The EYFS Curriculum


Sandlings Primary Early Years Key Stage provides children with exciting and stimulating learning opportunities in line with our school vision and ethos:

“Sandlings is Unique, nurturing where everyone belongs and thrives”

within a happy and safe environment. We have high expectations of our children. Time spent in Early Years is used to establish these strong foundations to enable successful transition into year 1 and lifelong learning.

We celebrate all that is “unique”

We recognise that everyone is an individual and will learn and develop in their own way. We take care to establish every child and their family’s circumstances and support them to succeed as unique individuals.

We believe that;

  • Every child is an individual with a unique set of needs, therefore, each is entitled to have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in a variety of different ways
  • Children need opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning by making choices, enjoying success and feeling safe to make and learn from mistakes
  • No child is excluded or disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, special educational needs, disability, gender or ability

We help everyone feel a “sense of belonging”

We find ways to ensure everyone feels included and every learner is equipped with the tools needed to help them thrive in life as well as in school.

We promote a family-feel in our setting and create cohorts of children who recognise the importance of being part of a team. Each child contributes to, and benefits from, the joy, security and diversity that our school community offers and this supports them as their school journey evolves.

We encourage children to be self-sufficient and independent and to exercise self-respect at all times. It is equally important to us that children understand the benefits of togetherness. This is achieved in the way children are encouraged to communicate their feelings and regulate their emotions, as part of their understanding of themselves, but also in the way that we can share experiences with those around us to help us grow and feel secure.

We believe that:

  • Early years practitioners need to work in partnership with parents/carers, who are their child’s first educators and other relevant agencies
  • All children have the right to equality of opportunity and all should be positively acknowledged and valued. They are more likely to reach their potential as learners if they are happy, secure and have a sense of well-being
  • The early year’s practitioners, parents/carers and children partnerships develop mutually supportive relationships where information and expertise are given and taken by all partners
  • The environment creates a safe, stimulating and attractive space in which all children are able to engage in practical activity, first-hand experiences and purposeful play and talk; these are the main ways through which young children learn about themselves, other people and the world around them

We are a “Nurturing” school

Our Early Years practitioners establish positive relationships with all children, built on mutual respect, trust and understanding of each child’s personality and needs. Children’s ideas are listened to, and valued, and adults play alongside all learners to introduce challenges and help everyone achieve their potential.

We recognise the importance of interaction and the early year’s practitioners provide a model of care, interest and empathy which we hope to see reflected in peer-to-peer communication.  We teach children to develop self-regulation and executive function the ability to focus and hold information in the mind filter distractions and switch gears.

We believe that:

  • Care and education are inseparable – quality care is educational and quality education is caring
  • Promotion of the spiritual, moral, and cultural aspects of learning play a key part in development of children
  • Children need support in developing their ability to make and sustain choices based on their knowledge and experience of the activities, material and equipment on offer

We want all children to “thrive”

We aim to create awe and wonder in day-to-day provision and we use our learning environment to develop curiosity and discussion. We strive to instill children with confidence and high self-esteem to ensure they approach new scenarios, and embrace possibilities, with a smile on their face.

It is important to us that our children learn how to be resilient and resourceful and that they identify learning as a process, rather than an outcome.

We value children’s play and understand that learning opportunities in their most natural child-initiated form often provides the most effective ways to develop ideas and explore new themes within a meaningful context. Learning should be practical and collaborative and this is recognised by the early years team who approach play with the respect it deserves in an effort to help children flourish in the moment.

Our Early Years practice and provision has been developed to provide effective methods which support communication and language as the vehicle for teaching and learning. In addition, developing reflective practice to encourage spontaneous and ‘in the moment’ planning within the continuous and enhanced provision, supporting greater pitch and pace, for adaptations and enhanced experiences for learning.

We believe that:

  • Effective education requires early years practitioners to have a secure understanding of child development and the ability to plan, deliver and evaluate a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum; Knowing how children are encouraged to learn is as important as what they learn
  • Early years practitioners should support and extend children’s learning through purposeful observation, evaluating activities and by appropriate interaction
  • Early years practitioners need to have shared purposes, expectations and consistency of practice. They should work and communicate effectively as a team and be prepared to be learners themselves
  • Strategies for curriculum planning and design, assessment and record keeping should promote continuity and progression both within and between reception and transfer to year 1
  • Ongoing methods of formative and summative assessment help to monitor and track progress and to assist early years’ practitioners in providing an appropriate curriculum and support the completion of the national profile for children in reception at the end of the foundation stage.