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Year R Learning Journeys

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

Year R (Early Years Foundation Stage):

To see the curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage, click here.  By the end of their first year in school, the Reception children aim to have covered the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for each aspect of learning, helping them to be:

  • a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  • a strong and independent person who maintains positive relationships
  • supported in an enabling environment with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time.

The prime areas of learning are:

  • communication and language
    • listening, attention & understanding
    • speaking
  • physical development
    • ​​​​​​​gross motor skills
    • fine motor skills
  • personal, social and emotional development
    • ​​​​​​​self-regulation
    • managing self
    • building relationships

The further four specific areas of learning are:

  • literacy
    • ​​​​​​​comprehension
    • word reading
    • writing
  • mathematics
    • ​​​​​​​number
    • numerical patterns
  • understanding the world
    • the natural world
    • past & present
    • people, culture & communities
  • expressive arts and design
    • creating with materials
    • being imaginative and expressive

How do we progress through each half term?

To make learning irresistible and to help the children have a sense of progression as we move through each theme we will be providing a ‘Stunning Start’ to hook them in, a ‘Marvelous Middle’ as we get into the topic and a ‘Fabulous Finish’ to draw learning together at the end of each half-term. Each of these progressive steps will be celebrated with an exciting, creative and memorable learning opportunity. For example, a class trip, a visitor in school, a ‘special event’ or inviting parents/carers in. We aim to make learning irresistible and engage every child through a relevant, connected and flexible teaching approach and look forward to sharing this learning adventure with them.  

AUTUMN 1 "All About Me"


We will be welcoming the children to school and helping them settle into / shape their new environment. Activities will encourage children to share information about themselves as well as learning about their peers and adults and making new friends. The rules and routines of school will be shared and embedded and a positive culture of helping one another and looking after our environment nurtured – ‘Growing together, Achieving together.’

Stunning Start: Introducing ‘Star of the Week’, where each child gets the chance to shine and be recognised for all the things which make him/her special.

Marvellous Middle: The ‘Share Chair’ – children are invited to take turns to talk to their friends, sing a song or tell a story.

Fabulous Finish: ‘Special Me Show’ – children get to perform on the stage, either on their own or in groups.

AUTUMN 2 "Celebrations"


This half term we will be thinking about how special days are shared and celebrated by the children and adults in our setting, as well as by others around the world. Celebrations may include; Birthdays, Harvest, Bonfire Night, and Christmas.

Stunning Start: Let’s start with a bang! – design and make 3D rockets.

Marvellous Middle: Trip to visit Father Christmas.

Fabulous Finish: Families are invited to come and watch the EYFS festive Production

SPRING 1 "Paint Me a Rainbow"


As well as learning about naming, matching and recognising colours we will also find out about colour mixing and experimenting with colour. This theme will be explored through quality texts associated with colour, such as ‘The Rainbow Fish’ and ‘Elmer’.

Stunning Start: The children create a ‘canvas of colour’ (exploring different materials and techniques) which will then be displayed to create a wall of art in the classroom.

Marvellous Middle: ‘Colour Day’– the children come to school dressed in their favourite colour (non-uniform day) and take part in various colour matching and mixing activities.

Fabulous Finish: Parents/Carers are invited into school for an afternoon of colour and rainbow making activities. You will be able to work through various tasks with your child both inside and outdoors, share work and displays and look through what they have learnt.

SPRING 2 "We're Going on a Bear Hunt"


‘Bears’ will be the main inspiration for our learning this half-term. As well as building dens and learning in an outdoor environment we will also be inviting our bears from home into school and taking them on a special picnic. We will be comparing old and new bears and toys and sharing bear related stories.

Stunning Start: Teddy bears from home are brought into school.

Marvellous Middle: Trip to Downham Heritage Centre to explore toys and games from the past and present (including bears.)

Fabulous Finish: Teddy Bears picnic. The children plan and create food and games for this fun day with our bears.

SUMMER 1 "Once Upon a Time"


This theme is inspired by traditional tales. The stories we will be focusing on are: The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk. The children will have opportunities to re-enact / perform / innovate and to learn more about characters, settings and story sequences / plots.

Stunning Start: Planting magic bean seeds.

Marvellous Middle: Creating model houses in the forest using natural materials.

Fabulous Finish: Making magic wands and creating their own magical stories.

SUMMER 2 "Changes"


At this transitional point in the academic year we will be thinking about changes, cycles, endings and new beginnings. As well as looking at the text ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle, the children will also be creating their own books. This will provide opportunities to record experiences of their first year at school as well as looking ahead to what Year 1 will hold.

Stunning Start: Children have the unforgettable opportunity to watch the miracle of metamorphosis happening within a live butterfly garden.

Marvellous Middle: Set the butterflies free.

Fabulous Finish: Parents/Carers are invited to attend the end of year Reception Graduation Ceremony.