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At Thurnham CE Infant School our Early Years Curriculum is underpinned by our three school Super Powers:

Resilience / Independence / Brain Power

We believe these three super powers are key to enabling outstanding life-long learning in our pupils.

Our Christian value ‘love’ is within everything we teach and do.

It is our intent that children who enter Reception at Thurnham CE Infant school, will develop physically, emotionally, cognitively and develop a love of school and learning. We want all children to learn and flourish in a caring, supportive environment from their varied starting points and the experiences they have had before starting school.

Our aim is to create an exciting and engaging environment. As a team, we work hard to create an indoor and outdoor learning environment that inspires children to be independent, investigate, explore and challenge themselves. The children have periods of play during the school day, where they can freely access the provision in the environment. We design our enhancements for the continuous provision based on prior learning, the opportunity to practise newly taught skills, experiences we would like the children to have and their interests. We believe that when children are highly engaged and motivated, they will achieve high level attainment.

We aim to work with parents, encouraging them to share in their child’s learning journey. Some of the ways we do this are through communication in person and via Seesaw, asking them to send in WOW moments help to capture learning outside of school, inviting the parents in for ‘Come and See’ sessions  and parents’ evenings.



At Thurnham CE Infant school, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, provided by the Department for Education (DfE). This is made up of four overriding principles:

  • A Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
  • Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in the early year’s provision, including children with special education needs and disabilities.

The framework sets out the requirement for learning and development within the EYFS and focuses on Prime and Specific areas.

There are seven areas of learning in the EYFS curriculum:

The Prime Areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The Specific Areas: Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design


There are also three Characteristics of Effective Learning.

Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’

Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

Thinking and Creating Critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

Our Curriculum has been written with consideration of the Educational Programmes. Each term, we have a topic to provide inspiration for learning, however, we also follow the children’s interests and ideas. Children will learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities.

Our timetable is carefully structured and it changes throughout the year to take into consideration the needs of the children. The timetable includes carpet sessions, such as Literacy, Maths, Phonics and Worship. Adult Directed activities, for example, reading and small group activities; child-initiated time and interventions.

We ensure that all children will receive the teaching of early reading through the systematic and synthetic programme, Little Wandle.

We want children to develop a lifelong love of reading and we have chosen core texts, which we want to expose the children too. The teaching of vocabulary is fundamental and will be explored in all areas of the curriculum.

In Maths, we follow the White Rose Maths scheme which is divided into units. The children learn through activities. They use manipulatives, pictorial structures and representations which are they applied during Child Initiated time.

The curriculum ensures that children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum. We plan rich first-hand experiences e.g. visitors, trips, workshops, Cycle sessions to widen their experiences.

We have an inclusive approach which means all children learn together. We have a range of additional intervention and support for children who need it, this includes, Language Link, Speech Link, Thrive, Little Wandle catch up, social skills, BEAM. In addition to this, children with EHCPs have their own individual targets.


Before the children start school, the EYFS leader will liaise with all settings (mostly through visits) to gain an understanding of all children. We read their transition documents, invite the preschools in for tours and invite the children in for sessions with their parents. We also carry out home visits.

The RBA (Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment) is carried out within the first six weeks of the children starting school.  It is an activity-based assessment of pupils’ starting points in Language, Communication and Literacy and Mathematics. Pupils use practical resources to complete these tasks and teachers will record the results. It is not used to label or track individual pupils. It is used at the end of Year 6 to form the school-level progress measure. Teachers receive a series of short, narrative statements that tell them how their pupils performed in the assessment. These can be used to inform our teaching.

Evidence of the children’s progress is recorded in Learning Journeys and on Seesaw. We used our observations of the children to make formative assessments of their attainment, to inform future planning and to build upon the children’s current knowledge. We use skilful interactions and questioning during Child Initiated time and adult led activities to ensure the children are challenged and that learning is moved forward.

As a team, we carry our regular quality assurance, through book looks, moderation and the opportunity to visit each other’s’ classes, which ensures equity between the three Reception classes.

We also complete phonics assessments on a termly basis. We look at any pupils, particularly with a focus on the lowest 20% and plan support.

End of year assessments are finalised during the summer term, against the Early Learning Goals and this information is shared with parents and the Year 1 teachers.

Regular monitoring of teaching and learning by the SLT and subject leaders takes place. All EYFS staff have regular training to develop their practice.

Carefully planned transition is key towards the end of the Foundation Stage. Children spend time in the summer term in their new classes, which is essential for not only the pupils, but also so the Year 1 teachers know their children and can plan their September curriculum accordingly.

At the end of the Foundation Stage at Thurnham CE Infant School, we endeavour to ensure all children will have the essential knowledge and skills for lifelong learning. We believe our children will be happy, independent and successful learners, ready for the next steps in their learning.