Crown Wood Primary

Crown Wood
Primary School

Early Years / Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Curriculum Intent

We are committed to providing the best possible early education for all our children at Crown Wood Primary School and within the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The unique child

We want our children to be independent thinkers and effective communicators who are capable, confident and self-assured. We want our children to be constantly developing their curiosity and resilience whilst learning to be strong through positive relationships where there is equality of opportunity for all.

Enabling environments

We believe in providing all children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on each individual’s wants, needs and interests.  We value the importance of our outdoor and indoor environments and believe that these offer children the opportunity to think creatively and critically and develop problem solving skills.

Learning and development

Our children have the opportunity to learn through play. Learning will be active, engaging and suitably challenging; recognising that children develop and learn at different rates.

Adults provide high quality interactions, are role models for learning, teach children skills and provide experiences which ensure their well-being and success now and in the future. Fundamental to this is consistently high quality learning opportunities that develop a rich vocabulary, practise and review skills and knowledge so that what children know, can remember and do is strong. Our children benefit from strong partnerships between all adults and parents/carers.

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

Through playing and exploring we want children to be given opportunities to investigate activities with a ‘have a go’ attitude. We expect learning to be active and encourage children to use their own ideas and make links within their learning by creating and thinking critically. 

Our curriculum is based on the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) and Development Matters, the non-statutory curriculum guidance for EYFS.  The IEYC uses international best practices, holistic enquiry and play-based approaches that cover all curriculum areas including personal, social and emotional development.   IEYC learning units are based around exciting themes that capture children’s natural curiosity.   


Our curriculum follows eight learning principles essential to children’s learning and development:

  1. The earliest years of life are important in their own right.
  2. Children should be supported to learn and develop at their own unique pace.
  3. Play is an essential aspect of all children’s learning and development.
  4. Learning happens when developmentally appropriate, teacher-scaffolded and child initiated experiences harness children’s natural curiosity in an enabling environment.
  5. Independent and interdependent learning experiences create a context for personal development and are the foundation of international mindedness.
  6. Knowledge and skills development lead to an increasing sense of understanding when children are provided with opportunities to explore and express their ideas in multiple ways.
  7. Ongoing assessment, in the form of evaluation and reflection, is effective when it involves a learning-link with the home.
  8. Learning should be motivating, engaging and fun, opening up a world of wonder for children where personal interests can flourish.

In Nursery and Reception classes, children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities and challenges.  In Reception, the weekly timetable is structured so children have directed teaching themed topics (based on the IEYC), mathematics and phonics every day.  There are also regular ‘circle time’ sessions focussing on communication and language and personal, social and emotional development.  Some sessions are taught through group work where children work independently or with a member of staff, allowing them to systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions and to provide real-time verbal feedback.

Children are provided with time to engage in exploration through a variety of experiences in and outside of the classroom.  These experiences are planned to support all areas of the children development as well as to promote sustained thinking and active learning.   As part of this, children in EYFS regularly use our Forest School.  This provision particularly supports physical development, personal, social and emotional development and communication and language skills.

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.  We use the Read, Write, Inc (RWI) phonics scheme to support the teaching of reading.  Whole class texts are chosen from our reading spine to link with IEYC themes.  Children also enjoy reading and listening to a variety of books and stories through high quality 1:1 guided reading and ‘talk through stories’ sessions.  These help to develop vocabulary and comprehension skills, develop familiarity with high quality texts and provide a model for reading with expression.  Children have access to books which are matched to their phonetic ability, but also those which are linked to themes and their interests.

Our mathematics curriculum emphasises the key concepts of number, calculation and shape, space and measures.  Children learn knowledge and skills through games and tasks using manipulatives which are then rehearsed and applied during exploration and adult lead activities.   Collaborative and practical mathematics experiences are carefully designed to help children remember what they’ve been taught and to integrate their new knowledge into larger concepts.

Our inclusive approach means all children learn together, but if children are not making progress or finding particular areas of the curriculum difficult, additional support and interventions are put in place.  This might include access to the Nurture Team to support with personal’ social and emotional development or additional adult support in other areas.  Children who are capable are given additional challenge. 

For the current annual overviews and class timetables for Nursery and Reception:

Nursery Reception


Our curriculum is designed to help children work towards achieving the overall curriculum aims and specifically, to meet the early learning goals (ELGs) and be at a 'Good Level of Development' by the end of EYFS. 

Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Teachers and support staff observe and talk to the children while they are learning, playing and interacting with others in order to identify their level of achievement, interests and characteristics of effective learning.  These observations are used to both shape future planning and to support or challenge a child ‘in the moment’. Parents and carers are involved in the process through the use of ‘Tapestry’, which allows interaction and the sharing of information between home and school. 

Summative assessments are completed half-termly and are recorded on Target Tracker.  Teachers use this software to identify gaps in learning and to shape future planning and provision.  ‘Pupil progress meetings’ are held to identify and address underachievement.

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) regularly monitor the effectiveness of teaching and the curriculum through formal observations, ‘drop-ins’, data analysis, talking to the children, ‘pupil voice’ and other activities.  The Trust’s Director of Primary Education visits the school regularly to quality assure this work.  The SLT report to the school’s Governing Body and to the Trust’s Standards Committee.  Governors / trustees ask questions and undertake focussed visits to the school to look at a specific aspect of teaching, learning and curriculum.  

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