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.


Nursery places for 2021/22 are available. Please visit our Admissions page.

For many children, the Nursery class is their first experience of “big” school. We have three key worker groups – Miss Massey with the Squirrels, Mrs Seiver with the Rabbits and Mrs Sireno with the Hedgehogs.

The Nursery 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 there to help to stretch their thinking and ideas.

In the Nursery class, children are awarded smiley faces for being kind and trying their best. Our curriculum is fun and vibrant and can be rather messy! Nursery children need wellies in school at all times to allow us to use our outdoor area as much as possible.

Here is the Curriculum Overview and Key Knowledge Points for Nursery.


The Reception class aims to provide a friendly, caring atmosphere, where learning of all aspects can take place.

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.


We have two Reception classes, the Rocking Robins with Miss Bache and the Sparkling Sparrows with Mrs Woolliscroft. Together we share two Early Years Practitioners: Mrs Brown and Mrs Seiver and a Learning Assistant: Mrs Wemyss.

Each classroom lends itself to different areas of development. Our children are able to freely flow between each room and outside according to their interests and what they would like to explore, play or learn.

Here is the Curriculum Overview and Key Knowledge Points for Reception.



Autumn 1, Who are we? and What is Autumn?

This half term is such a very special and important time! It is here we get to know each other, make lots of new friends and settle in to “big school”. We will learn all about what happens at school and what goes on in each of the areas. Then, we will begin to explore what happens when the leaves fall off the trees….

Autumn 2, What is going on in Nursery Rhyme Land?

In this topic we will be exploring a variety of nursery rhymes and asking questions such as – How can we stop Humpty from breaking? We will be visiting the library to see where we can find more Nursery Rhymes and baking jam tarts in our Queen of Hearts Bakery!

Spring 1, Who helps us?

Who helps us? In this topic we will be exploring all the people in our lives who help us. Who helps us when we feel unwell or when our car won’t start? We will have lots of visitors in to talk to us from the fire service to mechanics and at the end of this term we will have the first Nursery visit!

Spring 2, What shall we have for dinner?

In this topic we explore lots of different types of food and where it comes from. We will be doing lots of cooking and lots and lots of tasting! We visit a local restaurant; have visitors in to help us to cook from countries such as India and we even have a Great British tea party! 

Summer 1, Who lives on Old MacDonald’s Farm?

During this topic we will be finding out who loves on the farm and what things happen on a farm. We will investigate which foods come from farms and we have a visit to a farm to feed the lambs!

Summer 2, What can you find under the sea?

We will be going on an adventure down to the bottom of the ocean and learn all about the creatures and things that we might find there. This half term nursery will be performing their first class assembly and starting the adventure of their transition into Reception class. 

Ayva – “We got to play with different things like acorns and conkers.”

Leison – “I liked Humpty’s hospital – we got to be doctors.

Sophie – “The postman, the fireman, the police

and the dentist came to visit us. ”

Joshua – “We made jam sandwiches for the tiger who came to tea, but we ate them. ”

Riley – “I like my teachers and my friends and playing. ”


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

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. We look at keeping healthy as we discuss the dangers of eating too many sweets when we read the story of Hansel and Gretel, and learn to build houses with the Three Little pigs.

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

This term we focus on exploring the changing weather as we approach Christmas. We ask who you might find at the different poles and would polar bears and penguins ever be friends? Children will experience looking at different celebrations in our culture and others such as Diwali and Christmas. 

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

Travelling through space and time the children explore different places to have adventures. We look at life in a space station and discuss why we live on Earth? We travel back through time to meet the dinosaurs and look at how we would survive with them. The children will design their own aliens as they meet creatures from other planets. They will even come face to face with a dragon as we learn about life in medieval times.

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

Ahoy! This term the children will explore pirate life, as we ask if it’s a pirates’ life for me? The children will learn about the lives of pirates and life on the open sea. They will explore and expreriment with water. As we approach the general election, the children will begin to understand our voting system as we vote for a pirate captain for our ship. Finally, we find out, if it isn’t a pirates’ life for me, what will I do?

Summer 1, What will you find at the bottom of your garden? (Science, geography, RE, 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.

George-  “I like a Chilli Challenge and having a bubble party if you do it.” 

Robyn- “It’s nice in the reading area ‘cause its cosy.”

Sophia- “I like the water tray when it has messy things in.”

Beau- “In Reception we are good at sharing toys”.

Jack- “We can build lots of things, like rockets and traps for dinosaurs!”

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