Early Years


Welcome to Early Years!

The EYFS is fun, messy, exciting, interesting and most of all, where we build children’s confidence and independence to be the best that they can be.  The curriculum is based around “Development Matters” and we foster each child’s individual development in a number of areas, with personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language at the centre.

We teach key skills in reading, writing, phonics and maths and our overall aim is to develop a lifelong love of learning. The children in the EYFS are:  investigators, friends, actors, scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, illustrators and much, much more!

Early Years Curriculum Intent

The intent of the curriculum provided in our Early Years is rooted in a solid understanding of child development. We offer our children a flexible Early Years curriculum which adapts to their needs, interests and starting points on their own individual learning journey.

We have a practical and playful approach through which we teach and develop children’s characteristics of effective learning. We deliver high quality direct teaching in phonics, reading, writing and maths, where we develop their knowledge and skills and give them the confidence to apply these within their independent learning. Through our engaging environment and high quality adult interactions, we encourage all our children to explore and develop their curiosity.  We recognise the value of child-led learning experiences as high quality teachable moments.  Children take their learning where they want to, explore their own interests and make connections in their ideas.

Early Years Curriculum Implementation

At Priory we use ‘Development Matters’ to support our assessment and planning of learning for our children. Our curriculum consists of a wide variety of topics and includes the opportunities for children to explore their own interests. We plan ‘Key Knowledge Points’ to ensure that children’s knowledge develops during their time at Priory and is memorable, lasting them a lifetime.

We use some schemes and programmes of study to support our teaching such as Letters and Sounds for Phonics and Ten Town for Maths.  Following our high quality teacher inputs, our children have access to a highly engaging environment allowing them to continue their own learning. This is referred to as ‘COOL’ or Choose Our Own Learning Time. Adults within the setting value their role as facilitators of learning and support the children to follow their own ideas and apply key learning and next steps within their independent ‘COOL’ Time.

At Priory we highly value opportunities for the children to explore and use real life materials. Our opportunities for meaningful risk are assessed and children are taught the correct, safe use of materials and tools.

Our outside classroom is integral to our daily teaching and learning. Outside our children are able to express themselves and learn and apply their learning in bigger, louder and more expressive ways.

Here is the Early Years Overview and Early Years KKP Overview

Nursery and Reception Unit

At Priory, our Nursery and Reception children work together as an Early Years Unit. This is valuable in supporting a seamless transition between year groups and helping children to gain confidence and security.

The unit is made up of 4 large classrooms, a quiet reflection space with healthy snacks available all day and a vast outdoor area for children to explore. Our children work together, supporting and helping each to learn for the majority of the day, with the exception of key worker teaching times delivered in smaller groups. This approach helps our older children to develop their personal and social skills; helping and supporting the younger children access the provision, and in effect be the teachers. It ensures the younger children settle into Nursery quickly as they have excellent peer role models to learn from.

Our Nursery aged children are taught in 2 key worker groups of up to 13 children and led by our experienced EYP’s, Mrs Brown and Mrs Turner-Wemyss. Our Reception children are taught in 2 classes of to 30 each, led my Miss Bache; the Early Years Lead and Rocking Robins class teacher and Mrs Woolliscroft; the Assistant Head and Sparkling Sparrows class teacher. Mrs Seiver is the experienced EYP supporting both classes. Miss Bache holds responsibility for the curriculum and safe guarding arrangements throughout the Unit.

The Early Years Unit is a caring, nurturing environment where children are encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts to help us to shape learning around their interests. During the day the children spend time working in small groups with adults and exploring the learning environments, including outside, with adults are there to help to stretch their thinking and ideas.

The learning is both formal and play orientated.  Through play, children are able to discover, practise and refine skills in language and mathematics.  They also find out about themselves and their environment. The children are encouraged to become independent.  Skills fundamental to a child’s development are taught and practised.  Many skills such as reading, sorting and sequencing, using scissors, throwing and catching a ball, singing new songs and rhymes, clay modelling and computer work, are all introduced to the children.

Social development takes place within this play-orientated atmosphere.  They learn how to behave in a classroom situation by being taught to share and co-operate with other children and adults. They are taught to know what is acceptable and what is not.  High standards of behaviour are expected of all pupils from the start of school.

Gradually as they mature and feel happy and secure, we aim to develop a good positive work habit within each child.

We encourage parents to play an active role within the school and you are, of course, welcome to discuss anything with the teachers if you make an appointment.

Prime – Communication and language: development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Prime – Physical development: this involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive. It helps to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Prime – Personal, social and emotional development: this involves helping children to develop a positive sense of both themselves and others around them. It helps them to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Specific – Literacy: development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters, helping them begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to help ignite their interest.

Specific – Mathematics: this involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to help them describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Specific – Understanding the world: this involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community by providing opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Specific – Expressive arts and design: this involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.

EYFS Topics


Autumn 1, What happened upon a time? (Literacy Focus)

This half term is a very special time. It is when we get to know each other, make lots of friends and settle in to school. A generous amount of time is spent exploring and learning how to use our classroom independently. This is a lovely topic to start our year together. The children find out why Goldilocks went into the house, and the awful crimes she committed! We find out if the Big Bad Wolf really is bad after all, as we read about Red Riding Hood. We love to sing and spend lots of time learning different Nursery Rhymes. As the season changes, our songs are themed around the weather. Children talk about their own environment and explore what happens when the leaves fall off the trees.

Autumn 2, What is it like in a winter wonderland? (Geography/Science/RE focus)

This term we focus on exploring the changing weather as we approach Christmas. As we continue to explore Nursery Rhymes and songs with a weather theme, we also begin to build a repertoire of songs for Christmas. This wonderful topic allows children to look at similarities and differences between their own environments and that are the harsh Antarctic. Children will be amerced in celebrations from different cultures as we explore Diwali and Christmas.

Spring 1, Where shall we go today? (Geography/Science focus)

Travelling through space and time, the children explore different destinations. From what it is like to visit a space station, to why we live on Earth? The children travel back to look at the land of the Dinosaurs and ask if we would survive with them. This topic is full or fantasy with key non-fiction knowledge throughout.

Spring 2, Is it a pirates’ life for me? (Geography/History/PSHE focus)

AHOY! Prepare to set sail as we learn about life as a pirate. Children look at the foods they eat and link to healthy habits. They explore and experiment with water and learn different joining skills as they make their own boats.

Summer 1, What will we find at the bottom of the garden? (Science/Maths focus)

From creepy crawlies to bounding lambs. The children will categorise and explore different animals. We will collect and compare the bugs we can find in our minibeast lab. The children will learn about the animals Kylie will find in her garden Down Under! 


Summer 2, Is rubbish really rubbish? 

This half term we teach the children about the importance of looking after our world. We learn about caring for animals and what we can do to protect those that are becoming endangered. As we explore different ways to save the planet, we will turn their role play area in to a recycling station. The children will love ‘upcycling’ found objects and creating wonderful new models.

Elliott: “I love all the playing we can do” 

Isla: “I love being with my friends”

James: “We have lots of snacks, my favourite is bananas!”

Penelope: “I love the teachers, they are fun”

Theo: “I get to do things by myself…Look now I can do my coat!”

Dexter: “You can build models if you want, like giant ones”

Latest News:

20 May 2024

New Intake Meeting – Nursery and Reception September 2024

📌 We are holding a meeting for Parents/Carers of children who have been offered places in Nursery and Reception for September 2024. Please come along and join us on Tuesday 11th June at 9:30am. You’ll have the opportunity to chat …Continue reading

29 Apr 2024

Sports Day 2024

Sports Day will take place on Wednesday 22nd May, at the following times: • Year 1 and Year 2 – 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. • Nursery and Reception – 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. • Year 3 and Year …Continue reading

11 Mar 2024

Easter Fun at St Matthias

St Matthias Church would like to invite you to join them for a morning of Easter fun!

16 Feb 2024

3 Steps to Change

🌎 Please see the link and QR code below to the 3 Steps to our Change Forms Survey: 3 Steps to Change Survey             ♻️ The children and staff have started to complete it and …Continue reading

7 Feb 2024

Sustainability Library Books

🌎 FOPS have very kindly donated funds to provide these beautiful books for our new Sustainability Section in the library. 🙏 Thank you to FOPS and everyone who supports their fundraising events. 🌈 #Team Priory #sustainablesbmat

16 Jan 2024

Sustainability Update – Spring Term 2023/24

Last term, we made a great start in raising awareness about climate change and sustainability.  We: appointed Advocates of Earth took part in the Pupil Parliament with St Bart’s MAT joined the National Education Nature Park took part in the …Continue reading

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