Moorside Community Primary School

Early Years, Nursery & Reception

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Moorside Primary School sidebar image

Early Years Foundation Stage At Moorside Primary School


We are proud of the ambitious, meaningful and progressive curriculum that we provide all of our children enabling them:

To go further than we thought possible.
To run faster than we hoped.
To reach higher than we dreamed.
To become the best that we can be.

The Early Years Foundation Stage framework provides the underpinning principles for all learning and development in our Nursery and Reception classes. We intend for our children to be happy, resilient and confident problem solvers who are keen to learn, share stories, develop their ideas and to think creatively. We intend for our children to leave the Early Years with the cultural capital needed to successfully continue their learning journey.


We enable children to learn holistically through play, exploration and experimentation. Supported by staff, children are encouraged to collaborate, persevere and problem solve together whilst they continually develop personal and social skills.

Our curriculum is implemented through a ‘planning in the moment’ approach which means each child receives an individual learning experience, tailored to their needs.  Our highly skilled staff team capitalise on learning moments as they arise during prolonged periods of uninterrupted play. Staff support children on their learning journey by adopting the model shown on the left hand side of the page.

By using this cycle on a moment-by-moment basis, the adult will be always alert to individual children (observation), always thinking about what it tells us about the child’s thinking (assessment), and always ready to respond by using appropriate strategies at the right moment to support children’s well-being and learning (planning for the next moment).

Our ‘focus child’ approach to observation ensures individual progress is carefully monitored whilst ensuring that staff have the time to develop high quality interactions, moving children’s learning on within the moment.  We know from research that where interactions are child led there is much more potential for them to develop and for sustained-shared thinking to take place.  Therefore, we place high value on children’s play and all of our staff have a high quality insight and knowledge of child development enabling them to enhance and extend children’s learning at the appropriate level allowing next steps to occur spontaneously.  We meet regularly with parents following their child’s focus week ensuring continuity between learning at home and school.  In addition to the detailed ‘focused child sheets’ produced, staff use See-Saw to record all ‘wow moments’ that occur and these are celebrated with parents/ carers via the app.

We have taken great care in the development of our learning environment and provide a workshop style environment indoors and outside. We regularly monitor levels of involvement to ensure that all children show strong signs of concentration, persistence and energy in their self-chosen activities.  Our resources have been selected so that they can provide endless possibilities, encouraging our children’s independence and actively promoting creativity and critical thinking skills.  Our children are learning all the time!

At key points of the year, including baseline in the autumn, children’s progress in assessed and monitored. Key actions are taken for vulnerable groups to ensure high levels of progress and attainment for all children, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, social economic background or starting points.


We believe that our approach, underpinned by the EYFS framework and research, perfectly suits the way young children learn and this is evident through the high levels of well-being and involvement our children show. Both Nursery and Reception place a heavy emphasis on tracking levels of well- being throughout the year.  Our children exceed national and we have a growing number of exceeding learners. All staff work collaboratively and with a shared vision. They ensure that through a system of focus children, highly effective adult-child interactions, child led learning and detailed record keeping - our children are learning effectively all the time.

Our Curriculum

The Early years Foundation Stage curriculum in split into 7 areas of learning.  There are three prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Communication and Lauguage; Physical Development.  These three areas underpin all learning in the four specific areas: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development is recognised as one of the building blocks of success in life. We support children’s development by helping them to interact effectively and develop positive attitudes to themselves and others. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to hear positive feedback and experience positive role models for behaviour. We support our children to be confident in who they are and to develop and understand their own feelings and other people’s feelings. We teach our children to interact with others. develop friendships and to manage different views and ideas.

Communication and Language

Being a confident communicator is an essential skill for life.  Our timetable and curriculum is carefully planned to ensure children develop the skills to be able to listen and attend, understand spoken language and to be able to confidently share their ideas with others.  There are opportunities for children to listen attentively to stories, to follow multi-step instructions and to ask and answer their own questions.  Our highly skilled staff interact sensitively with children developing their communication skills through play.

Physical Development

Our indoor and outdoor environments are carefully planned to ensure children develop in both their fine and gross motor skills.  Whether that be outside exploring our range of climbing equipment, or inside developing their fine motor skills through a range of activities including dough, construction, threading and mark making.  We actively seek to help children develop their independence and will offer support to help you promote your child’s self-help skills.


As emergent writers, children make marks and symbols and tell us what it says. We value and encourage children’s mark making and encourage children to become aware of the link between the spoken and written word. Children have daily opportunities in school to develop this emergent writing and to use many writing tools, both inside and outside. We feel strongly that children need to be excited and want to write, so provide as often as possible, a purpose for writing. We teach the correct formation of each letter during our daily phonics sessions.

Looking at and sharing books with each other and adults are amongst the most highly valued activities in school, as are speaking and listening skills. Enjoyment of books is vital for the development of language and imagination and encourages children to want to read. These are exciting beginnings of reading.  We follow the Read Write Inc phonics scheme alongside Phase One phonics from the Letters and Sounds Scheme which develops listening and spoken language.  In Reception, we teach the graphemes at a rapid pace learning how to segment new words and form the letters correctly.


Maths concepts and skills are taught predominantly through play. The environment has been developed to promote mathematical concepts such as counting, sorting, measuring, comparing quantities and pattern making. Short engaging adult-led maths sessions also used to introduce new learning.  These are carefully planned to ensure maths concepts are taught through practical resources (such as Numicon) board games and real life experiences.

Understanding the World

We believe an appreciation of the awe and wonder of the world around us is a right for every child.  Through planning in the moment we teach children to care for the environment, to share their life experiences and to use ICT in a meaningful way to support their learning.

We will take the children out into the local environment so they can learn about their world through exciting, real-life situations. We visit the park, the shop, the garage and many other places that interest the children or we have visitors come into school to share their experiences with them. The children have a weekly play session in our woods which enables them to learn about all aspects of nature and the weather.

Expressive Arts and Design

Pablo Picasso once said “Every child is an artist.”  At Moorside we believe this to be true.  There are creative workshop areas in both the Nursery and Reception classrooms and children are free to access the resources independently.  They are given time to work on their own creations and adults will sensitively work alongside teaching or introducing new skills where needed.  Our children have fantastic imaginations and through the use of many open ended resources, they are constantly surprising us with their own creations and narratives.