Early Years Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation stage encompasses two foundation years, Foundation Stage One (Nursery) and Foundation Stage Two (Reception). The Early Years Curriculum is broad and balanced ensuring a ‘school readiness’ developing attitudes, knowledge and understanding along with key skills such as speaking, listening, concentration, perseverance and resilience.

The Early Years provide a strong platform for future learning. Our child centred approach is underpinned by our commitment to learning through play providing motivating and exciting experiences. With our ever evolving curriculum we cater for the needs and interests of individual children allowing for fascinations and talents to grow. 

When planning, guiding and supporting our children we consider all the different styles of and approaches to learning, ensuring our children can flourish. 

Working with parents and carers the needs of the whole child are considered and supported, leading to happy and successful individuals.

Both our indoor and outdoor environments provide a safe, secure and interesting place for children to explore and learn. The resources are well organised and easily accessible therefore encouraging our children to be responsible and independent learners. 

All our staff are highly committed ensuring all children grow in confidence. By nurturing the individual and by inspiring every child to be the best they can be, we ensure all children make good progress.

Through positive relationships the children learn to be part of a wider social group, respecting and supporting each other.  The activities and experiences are organised into seven curriculum areas, with all being catered for and promoted.

The seven areas of learning are: 

Prime Areas

· Communication and Language

· Personal, Social and Emotional development

· Physical Development

Specific Areas

· Literacy

· Mathematics

· Understanding the World

· Expressive Arts and Design.

Each area of the curriculum has Early Learning Goals, which establish expectations for children to reach by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Teaching and Learning

The activities and experiences are based on the seven areas of learning. The three prime areas of learning; Communication and Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development play a crucial role in developing children’s curiosity and desire to learn. The four specific areas of learning Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design are catered for ensuring children have the capacity to gain knowledge, skills and understanding. When planning and guiding children, we also consider the different ways in which children learn and ensure all styles of learning are catered for. We encourage the children to ‘play and explore’, to be ‘active learners’ and to ‘create and think critically’.

A high priority is to develop the enjoyment of reading as this is crucial to aid learning. Therefore book sharing begins in FS1 followed by a scheme of books introduced in FS2. Our Reading Scheme is banded at each stage, primarily based on the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme, supplemented with a variety of books at each stage to provide breadth and depth.

Assessments are ongoing throughout the year, and both formative and summative assessments are key to our teaching and learning cycle. Formative assessments include observations, the minute by minute assessments enabling practitioners to provide children with immediate feedback to support and develop learning in the moment. Alongside observations formal records are kept. Summative assessments are gathered at the end of each term to indicate whether children are working on track in each of the seven areas of learning. At the end of FS2, children are reported to have achieved each of the Early Learning Goals, or working towards them.  

EYFS Comparative Data – 2022 Measure of Good Level of Development (GLD)



Berkswell School prides itself on being inclusive. Parents, volunteers and students play a key role in contributing to developing the learning process. The relationship between parents and staff is crucial if children are to be successful and have a happy and secure start to school.

After School Care

A school based wrap-around is available for Nursery children (11.50am – 3.20pm). The FS1 (Nursery) ‘wrap around’ provision’, is run by highly qualified school staff who work alongside FS2 children and staff for the afternoon session. Children are able to enjoy the close links with school, supporting whole school events, etc.

Morning Nursery finishes at 11.50 am. The additional provision will run from 11.50 until 3.20 pm each day. We will be asking for a current contribution of £5.10 per session per child for those eligible for the free 15 hours, which will cover the additional 30 minutes each afternoon, snack and drinks.

If your child is not eligible but you would like to use the provision the cost is currently £18.20 per session.

To check to see if you are eligible please visit https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk You will be given a 30 hour eligibility code which will need to be validated by the DfE this will be done through our local authority. Please complete the attached form and return it to the school office for processing.

Eligibility for the additional extended entitlement will include households where:

  • both parents (whether two-parent family or lone parent) are working and earning a minimum of the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the National Minimum or Living Wage (includes income received from tax credits or Universal Credit) and one parent’s income does not exceed £100,000
  • both parents are working but one or both parents are temporarily on leave (parental, maternal etc.)
  • both parents are working but one or both parents are temporarily on statutory sick pay
  • parents on zero hours’ contracts and those who are registered as self-employed
  • one parent is employed and the other parent has either:
    • substantial caring responsibilities and or a disability
    • is a foster carer with their own 3 and 4-year-old children

They are also able to have a school lunch (£1.95 per day at present, although this may increase slightly in the future), taking advantage of the excellent meals prepared on the school premises. Full information regarding Monty’s is available in the introduction session in June or via the school office.

If you require care before 8.50am or after 3.20pm, we have Berkswell Windmill Wraparound, a school run before and after school club.  Please see “Before and After School Care” for details.

Useful Sites