Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage 

The Early Years Department is organised across a separate, purpose-built Nursery building for two and three year olds and a large Reception department which is in the main school building. Castlefield School has a planned admission number of 60 children in Reception, who are taught in 2 classes. All phases of the Early Years have access to large, well-resourced outdoor areas. The daily routine is shared with parents and pupils and is on display in each area.

Early Years Curriculum 

A meticulously planned curriculum and progressive curriculum is in place in EYFS. The curriculum incorporates the statutory EYFS framework and the needs of our pupils. It follows key themes across the phase where pupils can build on their knowledge using key texts, vocabulary and experiences.

The EYFS framework is organised into seven areas of learning and development, all of which are interdependent and of equal importance – three prime and four specific. The children are working towards achieving the Early Learning Goal in each area of learning by the end of the Reception year.

What does Learning look like?


Nursery sessions consist of daily whole group learning sessions led by the Nursery Teacher, small group tasks with Key Workers and extended periods of independent learning through play. Adults work alongside children at their self-chosen activities to support developing independence and extend ideas, knowledge and skills.

During the Autumn Term teaching is centred around the Prime Areas with increasing focus on Literacy, Numeracy and Understanding the World as the year progresses. Teaching is centred around stories, songs and interactive games.

Synthetic phonics is introduced to children in the Three-Year old provision in the Summer Term following the Read, Write Inc phonics program.

The morning session includes a Maths carpet time, a phonics lesson, snack time and a combination of adult-led and child-initiated learning. Read, Write Inc is used to teach phonics and Power Maths supports the delivery of a Maths Mastery approach. A weekly PE session with the school’s sports coach takes place indoors or outdoors.

The afternoon session includes carpet time for Literacy and Understanding the World and weekly ‘Funky fingers’ and Learning for life, with Metacognition. The remainder of the afternoon is dedicated to ‘Free flow’, where pupils can choose different areas of the department to play in. Each half term there is an afternoon dedicated to Expressive Arts and Design, focusing on developing skills and there are ample opportunities each week and as part of the continuous provision for pupils to be creative. Each afternoon ends with story time across the department.

Progression in the Seven Areas of Learning
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