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Verwood Church of England First School and Nursery

Early Years

At Verwood First School we believe that a good early education is the foundation for later success, ensuring a rich varied curriculum is at the heart of a positive start to education. Reception is an important year which evolves as the terms progress; we have a high expectation so that the children are readily prepared for the start of the National Curriculum in year 1.

We understand that play is fundamental to children’s development and therefore it remains a very important part of our Early Years curriculum. We provide an appropriate balance of child initiated and whole class teaching which applies to all learning styles of our young learners.  

Structured and free play provides every opportunity for children to develop their thinking: to explore, investigate and solve problems. Within a safe and stimulating environment, they learn self-confidence, self-respect and a belief in their own abilities. 

The development of the whole child is a fundamental element of our broad, yet balanced curriculum – ensuring that their emotional and spiritual development is weighted equally with other areas of learning.

There are seven areas of learning in the EYFS: three prime areas and four specific. Each of these areas is underpinned by characteristics of effective learning. These characteristics explore the ways in which each child engages with other people and their environment and support the child to remain an engaged and motivated learner. 

 Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • Playing and Explaining
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and thinking critically

Areas of learning and development:

Prime areas – these develop quickly in response to experiences sand relationships, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas are fundamental throughout the EYFS.

  • Personal, emotional and social development – developing confidence and awareness of self and others, sharing and taking turns, developing an understanding of what is right and wrong and why, forming positive relationships with adults and peers.
  • Physical development – fine motor skills, manipulation of materials and equipment (e.g. pencil grip). Gross motor skills including large and small PE apparatus, balance and co-ordination.
  • Communication and language – developing confidence when speaking in front of a group, exploring new words and phrases, listening to others and responding appropriately, focus and attention, asking questions to further understanding, role play and imagination. 

Specific areas – include essential skills and knowledge. These grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning. 

  • Literacy – strategies for reading and writing, pencil control, comprehension, letter formation.
  • Mathematics – handling number, problem solving, sorting, exploring shape and space, developing mathematical language to explore the world around them.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world – people and communities, awareness of a range of technology, asking questions about the world we live in.
  • Expressive arts and design – expression of ideas and emotions through dance, role play, music and art using a range of tools and equipment.