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Early Years Education

The Early Years Education we deliver at Greenfield is ambitious and carefully sequenced to help the children build on their learning over time. The prime areas of learning lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life. In Fledglings, Owls and Robins, children will engage in activities that will encourage children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. These skills are a driving force behind helping children as they learn to form relationships, moderate emotions and thrive in their day-to-day life. As the children move into Reception, there is a greater focus on teaching the essential skills and knowledge in the specific areas of learning in preparation for Year 1.

Our Curriculum

We deliver The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old. Our pedagogy is a combination that is curated to fit the needs of the child. Each child requires a different diet including time on the carpet, self-directed time, teacher led time and indoor and outdoor play. Activities and lessons are planned carefully and Early Years staff plan in collaboration with each other to ensure continuity and progression. We are guided by the EYFS as our top-level plan of everything we want the children to achieve in Early Years. The breadth of the curriculum from an early age encourages and develops skills from the very beginning of the children’s education.

The curriculum we deliver is organised into seven main areas of learning which shape the educational programme for children in our Early Years department.

Three prime areas of learning and development:

Communication and Language

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. We read frequently to children, and engage them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and provide them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. We will comment on what children are interested in or doing, and echo back what they say with new vocabulary added to build children’s language effectively.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is an integral part of learning and is taught throughout all areas of the curriculum. Emotional well-being, social competence and understanding and demonstrating respect for others are important life skills that are taught. Children are supported to manage their emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, persist and wait for what they want and direct their attention as necessary.

Physical Development 

Children will be supported with the development of their fine and gross motor skills by taking part in a variety of activities throughout the day. We have found that being immersed in an environment that provides a range of multisensory activities is highly effective for the development of young children’s fine and gross motor skills. Gross motor development is given a very high priority and children enjoy exploring opportunities to develop these skills in daily indoor and outdoor activities, including use of the onsite Forest School, PE and Dance lessons. Through opportunities to be active, children develop co-ordination, control and precision of movement. Children will also develop strength and the habit of exercise, as well as precision when using small tools correctly.

And four specific areas of learning and development:


The Early Years department is a text rich learning environment. Reading consists of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension. Each classroom contains a vast selection of books from which the children are told stories and rhymes from a variety of cultures. Early reading skills are developed through the enjoyment of books and stories being read to the children, through mimicry of reading habits and through the teaching of letter sounds and shapes. The children are introduced to letters of the alphabet phonetically and will complete stimulating activities to consolidate their understanding and ignite their love of learning. When developing writing, spelling and handwriting are taught as well as composition. Children are encouraged to articulate ideas and structure them in speech and writing.


Mathematics is an interactive and practical subject in Early Years. It covers many strands including number, simple calculations, shape, space, measure and problem solving. Recognition of numbers, their value and formation to ten is taught daily. The children will learn how to tackle a range of tasks and solve real life problems by applying their understanding in practical ways. Children are given opportunities to apply their growing understanding of the mathematical world to the world around them to become masters of number.

Understanding the World 

Your child will learn about the world around them and develop their understanding of this through creative and cross-curricular teaching. Science, History, Geography, ICT and Religious Education are all included in this area of the curriculum. The use of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems help to foster each and every child’s understanding of our culturally, socially and ecologically diverse world. Children are given the opportunity to enrich and widen their vocabulary which will support later reading comprehension.

Expressive Arts and Design 

The art of discovery is extremely important and exciting for small children. Children are given the opportunity to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Opportunities and encouragement to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, dance and role-play are provided regularly.

Beyond the Classroom

There are many of opportunities for exploration and experiences beyond the classroom in Early Years. The children enjoy spending time outdoors in our Forest School and Early Years playground where they learn to run, climb, ride and get their hands dirty. Our vast extracurricular programme includes a range of clubs available to children from Robins, including; Baby Ballet, Multi Skills and Little Literacy.

Most recently, we have taken the children on educational visits to Little Street, Painshill Park and a tour of the local neighbourhood with a trip to the post box.

The children in Early Years participate in ‘Activities Week’ annually in which many workshops, visitors and extraordinary activities are planned. In recent years this has included; a reptile workshop, pottery painting, a magic show and unicorn rides.

We enjoy inviting parents and carers into school to deliver workshops on Literacy and Numeracy and embrace their passion for reading during our termly Native Language reading event.

Beyond the Classroom