At Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School, we believe every child deserves the very best possible start in life that enable them to fulfil their potential. This begins in our Early Years Foundation Stage.
Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum is ambitious and provides 'no limits' or barriers to all children’s achievement and is based on our school’s vision, ‘To learn, love and live: without limits’. Its design is informed by the Statutory Framework and our whole school curriculum drivers of: culture, possibilities and diversity. It is sufficiently challenging for the children it serves. The high ambition it embodies is shared by all staff.
The EYFS curriculum is coherently planned, progressive and sequenced from the start of 2 year old nursery provision through to the early learning goals at the end of Reception class. It is designed so that it builds on what children know and can do, towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for their future learning and is designed to give all children, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
The EYFS curriculum follows the ‘Statutory Framework for the early years foundation stage – setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five.’ Our curriculum design ensures all our children (regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs) learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Four overarching principles shape the practice in our early years settings. These are:
- Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioner and parents/carers.
- Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The EYFS framework ( and EYFS curriculum Bedford Hall) covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
At Bedford Hall Methodist, working in partnership with parents/carers, we promote the learning and development of all children in our care to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge for transition into Year 1 and complete the EYFS ready to benefit fully from the opportunities ahead of them.
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape our EYFS curriculum alongside the Characteristics of Effective Learning. All these areas are important and inter-connected. The seven areas are as follows:
Three prime areas which ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relations and thriving are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
Four specific areas (through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied) are:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
The Characteristics of effective learning which underpin our curriculum design and teaching pedagogy are:
- Playing and exploring – through investigation, exploration and problem solving, and ‘have a go’
- Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
- Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things
These link to our school vision of ‘Learn without limits’ and our curriculum driver ‘possibilities.’
The development level that children are expected to attain by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals (ELGs). The ELGS are:
Communication and Language
- ELG: Listening, attention and understanding
- ELG: Speaking
Personal, social and emotional development
- ELG: Self-Regulation
- ELG: Managing Self
- ELG: Building Relationships
- ELG: Gross Motor Skills
- ELG: Fine Motor Skills
- ELG: Comprehension
- ELG: Word Reading
- ELG: Writing
- ELG: Number
- ELG: Numerical Patterns
Understanding the World
- ELG: Past and Present
- ELG: People, Culture and Communities
- ELG: The Natural World
Expressive Arts and Design
- ELG: Creating with Materials
- ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive
To meet the needs of the context we serve, from the very start of our EYFS, a large emphasis is given to: communication and language; developing children’s love of reading, extending their range of vocabulary and language comprehension. We ensure children are exposed to language rich environments and are immersed in rich vocabulary through: exposure to high quality interactions; stories, poems, non-fiction texts, nursery rhymes, singing songs and playing games. A large emphasis is placed on teaching early reading and systematic phonics. The dominant focus is on developing children’s word recognition.
At Bedford Hall Methodist we ensure children are immersed in rich, meaningful learning experiences across the curriculum (7 areas of learning) which meets the needs of all our children. Our EYFS provisions support the intent of our ambitious curriculum design through use of high quality resources which have been chosen to meet the needs of all children and promote learning in an exciting way.
At Bedford Hall, we believe children benefit from engaging in first hand experiences and activities, through high quality continuous and enhanced provision both indoor and outdoor. These activities are well matched to all children’s needs and are carefully supported by adult interactions, modelling and questioning (as necessary). We want our children to ‘learn, love and live: without limits’ and provide rich learning opportunities which enable children to: build on what they know and can do; promote independence, investigation and problem solving skills and resilience thus resulting in curious, eager learners ready for future learning.
To enable children to develop crucial speech and language skills, we ensure that children are exposed to language rich environments and high quality interactions which enable them to acquire the confidence and skills to express themselves in a range of situations. Additional speech and language sessions and interventions are provided to children where extra support is needed.
At Bedford Hall Methodist, the children follow the Read Write Inc systematic, synthetic phonics programme, which is taught daily. In Reception, phonetically matched texts are provided so that children have the opportunity to practice their reading from books that match their phonics knowledge.
Story and Oracy underpins the Early Years Curriculum ( 7 areas of learning) at Bedford Hall Methodist so it truly is ‘inescapable.’ We ensure from the start of EYFS children are exposed to rich, well considered, engaging texts. Story time is part of our whole school's daily routine and texts, songs and nursery rhyme permeates learning across the EYFS. Parent partnership is key to promoting reading and nursery rhymes, songs and quality stories are promoted which parent/carers can enjoy with their child at home. In Reception, in addition to taking home a phonics book each week; children take home a library book which an adult will read to them to further harness their love of stories and reading.
At Bedford Hall, we believe that play and practical exploration are key to both developing a strong conceptual understanding in early mathematics. Concepts are introduced through concrete representations and practice and consolidation play a central role in developing children’s understanding and confidence. Over the EYFS, teaching is designed to help children remember long term what they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Reception draw upon White Rose mathematics to ensure effective coverage and readiness for Year 1.
Bedford Hall is a nurturing Methodist school where all children are unique and special (love without limits). The curriculum design (curriculum drivers ‘culture and diversity’) and care practices of all staff promote and support children’s emotional security and development of character. Staff form excellent, warm and trusting relationships with all children – interacting effectively with all children and teaching them the language of feelings and supporting them to appropriately develop their emotional literacy. The school’s vision, Christian values and curriculum drivers are interwoven into all aspects of the curriculum and school life and facilitate children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Children learn about the importance of having a healthy body and mind (including diet, exercise, oral hygiene) through direct teaching experiences and activities. Wigan Athletic also support in the delivery of PSED within Reception.
At Bedford Hall Methodist we pride ourselves on the excellent relationship we have with all our parents and the strong pastoral support we provide to our families. We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. We endeavour to work closely with parents as we recognise that when parents work in partnership with our practitioners, the results have a strong impact on children’s development and learning. We work closely with parents through a range of strategies including:
- Stay and play sessions across our settings.
- Home learning activities for children to complete with an adult and then share within their setting.
- Progress checks completed with parents in our 2 year old nursery.
- Phonics and reading workshop for Reception parents.
- Formal parents’ evenings held twice a year - where the child’s progress is discussed and useful resources / information to further support their child’s development and learning is shared (e.g. weaning off dummies, sleep patterns, how to help your child learn to read etc).
- Parents receive a written report on their child’s progress and attainment at the end of each school year.
- A range of activities throughout the year which encourage collaboration between children, parents and school: Nursery Nativity, Reception Nativity (part of Key Stage 1), Nursery Sports Day, Reception Sports Day, Collective Worships, Education Sunday, Messy Church, Trips and Visitors.
- Parents are invited to join ‘Tapestry’ the online tracking system. Parents can view their child’s learning journey online and can contribute to this by sending online postcards to celebrate their child's learning at home.
- Strong Pastoral Team in school who support all our families and any wider needs.
- Inclusion Manager (liaising with parents and wider agencies) to ensure our SEND children receive the most appropriate, high quality support.
At Bedford Hall we live out our vision to ‘Learn, Love, Live: without limits’ and ensure through a holistic, well-considered, pertinent approach to teaching and learning we develop the ‘whole child’ equipping them with the skills so they are ready for the next stage of education. We recognise the unique needs of each child and support them in making good progress from their starting points. The impact of our Early Years curriculum is measured in the confidence, competence, knowledge and skills our children have acquired across the seven areas of learning at the end of each stage.
We ensure all children receive rich experiences they require both within and beyond the curriculum to develop their skills and knowledge and thus become confident, independent, curious learners who are ready to access and succeed in the next stage of their education. (The mapping of this can be seen in our curriculum long term overview plans within each subject area – where progression and sequential mapping of subjects can be seen from our 2 year old nursery provision up to Year 6).
At Bedford Hall Methodist, children make good rates of progress within Early Years as the school successfully challenges the many gaps in learning children have on entry – particularly in communication and language, personal and social skills.
Our ambitious curriculum design enables all children to experience a broad, pertinent and challenging curriculum that addresses their needs and leads to children achieving well and making good progress.
More information can be found in our Early Years Policy.
More information about the Early Years Foundation Stage can be found on the Department for Education website.