Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Phase 1

About Phase 1

The Learning Environment

The learning environment is key to a child’s progress with a rich and varied environment supporting children’s learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor spaces. The outdoor learning environment has a positive impact on children’s sense of well-being and offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors.

The EYFS Learning Programme

The Early Years Foundation Stage is for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning. There are four themes which underpin our Early Years and Foundation Stage curriculum:

  • A unique child - every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • Positive relationships - a key worker has special responsibility for working with a small number of children giving them reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents or carers
  • Enabling environments - we provide a rich and varied environment which supports children's learning and development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe yet challenging, indoor and outdoor space.
  • Learning and development - Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. In their play children learn at their highest levels. We provide wide-ranging and varied interests that engage and involve children for sustained periods.

During the children’s first half-term in the Nursery and Reception class, the teacher assesses the ability of each child using a school designed baseline assessment. The results are analysed and we then use them to identify patterns of attainment within the cohort of children. Targets are set for each child to work towards. We use this information to modify the teaching programme for individual children and groups of children. We share the initial assessment information with parents at the parental consultation meeting.

  • Each teacher keeps Learning Journey folder and uses these to record examples of each child’s work in all areas of learning. These folders contain a wide range of evidence that we share with parents at each parental consultation meeting and inform our judgments in the end of year Early Years Foundation Stage results that are sent to the LEA in July. The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile folders are moderated at school level in Cluster groups and by LA.

Inclusion in Phase 1

In our academy we have high aspirations for all of our children. We give our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We do this by taking account of our children’s range of life experiences when planning for their learning (see our policy on school inclusion).

We meet the needs of all our children through:

  • planning opportunities that build upon and extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests, and develop their self-esteem and confidence;
  • using a wide range of teaching strategies based on children’s learning needs;
  • providing a wide range of opportunities to motivate and support children and to help them to learn effectively;
  • providing a safe and supportive learning environment in which the contribution of all children is valued;
  • using resources which reflect diversity and are free from discrimination and stereotyping;
  • planning challenging activities for children whose ability and understanding are in advance of their language and communication skills;
  • monitoring children’s progress and taking action to provide support as necessary.


We make regular assessments of children’s learning, and we use this information to ensure that future planning reflects identified needs. Assessment in phase 1 is ongoing and is an integral part of the learning and development process.

Parents receive regular feedback on their child’s progress in each area of learning. It highlights the child’s strengths and development needs and gives details of the child’s learning journey.

The role of parents

We believe that all parents have an important role to play in the education of their child. Parents are made to feel welcome and valued in their dealings with all members of staff. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children. We do this through:

  • Providing opportunities for parents to talk about their child before their child starts in our school;
  • Parents are offered a home visit by the early years team;
  • Giving the children the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school;
  • Inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school;
  • Offering parents regular opportunities to talk about their child’s progress in our nursery and Reception classes and are encouraged to spend time with the children during their first few weeks of settling in;
  • Encouraging parents to talk to the child’s teacher if there are any concerns. If needed a meeting will be set up between the staff and parent/carer so that any issues can be resolved quickly. There is a formal meeting for parents in the autumn and spring term at which the teacher and the parent discuss the child’s progress in private with the teacher. Parents receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each school year;
  • Having flexible admission arrangements that enable children and parents to become secure, and by allowing time to discuss each child’s circumstances;
  • Arranging for children to start school over the first three weeks of term. We stagger the starting time of each child over this period, so that the teacher can welcome each child individually into our school. We encourage parents to stay if there are problems with the child’s admission;
  • Arranging a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents;
  • Offering a range of activities that support the involvement of parents. There is regular communication with home through the child’s Reading Record diary.

Providing, at the start of every term, on our website and as a Home School Newsletter and Curriculum map will be sent home informing parent/carers of the topics and areas of the curriculum to be covered and also any relevant information that may help the parent/carer of the child.