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Early Years


Our Early Years approach starts from the children’s own experiences and starting points.  It’s based on real experiences that the children get immersed in when they begin school with a structured and safe nurturing environment which is language rich.

High involvement and well-being including self-regulation is one of the keys to the children making academic progress and achieving the best they can. 


Our aim is to ensure parents feel valued and respected as their child’s main carer and educator. It is imperative to develop good and lasting links with home. When parents and early years’ staff work together, the results have a positive impact on children’s learning. 


Our principles are to:

  • Provide a happy, secure and language rich environment, in which the children can develop socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually both indoors and outdoors.
  • Recognise the importance of parents as their child’s first educator.
  • Develop skills and concepts that will provide a good foundation for future learning.
  • Develop a lively and enquiring mind through encouraging children to make their own choices, developing their perseverance, independence, co-operation and concentration. 
  • Encourage the children to express themselves clearly and to communicate their ideas developing their skills in speaking and listening skills.
  • Develop physical control in both large and fine motor skills. 
  • Ensure planning, assessments and routines are sensitive to the child’s needs
  • Welcome and include all children. 
  • Encourage children to establish good relationships with their peers and with adults – following the school rules.
  • Teaching is engaging but rooted in structure, routines and expectations to ensure all children feel safe and make the best possible progress. 
  • Develop children’s independence, resilience and ability to cope with change confidently.


Assessment in the early years


Within the first 6 weeks of children starting Nursery and Reception they will be assessed to find an accurate baseline of their needs and starting points.


In Nursery this will be:


  • The Early Talk Boost Assessment
  • An observation/s of Physical and Personal Development including pencil grip or lack of it.
  • Discussions with the children about basic numbers, colours and books.


This will be recorded on Insight as the entry teacher assessment judged against development matters.


We have chosen this as the baseline as we know the Prime Areas are often low starting points for the children in school and this will ensure that these are thoroughly assessed so that starting points can be rapidly built on. 


Following the initial assessment information will be entered termly to ensure progress in rapid and next steps are firmly understood by all staff.


In Reception we will use:


  • Talk Boost assessment to ensure language acquisition, understanding and listening and attention are still at the forefront of learning.
  • An observation for Physical and Personal Development over the first 6 weeks, including pencil grip.


National Baselines will be used alongside our system.


Following the initial assessment information will be entered termly to ensure progress in rapid and next steps are firmly understood by all staff.



Ways of working


All adults in the setting will be attachment aware/ trauma informed and use positive and helpful language in their approach to all situations. Children will be supported on an individual basis to ensure they can access language and situations that arise and that they may find challenging.


Actions and Reflections  


All staff regularly make alterations to planning, continuous provision, timetabling, layout and display to ensure it meets the diverse range of needs within the class. This will be logged termly so that the impact of those actions are reflected on as a staff.





Where targeted interventions are taking place or small adjustments to provision that ensure a child is successfully making progress this is logged to ensure continuity of support so SEND and Early Intervention can be carefully monitored.



Resourcing for Continuous Provision


A selection of pertinent small world resources to encourage purposeful building

Wooden blocks

Books related to structures they want to build

Photographs of things they would like to build

Clip boards and mark making equipment

3 types of construction linked to the children’s development stage

Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems


Theme dependent

Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems

Photographs of sand in different contexts linked to their experiences


Theme dependent

Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems

Photographs of sand in different contexts linked to their experiences

Book area

All books can be read to a child and are developmentally appropriate.

Traditional tales

Nursery rhymes

Factual books

Core stories

Multicultural books

Puppets and toys to read to

Possible CD player


Cushions / seating area

Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems

Small world

Theme dependent

Books, people, animals, vehicles, pictures of small world area

Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems


Theme dependent




Baking trays


Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems


Paper. Eg sugar, large, small, coloured

Brushes of different shapes and sizes

Colour charts

Colour labels 

Vocabulary pyramids

Question stems

Water pot

Palettes and pots

Paints (powder/poster/blocks)

Different techniques e.g. printing

 Vocabulary pyramid

Question stems



Glue PVA or glue sticks


Pencils/felt tips/markers

Hole puncher

Lolly sticks

Paper fasteners


Junk modelling resources

Art straw



Objects to count


Till and money

Tape measure

2d and 3d shapes

Sorting boxes

Context items e.g. tins for shapes etc.

Number lines

Bead strings





Role play

Theme dependent




Writing equipment



Within the year as appropriate


Within the year as appropriate


Within the year as appropriate


Floor Books

  • All floor books should be consistently fully labelled with the class name, year group and subject.
  • The date is recorded. Teachers’ handwriting reflects the school policy in comments recorded.
  • The enquiry question e.g. ‘How do we plant a bulb?’ or L.I for the session is recorded.
  • Questions: What do the children want to find out to be recorded. These can be recorded by adults or children as appropriate.
  • Comments can be written directly into books or during practical enquiry sessions questions, comments and statements to show knowledge are written on ‘post-it’ notes and these added to the page.
  • Key vocab taught, again these can be recorded by adults or children as appropriate.
  • Photographs of the process annotated with comments from children.
  • A summary caption of what has been learnt.
  • An example of independent work completed by children e.g. map, art work, labelled artefact
  • Progression in content: Does your floor book match the medium term planning?
  • Progression in expectations of recording: Does your floor book match expectations in grid below for recording?
  • EYFS: One double page a week to be completed.