Liddell Street, Silloth, Cumbria, CA7 4DR

016973 31243

Silloth Primary School

Children Come First

Early Years Curriculum 

'The early years provision is led exceptionally well and children have an excellent start to their education. They are fully prepared for the demands of Year 1.'

(Ofsted 2017)

What to Expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage

(Nursery & Reception)

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

(Nursery and Reception)

  • The Early Years Foundation Stage applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year.
  • At Silloth Primary School children are admitted to Nursery in the term following their third birthday moving into the Reception class in the September following their fourth birthday.
  • The Early Years Framework consists of seven areas of learning. They are split in to prime and specific Areas.  

 The Prime Areas                                                                               The specific Areas

Communication and Language                                                              Literacy

Physical Development                                                                             Maths

Personal, Social and Emotional Development                                    Understanding the World

                                                                                                                    Expressive Arts and Design

Principles of EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage is based on four themes:

  • A Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning and Development

The Characteristics of effective learning. (Refer to how children learn)

  • Playing and Exploring- children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’;
  • Active Learning- children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
  • Creating and thinking critically- children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The Leuven scales of well-being and involvement are a crucial part of Early Years.

Adults ensure children feel safe and are happy as children with high well-being will be motivated and engaged, thus highly involved in their learning.

Please see below for links to more information about the Early Years curriculum.

(New framework from 4th Jan 2024)

Our Early Years Curriculum at Silloth Primary School

Our Early Years Curriculum Plan has been designed to specifically meet the unique needs of our individual cohorts.

In our Early Years setting at Silloth Primary School, we value the importance of learning through play and use this at the centre of our curriculum to ensure children come first!

  • In Nursery and Reception we ensure our curriculum meets the requirements of the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • We use CUSP Early Foundations as our curriculum framework which identifies the knowledge we want all children to know and remember. Our children build knowledge and skills over the Nursery and Reception years to ensure they are ready to progress through the KS1 curriculum.  
  • This planning framework links to the Statutory Framework for the EYFS. All areas of learning and development and their respective aspects as well as the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning form the basis of the curriculum.

  The CUSP Early Foundations Curriculum

The CUSP Early Foundations offer is presented in three parts:

  • Foundational knowledge: what pupils should know and be able to do throughout the EYFS and how this will support their development and prepare them for success in Key Stage 1 and beyond
  • Opportunities and experiences: how this foundational knowledge can be learnt through play and through guided activities that will allow pupils to explore, experiment with and think hard about new and important concepts
  • Structured Story Time: core texts that will introduce key language, ideas and themes that pupils will need to access the foundational knowledge, built into a framework that uses all that we know about effective literacy instruction.

What does this look like in practice? 

 Foundational Knowledge

  • For each area of learning, granular detail about what pupils should know and be able to do as they move through the phases of the EYFS
  • The ‘end points’

Structured Story Time

  • The core texts that will introduce pupils to the language, ideas and concepts that they will need to secure at different points through the EYFS
  • The ‘hook’

Opportunities and Experiences

  • Ideas for how pupils will embed the foundational knowledge through direct teaching, guided activity and independent play
  • The ‘menu’

  What do we mean by Opportunities and Experiences?

  • The Foundational Knowledge and Progression documents outline the key concepts that we want pupils to learn and how their application of knowledge will become more advanced throughout the EYFS.
  • The Opportunities and Experiences document acts as a menu for practitioners to select ideas for how core aspects of learning can be built into provision so that pupils can develop their understanding of the key concepts that they have learned. This is not exhaustive and practitioners will need to be responsive to the young people in their care.
  • We have deliberately built this around learning, not activity, so that we keep the focus on how pupils interact with the knowledge and skills acquired through the curriculum.

We want our curriculum to start with the children and build on what they already know and can do. We value children’s different starting points and individual learning journeys, therefore the CUSP framework plan is used, with flexibility to tailor to the identified needs and interests of the children.

In Nursery we also offer phase one phonics teaching and learning, using guides from Singing phonics and Is it time to play? Later progressing to elements from the RWINC Nursery Handbook.

Maths teaching and learning is influenced by Karen Wilding from EY Maths, developing practitioner subject knowledge in teaching of maths concepts through the environment and play. 

In Reception, we also use specific schemes as an overall framework for subject areas:

  • Read Write Inc: Reading and Phonics
  • White Rose: Maths mastery/NCETM
  • P:E- Get Set 4 P.E.
  • Access Art-Art  and Design and Technology
  • Charanga- Music
  • ORAL Health in the EYFS

Oral health is woven though our curriculum ensuring that children are given opportunities to learn about good teeth brushing, healthy eating and develop the physical


What will you see in our setting?

As part of our practice you will see:

  • Happy children, feeling safe and confident to learn (well-being and involvement)
  • The 4 core principles of EYFS and the Characteristics of effective learning at the core of our provision and practice to develop life skills
  • Teaching and play as one- quality interactions in an enabling, stimulating environment.
  • A well thought out routine to ensure learning is continuous throughout the day.
  • Children using real and authentic resources to appeal to their natural curiosities and desires.
  • Children using loose parts, real objects and real experiences as this encourages deeper thinking and gives them a stronger sense of the world.
  • Staff being fascinated by children and responding to children’s interests and needs whether it be ‘in the moment’ or through planned projects.
  • Quality interactions and skilled adults knowing how to move learning on through their knowledge of the child and the curriculum.
  • Explicit teaching using CUSP Early Foundations to shape our curriculum framework and daily structured story time with foundational knowledge and new vocabulary at the core.
  • Explicit teaching of phonics and maths in Reception with opportunities in play and the environment to embed this learning.
  • No limits to learning areas and free flow between the environments so that children can make good links in their learning and transfer skills.
  • Lots of consolidation of previous knowledge, skills and understanding because that’s how building blocks are made.
  • Reduced visual noise- a calming environment conductive to learning and concentration.
  • Children can be heard- communication at the centre of our practice!
  • Play residue- The provision is used and accessible by all. This appears messy but we are still in training!