles of the NCETM teaching for mastery approach, and how these can be applied appropriately within the context of an Early Years setting.


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Useful Documents

Useful Links

Class Dojo

Boom Reader

Oxford Owl

Phonics Play

Number Blocks


Toilet Training Tips