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John Bamford Primary

Early Years Curriculum 


The EYFS Curriculum at The John Bamford Primary School and Nursery

Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed to reflect the nature of our beautiful environment, the seasons of the year and the nature around our school. It aims to teach the children how their environment compares to other places, cultures and nature in other parts of the world. It is therefore unique to The John Bamford Primary school.

Each adventure is included in the curriculum for very specific reasons and we want to ensure that all children leaving the Reception Year are ready to continue their journey into The John Bamford Primary School’s Key Stage 1 curriculum. Each adventure has been carefully designed around a key question, that can ignite curiosity and drive learning from the child’s perspective.  All the adventures have resources and activities ready to use in the enhanced provision. The enhanced provision links carefully to skills that we want children to develop. Adventures are introduced with a high quality story or an age appropriate non – fiction text. Using books in this way, teaches children that books and reading form the basis of all learning.

This ambitious Early Years curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge required to reach the Early Learning Goals described in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We teach through a range of methods including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, group teaching, investigations and problem solving together and independently. As many activities as possible are play-based; however, there is also a need for direct teacher-led activities to ensure children gain essential knowledge and skills from their teacher. All activities are modelled and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise them.

Personal Social and Emotional Development

We strive to enable children to be safe, happy and confident individuals. We also encourage self-regulation as much as possible and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour and reflection time. We teach the children the Characteristics of Effective Learning through our whole school values in Reception. In Tots and Nursery, we use the Lenny Lion’s Learning Zoo.   We introduce the characters at the beginning of the year. These values underpin our whole curriculum and teaching style throughout the Early Years.

Physical Development

Our enriching outdoor environment and grounds enable us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to play outside as much as possible. Our intention is that children learn how to take measured risks and they are given access to our whole playground and outdoor nursery. We encourage children to learn about nature and look after their environment through regular welly walks around the local environment. In Nursery and Reception, children participate in Finger Gym/Dough Disco sessions, which allow the development of fine motor skills through completing fun activities to an upbeat song. In addition to this, we have a range of woodwork tools to support the children’s fine motor development. Children are taught about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating, and are encouraged to join in with whole-school sports initiatives such as school competitions.

Communication and Language

Children are encouraged to listen and communicate appropriately. We enhance the classroom and outdoor area to reflect the adventure. Each adventure encompasses enhancements to the learning environment that include role-play areas, small-world play and opportunities to encourage the children to act out scenarios and discuss concepts being learnt. This helps children learn and use new vocabulary introduced through the adventures. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussion whenever possible. Children who struggle to communicate are targeted in the provision and learning interventions are used when children lack confidence or do not have the age-appropriate skills.


We aim to teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at The John Bamford Primary Nursery and Tots, and books are used to teach topics and to enhance our whole curriculum.  At The John Bamford, we use the multisensory systematic synthetic phonics programme Monster Phonics from Reception. Children within our Nursery start learning phonics skills right from the point of entry. Teaching and learning is covered using Phase 1 of the Monster Phonics Scheme.

Phase 1 concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

Phase 1 is split into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).

It is intended that each of the first six aspects should be dipped into, rather than going through them in any order, with a balance of activities. Aspect 7 will usually come later, when children have had plenty of opportunity to develop their sound discrimination skills. Gradually the children in Nursery will be introduced to the Monster Phonics characters through Phase 1 reading books that are shared during adult-led sessions.

Phonics lessons are taught daily for twenty-five minutes. In addition to daily phonics in Reception, children take part in reading individually with an adult and a reading book matched to their phonics ability is taken home every day. Children are also encouraged to explore age-appropriate books from the class library books in the reading corner; these are changed each half-term to reflect the different seasons, adventures taught and children’s interests. Teachers read stories to children from high quality age-appropriate texts at every available opportunity. These books are then used to enhance the learning environment and reading area. Children who need extra help with phonics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff.


We introduce writing straight away, and teach handwriting alongside the phonics curriculum. Children are encouraged to write sounds, words, phrases then sentences within phonics, applying the familiar sounds they have learnt during the session. By the end of Reception, children will independently write about experiences they have shared and retell stories using the skills taught throughout Early Years.

Children practise writing their name when they come into school in Reception. Letter formation is introduced in phonics lessons focusing on the handwriting families we follow within school. The children are provided with a range of pencils, pens, and other media to encourage them to write as much as possible. We hope to inspire children to write independently after they have been introduced to writing skills in their phonics sessions.


Children are taught maths through a shared adult input and application within the classroom activities. We also use maths enhancement activities in the different areas in the classroom, including the outdoors. The main aim of the maths curriculum is to teach children to be able to subitise numbers to ten automatically as soon as possible. We begin in Nursery by concentrating on numbers to five. In Reception, follow the NCETM Mastering Number programme of study. Children also learn shape, space and measure skills and knowledge through guided work and as activities in the enhanced provision. Children who need extra help with mathematics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff. In Reception, we like to have number sessions each afternoon where we practise correct number formation and play games focusing on applying our maths knowledge and skills for that week.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

We strive to give children knowledge about the world around them at The John Bamford Primary School and the rest of the world. Science is taught through most of our adventures. For example, we observe ice in our ‘What Sparkles and Shines?’ adventure and investigate how ice melts and forms through real hands-on experiences. We are extremely fortunate to have a lovely outdoor area at our school. Staff are very knowledgeable about wildlife and plant species, and endeavour to pass this knowledge onto children at every opportunity. Our ‘How does your garden grow?’ adventure links particularly well to our nature walks, and we always have frogspawn hatching in our school pond as well as chicks hatching in Reception so that children are encouraged to see nature changing over time.

Geography is taught, including maps and countries of the world, through many of our adventures. We introduce the children to History learning through a historical enquiry questions. For example, we look at how we have changed since birth. We teach RE throughout the year based on celebrations, including the story of Diwali, The Christmas Story and The Easter Story so that children are introduced to different beliefs and cultures.

Expressive Arts and Design

There is a buzz of Music, dance and drama at The John Bamford Primary School. We want children to sing songs, make music, dance and perform. We regularly have music playing and being performed within the setting and dances and performances taking place on our stages. Children are given time and are encouraged to play imaginative games and make up stories, songs and dances.

In Art, the children are taught how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. We study artists and experience skills used by real artists. Child-initiated art activities are encouraged during continuous provision as well as art and crafts being taught by the staff. We endeavour that children leave Reception with good art skills, as well as encouraging them to use their own ideas and techniques in their art and design work.



Click on the links below to see Nursery and Reception's Long Term Plan:


Early Years Foundation Stage Long term Plan 

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Goals