St Georges Church of England Academy

St George's
Church of England Academy

Early Years Learning

Welcome to Early Years!

A Message from the Early Years Team

At St George's Church of England Academy we are extremely proud of our Early Years Unit.  In the Early Years, we ensure our children develop a broad range of skills and knowledge which provide the right foundation, for future progress throughout school and life.  Our children are at the centre of all our teaching and learning approaches.  As a result of this, our provision is set up to ensure it matches the needs of all of our children whilst encouraging independence  and positive relationships through deepening the child's thinking and providing daily challenge.  We provide a safe, stimulating and happy environment for the children to build resilience, develop in confidence and where we are able to feel valued as individuals.

We seek to provide:

Quality and consistency, with high expectations so that every child makes good progress.

A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interest of each child and are asessed and reviewed regularly.

Partnership working between practitioners and parents and carers.

Equality of opportunity ensuring that every child is included and supported.

We believe that all children bring with them deep curiosity and potential,  are competent, capable thinkers and learners as well as creative communicators and conversationalists.  In the Early Years at St George's, we aim to create a learning environment that is exciting, engaging and a happy place to learn and grow.

Our EYFS Teaching Team:

Mrs Taylor (Nursery Class Teacher and EYFS Lead)

Mrs Gent (RS Class Teacher and Early Years and Key Stage 1 SENDCo)

Mrs Parkes (RG Class Teacher)

Mrs Lawrance (Nursery -  Teaching Assistant)

Mrs Griffiths (Classroom Assistant - Learning Support Assistant)

Miss Stewart (Reception Year Group - Teaching Assistant)

Mrs Mortley (Reception Year Group - Classroom Assistant)

EYFS Curriculum Vision

EYS Policy

Communication and Language Statement of Intent

Personal, Social and Emotional Development Statement of Intent

Physical Development Statement of Intent 

EYFS Nursery Long Term Plan September 2023 - July 2024

 Early Years Curriculum

Children learning in Nursery and Reception classes are known as the Early Years Foundation Stage or EYFS for short. We follow the statutory EYFS Framework.  The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum sets out children’s learning and development in the Foundation Stage.  It gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first:

  • Communication and Language (Listening, Attention and Understanding; and Speaking)
  • Physical Development (Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills)
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self-regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships)

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. 

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in four specific areas:

  • Literacy (Comprehension, Word Reading and Writing)
  • Mathematics (Number and Numerical Patterns)
  • Understanding the World (Past and Present; People, Culture and Communities; and The Natural World) 
  • Expressive Arts and Design (Creating with Materials and Being Imaginative and Expressive).

EYFS Statutory Educational Programmes of Study

Developmental Matters - EYFS

These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities which are tailored to suit your child’s individual needs.  The curriculum is designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.  

We also recognise that for children to learn effectively they need to develop a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.  High priority is given to the development of the characteristics of Effective Learning.

  • Playing and Exploring - exploring and investigating, playing with what they know and being willing to 'have a go.'
  • Active Learning - being involved and concentrating , persisting when difficulties occur and enjoying achievements.
  • Creative and Critical Thinking - developing their own ideas, making links and developing strategies.

Seven Key Features of Effective Practice

There are seven key features of effective practice in which we consider and plan for carefully at St George's.  These are:

  • The best for every child
  • High Quality care
  • The Curriculum
  • Pedagogy
  • Assessment
  • Self-Regulation
  • Partnership with parents

What Learning Looks Like:

Play and exploration is fundamental within our Early Years Classes.  This means children are able to choose activities where they can engage with other children or adults, or, sometimes play alone.

During these activities, the children will learn by first-hand experiences; by actively 'doing' as well as through scaffolding and modelling by adults.

At St George's we plan learning experiences considering both the children's individual needs and achievements as well as a rage of learning experiences that will assist them to make progress.  Children deepen their understanding by playing, taking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults to each other.

As the children progress through Reception, the academic learning activities increase.  Each child continues to be supported and challenged through a lively and motivating curriculum , which caters for each child's individual needs and abilities.

Our Learning Environment

Our Early Years environments are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely.  There are specific areas where children can be active, be quiet and creative amongst many other things  Through our enriched learning environment we aim to promote learning across all 7 areas of the EYFS framework.  Children are able to be active learners, to create and think critically.  All of our staff are passionate about promoting learning across the curriculum , and children have access to both the inside and outside areas across the school day.  

Our indoor environment offers:-

  • a writing area containing various writing implements and papers as well as envelopes and examples of good writing.
  • a book corner containing a range of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
  • a maths resource area which allow children to select appropriate items to help them solve practical problems.
  • a creative area containing resources for a range of art, design, music and technology activities.
  • a construction area containing resources for developing fine motor skills, engage in imaginative play and develop language.
  • an area for sand, malleable materials (e.g. play dough) and water play where children can engage in practical investigations.
  • a role play area which can be developed along themed line to cover several aspects of learning in "real life" scenarios.

Our Outdoor Environment

Being outdoors offers opportunities  for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors.  The children can explore, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant.  Links are made between both learning environments to ensure that all children receive a rich and varied curriculum that supports their learning and development.

Assessment - Nursery and Reception

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers, teachers and other adults to recognise children's progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support.  Ongoing assessment is an important part of what we do.  We continually make observations about make observations about each's child's learning and development and use these observations to identify learning priorities and plan relevant learning experiences for each child.

At the beginning of Reception - Reception Baseline Assessment

The Reception Baseline Assessment or RBA is a short, interactive and practical assessment of your child's early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills shortly after they begin school.  It will be undertaken with your child's class teacher and will measure your child's progress from Reception to Year 6.  The school, the teachers and you, as parents, will not be made aware of the outcome and the data will only be accessed by the DFE.  It will provide a starting point to measure the progress schools make with their pupils from the start of school and the end of their primary year. 

Information for Parents - Reception Baseline Assessment

At the end of Reception

The EYFS Curriculum consists of 17 goals for learning or "Early Learning Gals" we use these to make final assessments on your child's learning and development at the end of the Reception Year.

To find out more about the Early Learning Goals click on the link below:

 Parents Guide to EYFS Profile Scores

Teachers indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:

  • Emerging - not yet reaching expected levels of development for age.
  • Expected - reached expected levels of development age.

These judgements are shared with parents in the annual report  and Year 1 teachers during transition meeting between Reception and Year 1 teachers. They are used to assist with planning of learning at the start of Year 1.

We consider ourselves partners in your child’s learning.  The activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.  For example, talking, listening, reading, singing nursery rhymes, cooking and baking or playing outside with them.

Further Information for Parents or Carers

Information to support Parent's and their understanding of the EYFS

A guide to our Early Years Learning

What to Expect 

 Having help and support for children is so important.  We hope that some of these sites will help provide you with some ideas and guidance for your little ones!

Hungry Little Minds

Hungry Little Minds

A government website providing parents with fun and simple activities to do with their children that help their development and learning.

CBeebies Website

 A beautiful site with lots of fun problem-solving games for our youngest learners.

CBeebies for Grown Ups!

A lovely website offering not only hints and tips for parenting but lots of lovely ideas for activities both indoor and out!

Early Movers

A website to help parents with their children's physical development - a prime area in Early Years that affects all other areas of development too including social and mental wellbeing and research shows how important it is for children's learning.


A free. daily set of home schooling activities for 3 and 5 years linked to Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) educational programmes. 

Book Trust

This website offers help and advice about reading with your child and exploring the website will show you all kinds of resources you can use at home. 

Parent Talk - Support for Parenting

Down to earth parenting advice you can trust.

Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families

Providing help and support to parents for all ages of children to 5.

British Council

This website contains games for children learning English but exploring the whole site gives help to find free courses and resources for parents.  Timmy Time is a course especially for 2-6 year olds. 


Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust

St. George's Church of England Academy is a member of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust which is a company limited by guarantee (company number 10847279) and an exempt charity registered in England and Wales at The Cai Building Cable Dean Royal Quays North Shields Tyne and Wear NE29 6DE