St Richard'sCE Primary School

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Early Years Curriculum



A Picture Gallery of Our Early Years Learning 

Below is a selection of images that reflect all of our busy learning in Early Years. 

The internal link below will take you to the admissions page with further information on our admissions procedures. 

The school's Early Years Foundation Stage begins aged 2-3 years in Acorns, through to aged 3–4 years in Nursery and finishing aged 4–5 years in Reception Class. We passionately believe that a child's experience in the early years will have a significant impact on their future life and that early experiences will shape their lifelong love for learning.




The intention of our Early Years curriculum is to provide a learning environment which enables all children to to achieve their full potential and to make every child’s very first experiences of school positive and meaningful.  We strive to develop the whole child and enable all pupils to start their lifelong school journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally while embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.  We place great emphasis on making our EYFS classrooms a place where children feel safe, valued and motivated to learn. We want children to be excited about coming to school and in the future to remember fondly the time they spent in the


As an Early Years team we worked together to create our intent, discussing what we feel is underpinnng our Early Years ethos and what our vision is for our Early Years family. 


We all agree that our intent for our Early Years is: 


  • Safe, happy and loving -  All children feel part of a community and come to school and leave school with a smile on their faces and a happy heart.
  • Inclusive & accessible  - We value and celebrate diversity and ensure that every child has the same opportunities for learning and growth. We create learning opportunities that match the needs and interests of the pupils. All children have the chance to shine!
  • Open, nurturing and non-judgemental - We want to offer the same care, nurture and support to all family members. We understand that starting school is a big step and we will step along the journey with you, side by side. 
  • Fun and memory making! - We hope for children to come out of school, talking about the memories and friendships that they have made. We aspire for them to chat about their day and look back with fond memories. We want the children to laugh and smile as we know that happy settled children will thrive. 
  • A family and a community   -  As the proverb says - 'It takes a village to raise a child'.  Educating the whole child is a partnership and the communication, collaboration and shared knowledge will ensure that the children flourish and grow. 





We follow Development Matters which  outlines seven key features of effective practice which underpin our curriculum delivery at St Richard's School. There are 3 prime areas and 7 specific areas:



The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are statutory and are referenced in the EYFS (2023).

They are the principles that underpin the curriculum. In planning and guiding what children learn, practitioners must reflect on the different rates at which children are developing and adjust their practice appropriately. Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

It all starts with a home-visit. 
​At St Richard's we pride ourselves on the warm, caring and nurturing environment. We work closely with families to ensure that all pupils feel settled and secure in their environment. An essential part of this is home-visits. These form the start of our joint journey of parent/school partnership and  help foster valuable relationships which will continue throughout your child's time at the school. We know that our job as educators is enhanced by the hard work and support you give to your child at home. It is useful for your child to see you welcoming us into your home as it shows that we are not strangers, but trusted adults. The children usually like to meet their teachers and put a face to the name, it also is a good opportunity for you to ask any questions that you might have.

How Learning Takes Place 


Within the Early Years we have a balance of adult-led, adult-initiated and child-initiated play. Child-initiated play enables the children to self-select from the environment and lead their own learning and the various topics that they will encounter will be driven from the children's interests, thus allowing the children to plan their next stages of learning. Often the children transfer their toys and resources from one area to another, for example taking play dough into the home corner or mixing mud in the water tray. The adults will engage in the learning with the children becoming part of the play. Through these interactions and focused observation, adult-initiated and adult-led activities are carefully planned for each individual child's needs, taking into account the children's interests. 


We are passionate about providing opportunities for children to learn in an outdoor environment and are very lucky to have such an amazing outdoor learning space, our own ‘classroom without walls’. As well as an appreciation for nature and the environment and ensuring an active lifestyle we know that the learning outdoors has many benefits. It develops essential social skills, encourages independence and promotes resilience to enable our pupils to become risk takers. 


The characteristics of effective learning underpin everything that we do and we strive to ensure that we provide the pupils an opportunity to demonstrate and grow in these areas. We are passionate about providing fun, engaging and memorable moments for the children that help them to become sociable, confident and motivated thinkers and explorers who love coming to play at St Richard's.  


When our children graduate from our Early Years classes they have developed a love of  school and of learning. They have mastered the basic skills they need to begin the National Curriculum and, most importantly, they have developed the personal, social and emotional skills to allow them to progress through school. The positive relationships developed between staff and children ensure that the children are self-confident, with a good degree of self-esteem and resilience. In addition to this the children’s level of involvement ensures they are intensely engaged in activities which encourage deep level learning and development. This can be seen through the active learning environment which has a ‘buzz’ of learning as they ‘get busy’.


'What to Expect and When' is a really useful document which helps you as a parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS. 


Parent Zone - The EYFS Parent Guide


Birth to 5 Matters - A Guide for Parents