1. Learning & Support
  2. Curriculum
  3. Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage


At St Mary’s C of E Primary we place great value on 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. Our aim is for our children to build secure foundations which allow them to grow into curious life-long learners.

Our enabling environment and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. We invest time and energy into helping pupils 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 ensure that 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.


Pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.  The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching in English, maths and phonics everyday.  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 we 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.

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 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 including understanding the world and expressive art and design as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning.

One of our main aims is to develop a love of reading from a young age. We follow Phonics Bug as a scheme and ensure that children have plenty of opportunities to listen, read and retell stories using Talk 4 writing. This in turn supports children’s speech and vocabulary development. In Maths, we follow White Rose, which allows us to spend time immersing children in each number and developing key skills, which they will use throughout their school life.


Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that all children make good progress including our disadvantaged and those with SEND. Our children grow into confident learners who are ready for their next challenge. We have high standards and our regular observational assessment mean that we are meeting the needs of all children through a rich varied curriculum leading to happy curious children.