Early Years Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

"When we give every child the best start in their early years, we give them what

they need today. We also set them up with every chance of success tomorrow." 

Development Matters (DfE 2021)

At the heart of everything is a personalised approach to each unique individual as part of our Christian Community. The strong family ethos ensures that all children and staff feel valued, respected and grow in self-confidence. Enthusiastic and caring staff with high expectations, demonstrate care of the whole child. Through God’s guidance we encourage each and every child to let their light shine.

Article 29: Children’s education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest. It should encourage children to respect others, human rights and their own and other cultures. It should also help them learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.

The curriculum at Bunbury is constructed in order to provide systems of learning and lived experiences that enable the pupils at our school to develop and grow as learners, empowering all children to fulfil the school’s motto: ‘Let Your Light Shine’. The curriculum is focused on growing the whole person, through a broad range of subjects and wider opportunities. Its intent is to empower pupils in learning; to facilitate efficient acquisition of knowledge and to provide clear steps for progression and to develop a rich cultural capital. Through high-quality texts, resources and experiences, it aims to inspire our pupils to develop inquiring minds and to have a world view that is full of hope, with a knowledge of the love of Jesus. The curriculum meets the needs of all our children through a loving, nurturing environment, rich in social, spiritual and moral learning. It equips our pupils with the tools that will enable them to succeed in academic, professional and personal contexts throughout their lives


At Bunbury Aldersey CE Primary School we provide a high-quality EYFS education giving children a secure and confident start to their school life We are commited to nurturing a lifelong love of learning alongside the aims of the EYFS statutory framework. We strive for high standards, consider the development of the whole child and seek to foster resilience and independence. 

We aim to provide the essential knowledge that children need, to prepare them for their future success and to give children the best possible start to their early education. The EYFS curriculum at Bunbury is well planned and carefully sequenced to ensure we identify "what we want" the children to learn as well as ensuring children build new vocabulary and their develop their learning over time.  

We provide an inviting classroom environment both indoors and outdoors to stimulate learners and engage them in developing the three characteristics of Effective Learning as set out within the Early Years Foundation Stage. We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning, alongside trips, visits and regular Woodland learning sessions.

At the heart of everything is a personalised approach to each unique individual as part of our Christian Community. The strong family ethos ensures that all children and staff feel valued, respected and grow in self-confidence. Enthusiastic and caring staff with high expectations, demonstate care of the whole child. Through God's guidance we encourage each and every child to "Let their light shine."

At Bunbury we carefully plan our EYFS curriculum to meet the following aims:

  • Foster a love of learning which inspires curiosity..
  • Knowledge and understanding of the community and wider world.
  • High quality learning opportunities so that every child makes good progress.
  • A secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Equality of opportunity ensuring that every child is included and supported. 


At Bunbury Aldersey CE Primary pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.  Children follow the rigorous and highly successful Read, Write Inc program faithfully so that they meet good outcomes for reading. Children are encouraged to read at home and are listened to regularly in school. They are given books that match their phonic knowledge in order for them to apply their learning with the aim of
becoming successful, confident and fluent readers.

The timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in English, maths and phonics everyday with regular circle time sessions to focus on PSED/RSE and RE.  These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets.  This focused group time means the teacher 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 the EYFS at Bunbury we follow White Rose Maths, this is based on the mastery approach with an emphasis on studying key skills of number, calculation and shape so that pupils develop deep understanding and the acquisition of mathematical language. Pupils 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 pupils 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, we also provide small group support and a range of additional interventions to enhance and scaffold children who may not be reaching their potential. This includes, Talking Partners, 1:1 Reading and additional ‘catch-up’ provision in Maths.  Staff also use ‘pinny time’ which is a quick, on the spot intervention focused on identifying phonemes, sight words, blending and number retention with target individuals. The characteristics of effective learning are viewed as an integral part of all areas of learning and are reflected in our observations of children. 

At Bunbury we carefully plan our EYFS curriculum to meet the following aims:

  • Quality first teaching across all areas of the curriculum.
  • Stimulating learning environments indoor and outdoors.
  • Well planned and organised continuous provision which allows the children to learn through play.
  • A carefully planned balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning opportunities.
  • We provide a love of learning through real life experiences and opportunities to build on prior learning.
  • Close links with local nurseries which support a smooth transition into school.
  • Strong parental partnerships which empower parents to support their child's learning at home.
  • Follow Read Write Incs Systematic approaches to teaching reading to ensure all children learn to read. High quality phonics teaching is started as soon as children begin reception.
  • Opportunities for children and families to develop a love of reading.
  • Planned opportunities for outdoor learning through Woodland Learning and in the outdoor environment.


Prior to children starting, staff spend time speaking to the child’s previous settings, gather information from parents/carers and read previous learning journey’s to gain an understanding of the whole child and where they are at. During the first half term in Reception, all staff use ongoing assessments, observations
and conversations with the child to develop a baseline assessment. This identifies each individual’s starting points in all areas so we can plan experiences to ensure progress. The following baseline assessments are also carried out.

The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment)

This assessment focuses on ‘Language, Communication and Literacy,’ and ‘Mathematics.’ The purpose of this is to show the progress children make from Reception until the end of KS2.

Ongoing Observation:

All ongoing observations are used to inform weekly planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paper work. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. These observations are uploaded using Tapestry and shared with the supporting parents and carers.


Phonic assessments are carried out using the RWInc phonics tracker every half term to quickly identify pupils that are not making expected progress. Our aim is for children to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ where possible. Assessments in independent writing and maths are also completed every half term, pupil progress meeting are held regularly and inventions put in place for pupils who may require additional support.  In Summer Term 2, the EYFSP is completed where teachers judge whether the child has met the Early Learning Goals. They will be assessed as either ‘emerging’ or ‘expected.’ Whilst there is no judgement to state if a child is exceeding beyond an ELG, teachers, have a duty to provide a narrative for both parents and the Year 1 teacher. Impact is also evident through our successful transitions into Year 1. EYFS staff have a good understanding of how ELG’s link to the National Curriculum, and through our robust planning and delivery across the spectrum of subjects – both core and foundation - children leave the EYFS stage with the skills, knowledge and confidence to continue their journey into year one.

At Bunbury we use the online learning journal, Tapestry, this contains evidence of children’s learning, including observations, work samples, photographs and contributions from parents. Children also have a writing book which evidences the progress of the children's development throughout there time in early years.

Across our Trust we have formed an Early Years (EY) team, who carry out regular internal moderation sessions. We also ensure that EY staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that these judgements are consistent with a range of other settings.

During each assessment window, EYFS teachers update the progress children have made onto Simms which allows us to assess the impact of teaching. Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children make good progress. During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress so that we exceed the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year.  Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations before transitioning into Year One.  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. 

At Bunbury we carefully plan our EYFS curriculum to meet the following aims:

  • High levels of engagement and motivation demostrated from children which supports them to become lifelong learners.
  • Confident and capable readers who demostrate a love of reading.
  • Evidence of strong links with parents.
  • Children demonstrate the characteristics of effective learning and are well prepared for the next stage in their learning.
  • Children feel happy and safe and enjoy coming to school.
  • All children access a balanced and challenging curriculum regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
  • Children make strong progess from their starting points and are offered a broad curriculum which meets each child's unique needs.
  • Children are supported by adults that are well trained and passionate about providing the best education for every child.
  • The percentage of children achieving GLD within the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile is above the national average.

There are 4 key principles that underpin our practice in the Reception Class at Bunbury.

A Unique Child

We recognise that all children are different. We identify and celebrate their strengths and support their areas for development.

Positive Relationships

Our pupils interact well with each other and with the adults in the school. We encourage parents to be involved with their child’s education.

Enabling Environments

Our indoor and outdoor areas encourage exploration, investigation, and independent learning. Our displays and resources are well maintained and reflect current learning.

Learning and Development

Pupils achieve well and make good progress from their starting points. Learning is playful, practical, and purposeful and builds upon prior attainment. Our children enjoy coming to school. 

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape Bunbury's early years curriculum these are the:

Prime areas of learning:

  1. Communication and Language (Listening, attention and understanding; and Speaking)
  2. Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships)
  3. Physical Development (Gross motor skills and fine motor skills)

These three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.  

We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:

  1. Literacy (Comprehension, Word reading and Writing)
  2. Maths (Number and Numerical patterns)
  3. Understanding of the World (Past and present; People, culture and communities; and the natural world)
  4. Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with materials and Being imaginative and expressive)

Learning in the EYFS

Continuous provision are the resources that are always provided in our classroom. The purpose of continuous provision is "to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult".  Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge the development needs of our children. 

Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children so they can lead, take ownership and become immersed in their learning. We plan weekly continuous provision enhancements that are linked to our topic and our "book of the week." We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. We also provide 'hooks' or 'scenarios' to support their ideas and to really engage the children in their new learning experiences.

Our provision is heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach, we provide a range of beautiful natural materials and loose parts to encourage imaginative play and language development. We provide the children with many real objects such as a typewriter, china tea sets and a pasta maker to create provocations or invitations to play, which provoke thoughts, ideas and inspire curiosity. Provocations allow and encourage children to experience the world for themselves through open ended activities.

In our classroom you may see children playing alone or with their peers, deciding on resources and choosing how to spend their time. You may see a child playing and listening to an adult, who is modelling how to achieve something or teaching a new skill that interests the child. Adults may scaffold a child's play. This involves taking their play to higher levels of learning, entering the play as a co-creator and helping to provoke a framework for the children to go from "what they know" to "What else they could know" Scaffolding enables a child to solve a problem, carry out a task or achieve a goal which is just beyond their abilities.

As the children develop and their skills progress throughout the reception year, we use more direct teaching and modelling and plan specific sequences of lessons. These strategies help to focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning so that the children can develop the skills and confidence required for the beginning of year one. 

 Areas of continuous provision in Reception

A writing area containing various writing implements, a variety of different sizes and colours of paper including envelopes, a working typewriter and RWInc phonics and tricky word mats.

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A book corner containing a range of  fiction, non-fiction and poetry books. Story telling puppets and QR codes to enable children to scan and choose a story to listen to. Many of these stories have been pre-recorded by our EYFS staff.

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A maths resource area which allows children to select appropriate items to help them solve practical problems, along with loose parts, numicon, number games and materials to create repeating patterns.

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A creative area which we call The Atelier, containing resources and materials for children to develop their artistic skills. As well as painting, colouring and drawing we encourage children to experiment with mixing colours, collage, printing, cutting skills and using all these skills to create 3d junk models.

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A malleable area, where we provide clay, plasticine and playdough and a range of loose parts, children are encourage to make 3d topic based models or objects from their imaginations. This areas also houses, real objects, including weighing scales and a pasta maker to inspire curiosity and encourage language development.

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A construction area containing resources for developing gross motor and fine motor skills, including loose parts to encourage imagination, storytelling and social interaction.

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A wood work bench which helps develop children's fine motor skills, collaboration and turn taking, language development, imagination and creativity.

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A music area to encourage children to play instruments with increasing control, express their ideas and feelings to create songs, and investigate pulse and rhythm. 

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A small world/story telling area which is topic based, this allows children to extend fine motor skills, engage in imaginative play and develop language linked to our topic.

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A cookery table which develops all seven areas of the curriculum including physical development and fine motor skills when chopping and mixing, reading a recipe, counting, measuring and weighing, communication, turn taking and collaboration, investigating changes and developing creativity and imagination.

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An area for sand and water play, where we provide children a range of real brass and metal teapots and jugs so they can investigate capacity and engage in practical investigations and roleplay.

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A role play area which can be developed along a themed line to cover topics or several aspects of learning in “real life” scenarios.

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The Outdoor Learning Environment

As well as our indoor provision our outdoor provision provides varied and exciting experiences. This includes Woodland School and access to a well-planned outdoor space which offers the children those experiences only available in the natural world. The outside area is seen as an extension of the classroom and the above opportunities will be available outside as well as inside.

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The Mud Kitchen and water wall

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Through all of our strands we aim to develop the Characteristics of Effective Learning as children Play and Explore, be an Active Learner and to have Creative and Critical Thinking. 

Our greatest resources are the Bunbury Early Years staff who have an excellent understanding of child development, they support children’s autonomy, and are reflective and evaluative.

Bunbury Early Years are proud to provide:

  • Sensitive and skilful adult-child interactions focus on extending thinking, broadening communication and introducing challenge.
  • Warm, authentic relationships between all staff, the children and their families.
  • Effective observation and assessment which is responsive to the children’s needs and interests, ensuring that all children make progress from their starting points.
  • Staff who utilise a range of strategies to ensure that the teaching is developmentally appropriate, varied and stimulating.
  • Staff who recognise the importance of modelling skills, learning behaviours and high expectations.

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Bunbury Aldersey CE Primary School

School Lane, Bunbury Cheshire CW6 9NR

T: (01829) 260524 or 261332admin@bunburyaldersey.cheshire.sch.uk