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Early Years Curriculum Statement – Nursery and Reception

In the Early Years department at Forest Gate Academy, we aim to provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment with opportunities for children to learn and develop positive relationships with their peers and familiar adults.  We aim to work closely with parents and carers and create an effective home school partnership.

Nursery and Reception are part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Early Years Foundation Stage sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old and its framework supports an integrated approach to early learning and care.

It is our Intent at Forest Gate Academy that ‘Our EYFS setting offers the children a broad and ambitious curriculum that enables children to become confident and enthusiastic learners. This curriculum builds on what children know and can do to ensure they have the skills and knowledge for their future learning.’

In Implementing our broad and balanced curriculum which promotes the key features of retention and progression, both Nursery and Reception cover similar suggested themes and topics. This enables us to work more effectively as an Early Years unit with regard to sharing resources, ideas, planning and enrichment opportunities and providing consistent experiences and expectations for the children. In Nursery we use Mastering the Curriculum (Maths) and the Read Write Inc schemes of work alongside The Dean Trust EYFS curriculum to ensure the progression of children’s knowledge, understanding and key skills across the Early Years.

In the Early Years at Forest Gate Academy, we use Bromcom alongside Tapestry as our online assessment/tracking systems. They allow us to capture key moments of children’s learning and development, and assists us in planning experiences and activities for children. They also help us to oversee children’s progress and development throughout their time in the Early Years and allows us to share key pieces of evidence and reports with parents relating to their child’s development.

In the Early Years, children will take part in a mixture of whole class activities, group activities and individual activities.  Both the Nursery and Reception environments are organised into key learning areas such as writing, reading, creative, construction, role play, maths and sand and water.  These areas are fully equipped and enhanced to engage, stimulate and extend the children’s development and learning.  The children also have access to a well-resourced outdoor area which supports and builds upon the experiences that they receive inside.

The Early Years curriculum is split into 7 areas of learning.  There are 3 prime areas of learning – Communication and Language Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development; and Physical Development and 4 specific areas of learning – Literacy; Maths; Knowledge of the World; and Expressive Arts and Design.




Within each of the 7 areas there are progressive statements of learning which all lead into final statements called the Early Learning Goals.  It is the expectation that the majority of children will have achieved these goals by the end of Reception.

Our curriculum incorporates all 7 areas of the curriculum.  Key progressive ‘I can’ objectives are taught each term in all of these 7 areas. These are taught through a range of themes linked largely to our key texts, the seasons and festivals.

Children are taught through a combination of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Adult-led carpet sessions are complimented by continuous provision and related enhancements to maximise engagement and learning and for the children.


Communication and Language

In Nursery our communication and language focus centres on developing children’s speaking, listening and attention skills alongside broadening their vocabularies and developing their social skills. We aim to achieve this by providing a positive, language-rich environment within which we strive to develop children’s confidence and skill in expressing themselves, interacting with peers and providing opportunities for the children to speak and listen in a range of situations.

We utilise a range of stimulating activities closely linked to class themes and children’s interests to develop their communication and language fluency. These include:

  • Reading and exploring books and stories every day; Spending time talking about stories, new vocabulary spotted/used, our predictions, the characters and illustrations etc.
  • Circle times.
  • Singing songs and rhymes.
  • Role play.
  • Using puppets and small world characters.
  • Open ended continuous provision enhancements to allow children to explore and share their own narratives and ideas.
  • Introducing interesting and sometimes unusual pictures/ objects to encourage and nurture discussion and investigation e.g. objects/ artefacts at the investigation station and silly/unusual pictures displayed at snack time.
  • Modelling and extending language in areas of continuous provision.
  • Offering real life/hands on experiences in the inside and outside areas.
  • Using technology such as walkie talkies, iPad and microphones.
  • Daily games and activities focused on developing children’s listening and attention skills e.g. phase 1 phonic activities using songs, instruments etc.
  • Where needed we also run language interventions such as BLAST and Early Talk Boost alongside bespoke small group and 1-1 interventions where needed.


Physical Development

Within the EYFS physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development and well-being. Children are given daily opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills both indoors and outdoors. Through PE lessons and use of the outdoor area, adults support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. Fine motor control is developed by providing repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, art and crafts and the use of small tools. Children regularly engage in mark-making and handwriting activities.



We strive to support the holistic development of all children. In the early years, we work hard to develop children’s confidence and social skills by supporting and modelling peer interactions. Children’s emotional regulation is developed through stories, adult supported co-regulation, focused circle times, 1-1 interactions and continuous provision enhancements. Fair and consistent boundaries through our school rules, rainbow reward system and circle times support children to regulate their behaviour and negotiate with peers. Frequent activities and discussion around personal hygiene and healthy lifestyle habitats support children to become increasingly independent in self-care.

Reading and Literacy

Nursery reading and Literacy sessions centre on developing their listening, language and communication skills alongside nurturing their passion for reading and sharing books and stories.

Our main learning aims within Nursery Literacy are:

  • To develop children’s passion for reading.
  • To develop children’s imaginations.
  • To develop children’s comprehension skills.
  • To develop children’s listening and attention skills.
  • To develop children’s communication and language fluency- they are encouraged to speak in full sentences-speech is recast and extended to further children.
  • To develop children’s knowledge of story structures and language.
  • To further extend children’s vocabulary.
  • Children learn how to hold and turn the pages in a book.
  • Children are encouraged to learn stories orally off by heart through our Talk4Writing approach.
  • Children are keen to explore and create their own stories.
  • Children become confident to share their ideas and opinions.

We aim to achieve these learning goals through using a range of fun and engaging approaches and activities during literacy carpet sessions including Talk for writing but also through literacy linked continuous provision enhancements such as story role play with masks and puppets and story map template sheets etc.

To further enhance children’s comprehension skills, the children have weekly oral comprehension sessions with additional stories based around the class learning topics and/or their interests where they are encouraged to talk about what story they have read as a small group/ 1-1.



In Nursery, phonics is taught as a daily session. Nursery phonics focuses on developing children’s listening and attention skills alongside developing their speech and broadening their vocabulary. Our key focus is on developing children’s ability to tune into and identify sounds. We use a range of fun, stimulating and engaging activities to explore early phonic (phase 1) activities in line with our whole school Read Write Inc Phonic Scheme.




By the end of Nursery, we aim for all children to be fluent at tuning into sounds and competent to orally blend and segment at least CVC words.



Our writing focus within Nursery is centred on encouraging and develop children’s mark-making skills and confidence. We work hard to develop children’s gross and fine motor skills alongside developing their pen grip and control so that they are ready to begin their journey into writing. We achieve this through offering a daily range of gross and fine motor control activities, daily dough disco’s and regular write dance sessions alongside providing a wide range of mark-making materials daily. Children are immersed in a writing rich environment where words, letters and sounds are continually modelled and children are actively encouraged to explore their mark-making potential. Our children begin to explore purposeful writing through learning to write their names.



It is our aim to create confident mathematicians who have a lifelong love of maths. We focus on developing children’s fluency of number and reasoning skills as well as other mathematical areas including shape, space and measure.

Children take part in daily maths sessions and are given opportunities to practice these skills in continuous provision.

In Nursery we follow the Mastering The Curriculum schemes of work as a guide to teach maths in a systematic and progressive manner.

The children cover the following units across the year:



Understanding the World

We provide a wide range of personal experiences to increase children’s knowledge and sense of the world around them. Stories, workshops, cultural visits and visitors from the local community enrich children’s understanding of different people, places and communities. Classroom enhancements and discussions are used to develop children’s understanding of the technologically, socially, culturally and ecologically diverse world and widen their vocabulary.

Expressive Art and Design

Children are actively encouraged to explore and engage with a broad range of art and design materials, music, dance and songs to support their imagination, creativity and expression. Children are supported to explore their own ideas and develop their skills and confidence in the arts.

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