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Colville Primary

Early Years Foundation Stage

Colville Primary School inspires children through engaging and challenging learning within a happy school.

Intent: why do we teach what we teach?

At Colville our focus is the development of children as individuals and providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in Key Stage One and beyond. We teach our children to have a growth mind-set, which enables them to have the skills to overcome any challenges they face. We provide high quality provision for children from 6 months to 5 years old, from our Day Care to Reception. Our aim in the EYFS is to work alongside parents and carers to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development, so that ultimately our children can be successful, go on to be active citizens of society and most importantly, happy, curious life-long learners. 

Our curriculum therefore includes the cultural capital we know our children need so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. We embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning: Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking. We call these ‘our learning powers’ and they are revisited through our adult led and continuous provision. 

Our intent is to teach our children:

  • to be independent learners, 
  • giving them a vocabulary toolkit, 
  • and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind.
  • Good manners, saying please and thank you, are something that we expect and promote from both adults and children. 

As such, we prioritise personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language in our Day Care and Nursery curriculum. Our enabling environment and skilled adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. We value the individual child, ensuring diversity throughout our curriculum to make all feel included and supported in our shared space.

As children gain the strong foundations of the prime areas, we continue to further their development in the specific areas of learning. Teaching adult led groups including phonics and maths sessions. Through all of this, we continually promote a love of reading through our whole curriculum, linking to all areas of learning. As the children move into Reception, we invest time and energy into helping children set and reflect on their own goals by aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number. This is delivered through a holistic curriculum which maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking following children’s interests and ideas. We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through exciting continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips, visits and regular forest school sessions. Our investment in specialist teachers for music, art, computing, PE and forest school mean that children continually receive high quality teaching. 

Implementation: how do we teach what we teach?

Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-led activities through the 7 areas of learning. In Day Care and Nursery, the timetable is carefully structured so that children have time to extend their learning and play. Directed small group teaching in phonics, rhyme time, maths and topic, with regular circle time sessions to build on a PSED focus is timetabled throughout the week. Adult led focus activities where children work with an Early Years trained practitioner to work on next steps are planned alongside targeted interventions. During these times practitioners can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. 

In Nursery, specialist teachers for Art, Music and PE support children to engage in small groups to access the learning in an age-appropriate way. Our whole school progression maps show the progression of skills from Day Care to Year 6. 

In Reception, the adult led teaching time is increased throughout the year to support the children in their journey to Key Stage One. Vocabulary is at the heart of all that we do and star words are planned into the adult led and continuous provision. Specialist teachers for Art, Music, Computing, and PE plan lessons to support children in developing their next steps as well as communicating effectively with the class-based practitioners to continue extending the learning in the environment. 

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside environments and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum is planned in a cross-curricular way to enable all aspects of the children’s development across the 7 areas of learning and our curricular goals. 

Daily preparation and planning is led by each class team. We reflect on: “What do our children need to learn next? What do they enjoy learning? What embedded learning have we observed in this area?  What can be changed to exploit and build on the learning and interests of the children/individuals in this area?”  In doing this we ensure that the children have ownership over their environment and that the provision leads to depth of learning across the curriculum.  

Early reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Our EYFS library holds our curriculum books that children access to extend their learning, alongside providing home books that children self-select weekly. All children have daily rhyme time which supports our children’s vocabulary, language and reading development, building up a bank of rhymes. Each half term we have a ‘learning theme’ in which high quality curriculum books have been planned throughout the year in order to enhance and build upon children’s learning. We currently follow the phonic scheme Essential Letters and Sounds from DayCare to Reception with children meeting above national outcomes for reading with almost all children passing the Year One phonics screening. Children in Reception begin Guided Reading groups which supports them in the transition to Year One. 

We follow the mastery approach in maths across EYFS with an emphasis on studying key skills of number and numerical pattern so that children develop a deep understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. Children learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied to their own learning during exploration. These early mathematical experiences are carefully designed to help children remember the content they have been taught and to support them with integrating their new knowledge across the breadth of their experiences and into larger concepts. 

Our inclusive approach means that all children learn together, however, through assessment, we put in place a range of early interventions and support to enhance and scaffold children who may need further support to make progress, closing the gap to support all children to be on track. We ensure that the EYFS physical environment is inclusive and that all children and their  families are represented. We have undertaken anti-racism training that we will continue to update and reflect on, ensuring that the EYFS culture and ethos promotes antiracist practice. Our regular monitoring of teaching and learning includes coaching and feedback, regular whole team in-house CPD as well as personalised CPD so that practitioners continue to develop their subject knowledge and are effectively supported. We tailor our whole school CPD to be EYFS specific and are focused on moderating outcomes across the phase so that every member of our team feels confident in making accurate judgements about where individual children are and their next steps for learning. This is alongside regular sessions with our Speech and Language therapist who helps to build subject knowledge of working with children who have communication and language difficulties.  

Our strong relationships with parents and carers ensures that every child reaches their full potential. Each child’s needs and interests are different which is why our home -school connection is vital.

Impact: how do we know what children have learnt and how well they have learnt it?

Our curriculum meets the needs of our children, including our EAL children, disadvantaged children and those with SEND. Creating a safe and secure environment where children feel able to challenge themselves. This is achieved through talking to children, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress by year group, class, groups and individuals. All of our colleagues, use ongoing observational assessment to identify children’s starting points and plan experiences which ensure progress. This is tracked on our online journal ‘Tapestry’ and enables us to track progress, closing gaps in learning as well as fostering a strong home-school link with our parents and carers.  We use this information to plan learning experiences and next steps so that knowledge and skills are built on. During each assessment window, four times a year, practitioners update the progress children have made onto ‘Insight’ which allows us to assess the impact of teaching and evaluate interventions.  Evidence of children’s learning including observations, work samples, photographs and contributions from parents are found on ‘Tapestry’ our online ‘learning journal’ as well as our class and group ‘Our learning Journal’ which children use to reflect on their progress through their voice. 

Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children make good progress. During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress so that we meet over and above the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year.  They develop detailed knowledge and skills across all 7 areas of learning and use these in an age-appropriate way. Our children develop their vocabulary and understanding of language across the EYFS curriculum. Children also make good progress toward their age-related expectations before transitioning into Year One as they have the knowledge and skills they need for when they need to move on. We believe our high standards are due to the enriched play-based exploration alongside the rigour of assessment and teaching the children have as they move through the early years – a rich diet of balanced learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, curious children. 

Performance Data

Colville National
2023 64%
2022 80% 65%
2020 & 2021 National assessments did not take place due to the pandemic


EYFS Curriculum Overview