Our curriculum


“The curriculum is rich and exciting and promotes all aspects of literacy and numeracy extremely well. Children’s physical health and well-being are promoted especially well through the use of the outdoor area, and the nearby forest school.” Ofsted 2015

Parents and staff have put together three books about our curriculum: 

Why it matters - creativity

Why it matters - sharing stories

Why it matters - being outdoors

Children develop quickly in the early years, staff aim to do all they can to help children have the best possible start in life. A child’s experiences in the Early Years have a major impact on their future life chances.

The curriculum is about the all-round development of children. Everything that your child does, sees, hears, touches, smells and tastes is the curriculum because this is the way she/he learns about their world.

The way in which children engage with other people and their environment is through playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically. Play is a very important part of all children’s development; play and learning cannot be divided during the earliest years. 

Everything in the environment has been put there for a purpose, to help children acquire the skills they need. 

Children have access to a variety of materials including sand, water, paint, collage materials, large and small construction sets, large and small role play areas, music resources, books, mark-making, jigsaws, dough, maths games and ICT equipment (including computers in the 3/4 rooms.

Outdoors children can run, climb, explore natural and reclaimed resources, use wheeled toys and take care of the garden.  Children are encouraged to make their own choices.

Children’s spiritual and moral development is an important aspect of their whole development. We foster this through giving children opportunities to share the wonder of the world, e.g. looking at the beauty in the world around them, a new baby, animals, flowers; helping them develop responsibility towards friends, other people and the environment.

Birth–2s Room

The Birth to 2s room is purpose built to provide a cosy, safe and stimulating space for babies and toddlers aged from birth to 2 years.

2 – 3s Rooms (Blue and Green)

These rooms are specially designed with a wide range of age-appropriate activities that the children can choose from, and access to the outside area. Some children may be eligible for a free 2 Year Old place, please call in for more information.

3 – 4s Classes (Red and Yellow)

Red and Yellow classes provide a stimulating environment for children aged 3 – 4 years. Children can flow freely between the classrooms and the outside area, and are able choose what activities they participate in.

Outdoor Area

Children enjoy playing outside and learn a great deal from the outdoor environment. They are not only developing their physical skills but are learning across all areas of the curriculum. Outdoor play is available all year round and sometimes this can be very messy! We therefore ask you to send children in clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty, and are appropriate for the weather. We also take children out on visits throughout the year.

The Studio

The Studio is a purpose built space, providing a great space for large group activities, such as art, singing and heuristic play.

“Teaching is outstanding. Thoughtfully planned activities mean each child learns to the best of their ability.” Ofsted 2015

The broad and balanced curriculum is differentiated to suit each child’s abilities, interests and personality. There is a balance between child and adult initiated tasks. We make the best use of facilities on-site and in the locality (including a Forest School). The curriculum is further enhanced by the work of other professionals, including a music specialist and a community artist.

We believe there are strong links between children’s motivation, self-esteem and independence which lead to high achievement.

Each room has experienced and highly-qualified staff. Staff fully involve themselves with the children; they look, listen and note what children do so they can challenge and further extend learning. Staff record observations in children’s individual Records of Achievement. Children’s learning is assessed against age-related developmental milestones; this tracking of development is evidenced in children’s individual Records of Achievement.

In 2/3 and 3/4 rooms towards the end of the morning and the afternoon there are adult-led sessions to introduce children to new ideas, provide opportunities for them to develop their skills and ensure they experience all areas of learning.

Staff at St Edmund’s use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old as a basis to plan appropriate learning and development experiences based on children’s individual interests.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage identifies 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning. The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life and are fundamental to children's successful learning in the specific areas. There is a focus on the prime areas for younger children, with gradual building in of support in the specific areas for older children, as they develop. The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills.

Prime Areas:

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to have confidence in their own abilities; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; and to understand appropriate behaviour.

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement; to understand the importance of physical activity; and to make healthy choices in relation to food and rest.

Specific Areas:

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials; also providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage: 

https://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/03/4Children_ParentsGuide_2015_WEB.pdf