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St Giles Church of England Primary School

Early Years at St Giles

















Our Early Years curriculum is based primarily upon Development Matters, the educational programmes as outlined in the statutory Framework and the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals which set out the expectations for children to achieve by the end of Reception. We recognise that children enter our setting with varied experiences and that the recent pandemic has impacted our children in a variety of ways. We aim to plan and deliver a carefully considered curriculum which meets the particular needs of the cohort, which is based on our continuous assessment and understanding of our children.

It is our aim to provide an enriched, purposeful and stimulating learning environment indoors and outdoors, which promotes exploration, challenge and a love for learning. We value play as an important part of learning and balance adult directed tasks with opportunities for child initiated play. We understand the importance of early education in providing the secure foundations for which the rest of a child’s learning is based. We encourage an environment where children and adults have mutual respect for each other and aim for our pupils in Reception to develop;

  • Confidence in their ability to learn.
  • The key skills necessary to learn.
  • The emotional capabilities to enable them to understand their feelings and to be resilient.


We encourage a ‘language rich’ environment in Reception through sharing stories, learning nursery rhymes and songs, and providing opportunities for talk through engaging environment enhancements and quality adult interactions. We want children to ask questions about the world around them, express their ideas and feelings using full sentences and offer explanations for why things happen. We encourage this through providing opportunities for children to use new vocabulary in small groups, class and one to one discussions.  We have a trained staff who deliver daily phonics and maths teaching, as well as delivering evidence-based programmes to children. We also enhance children’s learning through positive and purposeful interactions during child-initiated play. From entering Reception, the children receive a systematic teaching of phonics and we encourage a love of reading and books by basing many of our adult directed learning around stories. Children develop their mathematical understanding through direct teaching and exploration of the environment. We want children to become confident mathematical thinkers and be able to apply their knowledge to solve real life problems.

Our learning environment is carefully considered and continually adapts and evolves to support the development needs of the children and their interests. We value provision which enables children to develop their gross and fine motor skills both indoors and outdoors. We provide children with a learning environment which offers opportunities for children to develop their characteristics of effective learning and apply their knowledge in different situations.

The curriculum is taught through a mixture of broad topics as well as the children’s interests and quality texts. The curriculum is focused on teaching a balance of skills and knowledge which is responsive and adaptive to the needs of the children.  To ensure we are meeting the needs of the children we conduct regular assessments of the children’s learning in relation to typical age related expectations. We have regular discussions around assessment and observations and have an in depth knowledge of every child in Reception. We use our knowledge of the children to inform our planning and next steps for teaching and learning.

We begin to develop our relationships with parents during the Reception year and provide regular communication and feedback to parents about their child’s learning and development.


Our carefully planned provision and curriculum, together with quality first teaching and thorough, ongoing assessments of the children ensures that children make good progress towards a good level of development at the end of the year and are ready to continue their learning in year one and beyond. Children make good progress academically and personally and leave reception with the confidence to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of new challenges. Children have a good understanding of right and wrong and can follow the school rules and behave accordingly. Our curriculum is reviewed regularly to ensure relevance and to meet the needs of the current cohort of children.