Our Intent for the Early Years Foundation Stage

At Cuddington, our Early Years setting puts children’s wellbeing at the heart of its curriculum. When children start school, we ensure that they feel safe, happy and are able to build positive attachments with staff and peers.

Our curriculum is designed around our children and their interests, considering local culture and family diversity. We aim to develop children’s independence, resilience and ambitions through carefully planned activities and a challenging environment.

Our environment is purposely planned where children are taught to be respectful and that their efforts are valued. It is engaging, stimulating and promotes curiosity. Open ended resources are carefully selected encouraging deep engagement and high levels of concentration.

Our expectations are ambitious for all children in our setting and with carefully planned support children are able to achieve their goals and be proud of themselves. We encourage children to persevere when challenges occur and to do their best.

We ensure learning is accessible for all children including those with SEND. Early identification if used to assess children for SEND and provisions are put into place to support these children

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Implementation in the Early Years

Our curriculum is based around the seven areas of learning and development. These are communication and language, physical development, personal, emotional and social development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. We also use the Characteristics of Effective Learning as a foundation for our children to build confidence, curiosity and resilience.

The Environment

Our classroom is much more than just a physical space. It is a place for children to feel safe, develop positive relationships with staff and peers and express their feelings freely. It is an environment that is carefully planned to accommodate the children's changing needs and interests. High quality and open-ended resources are provided for children to use on a daily basis reflecting their curiosity. Every resource has its place and we teach the children use the resources respectfully and tidy away when they are finished. 

Our outdoor area is set up to develop children's physical development, problem solving, creativity and teamwork. Reflecting the indoor environment, resources are open ended and allow children to create their own leaning and play. We also encourage the children to take calculated risks. 

When planning for the children’s play, known as continuous provision, we create provocations to excited and engage. These tend to be with open ended resources which have no intended outcome. Staff will use observations and questioning to move children’s learning forward. Staff will also set up activities as an invitation to learning which have intended outcomes. Staff will work with children to teach and assess knowledge through play.


Planning and Teaching

Staff will create a half termly overview with topics that will be covered together with weekly planning which includes daily phonics, literacy and mathematics. Our timetable is well planned to ensure a balance between adult led and child led activities. We ensure that children have sustained periods of play so that they can become truly immersed in their play and learning.

Alongside this we use ‘In the moment’ planning which is related to the children’s interest not the topic that is being covered. For example, if our topic was around the book The Little Red hen we would plan based on this topic but if the children were fascinated by an ambulance that drove past school we would plan for lessons and play related to doctors, hospitals and vehicles.

In the Spring Term children are introduced to Rainbow Challenges. These are tasks set out by the teacher for children to access throughout the week encouraging independence.

To support our literacy teaching we strive to create a language rich environment using stories for teaching, daily class storytelling, key words and labels around the environment, mystery readers, and modelling language. We follow the Talk for Writing scheme from September and build into Literacy count Steps to Read and Read to Write units later in the Year.

We teach the children to read and write by delivering daily phonics sessions through the ELS scheme. Children are provided with a weekly decodable reading book that matched the sounds they have been taught. Children are encouraged to read at home daily and are read with twice a week in school.

To support our mathematics teaching we follow the White Rose schemes of learning. High quality learning environments and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. Children in Reception have daily adult-led maths inputs to develop fluency, revisit key concepts and address misconceptions.



"Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul." -Froebel

Play is one of the most important aspects of our curriculum. Children gain essential knowledge and skills through play and hands on experiences. Play is joyful, meaningful and engaging which enables children to take ownership of their learning and experiences. 


Impact in the Early Years

Through a creative, child-led and well-planned curriculum our aim is that children will leave the Early Years with a foundation of skills needed to support their education journey. Skills such as problem solving, resilience, confidence, listening and responding. We also aim to ensure that children feel safe, secure and happy in school.

We measure children’s progress across the year through formative and summative teacher assessments based on the teacher’s knowledge of the child 

The children will be assessed at the end of their Reception year against the statutory Early Learning Goals in the seven areas of learning. This will be communicated to parents in an end of year report. Judgements are moderated within our trust schools to ensure consistency and shared with our Year One colleges.


Working Together

We work closely and collaboratively with parents, ensuring that home achievements and experiences are valid and used to develop a true reflection of the whole child.

You know your child better than anyone, which is why at Cuddington we work on developing positive relationships with parents. We invite parents into school each morning on Thursday until 9.15am to play with their child and explore our environment. We also use an app called Tapestry so that parents can see what their child has been engaging with and learning about in school. 


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