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Development can only take place when children are actively involved, when they are occupied with a high, non-stop degree of concemtration, when they are interested, when they give themselves completely, when they use all their abilitoes to invent and make new things and when this gives them a hivh degrgee of satisfaction and pleasure. 

Ferre Laevers (Professor & pioneer in Early Years education)


At Guestling-Bradshaw School, we place great value on the Early Years Foundation Stage as providing the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding for our young children to become life-long learners and to be successful in all they strive to achieve.

The statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) provides the standards by which we have developed and implemented our Early Years Curriculum, in order to meet the needs of all our children.

We place great value on the development of children as individuals, and we acknowledge the differing starting points of our children when they start their learning journey with us at Guestling-Bradshaw School.

Our curriculum is planned to build on children’s existing skills and knowledge and is informed through ongoing observation and assessment. Progress through cumulative learning, and the sequential acquisition of new skills and knowledge is ensured through the delivery of  both adult led and play based learning.

Our continuous and enhanced provision provides opportunities to develop and embed skills across all areas of learning. This is further supported by quality interactions between children and staff in order to support communication and language development as well as crucial social skills.

English, Phonics and Maths are planned for in order to develop sequential, cumulative learning, using the Literacy Tree, Soundswrite and Mastering Number programmes respectively.

Our curriculum is therefore designed to provide rich learning opportunities for all, using the Learning and Development education programmes as a framework for:

  • Establishing positive relationships between children, staff and parents/carers.
  • Offering a wide range of  opportunities to motivate and support children and to help them to learn effectively
  • Developing enabling environments within our indoor and outdoor classrooms. This includes engaging, quality resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping
  • Enabling every child to reach their full potential, regardless of starting points, disadvantage and/or disability.
  • Robust monitoring of children’s progress and responsive intervention to provide support as necessary.


We use the Statutory Framework Educational programmes to guide our curriculum. We offer a balance of child-initiated and adult–led activities every day, and these are designed to meet the expectations of all areas of learning.  Both the indoor and outdoor environments are ‘zoned’ so that children can easily access resources and opportunities.

Every half term children are introduced to a new ‘theme’ and core books (taken from the Literacy Tree). These provide the context and learning links for the curriculum, and for the activities and learning opportunities on offer within the enabling environment.

Flexibility for developing the children’s own interests and fascinations is incorporated into the planning and provision of activities, for example, the development of a role-play area based on what the children are interested in. This is evidenced in the weekly enhanced provision planning document, and this acts a working document throughout the week(s).

Children learn through a balance of child initiated and adult directed activities. A huge part of the day is allocated to ‘free-flow’ time where children have extended periods of time to access learning opportunities, develop their play and social interactions, and to apply the characteristics of effective learning with the support of the adults within the environment. The curriculum is planned for the inside and outside classrooms and equal importance is given to learning in both areas.

The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching (carpet time) during the day. The school’s Teaching and Learning policy ensures that quality first teaching is of a consistently good standard across all classes - teachers use Rosenshine’s principles  to drive forward teaching and learning for their children.

The timetable changes throughout the year to take into consideration the changing needs of the children. Sessions are followed by small focused group work. Reception staff 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.



The impact of our EYFS curriculum is ultimately reflected in having happy, confident and resilient children transitioning successfully into Year 1, and who are ready for their next stage of learning. This will be supported by a final judgement at the end of Reception as having achieved a Good Level of Development within the EYFSP (Early Years Foundation Stage profile).

Evidence of children’s learning and progress is gathered through observations, talking to children (pupil voice), photographs, recorded evidence, such as writing, and recording in Maths, and parent/carer contributions. Teacher assessment and judgements ensure that children continue to make good progress throughout the Reception year. Children who begin to fall behind are identified quickly, with appropriate support put in place.

The learning environments reflect the needs of the pupils and provides appropriate challenges that support the development of all pupils, including those with SEND. The balance of adult-led and independent learning supports children to make continued progress and to develop an interest in and love of learning new knowledge and skills..

Children can hold an age-appropriate discussion about their learning, interests and general progress. They can talk about their strengths and show curiosity when presented with new learning.

Children can use appropriate vocabulary in the correct contexts, and use their knowledge to discuss problem solving techniques especially when involved in sustained- shared thinking.

Children apply their learnt skills with increasing independence and competency. They are able to maintain focus on their learning for longer periods of time as they move through early years. They leave the early years with the appropriate skills to tackle new challenges and continue to build upon these in later years.





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