Early Years Foundation Stage

We are delighted to welcome you to Sayes Court Nursery and Reception where we believe that children learn best when they feel safe, happy and are presented with a wealth of stimulating opportunities. Our highly trained Teachers and Learning Support Assistants organise our inside and outside environments to reflect this ethos. All children in our Nursery and Reception develop their interests and are able to learn and play in an extremely warm, caring and friendly atmosphere.

We believe in making your child’s journey through each phase of school as smooth as possible and to ensure that this starts as early as possible, our Nursery and Reception teams work closely together.  

We recognise that parents are a child’s first teacher and respect our combined role in nurturing your child.  We therefore encourage parental engagement and believe that warm, caring and trusting relationships between staff, children and parents are pivotal to our success. We value your contributions and endeavour to fully involve you in the life of our school. 

We believe in keeping you fully informed about your child’s time in Nursery and Reception and have various ways in which we share information including the following:

  • Written reports sent home three times a year
  • Parents’ evening twice a year
  • Tapestry an online journal where your child’s learning is recorded and shared with you and where you can also upload and share learning from home
  • Dojo – instant messaging system which allows the Nursery Teacher and parents to send and receive messages
  • Events throughout the year which Parents are invited to attend including Sports Morning, reading and stay and play events to mention a few

Before your child starts at our Nursery or Reception class, the teacher will have a phone consultation with you. This provides the perfect opportunity for us to get to know each other better and for you and your child to ask any questions or share any worries you may have about them starting. We also invite you and your child to come and play during one of our settling in sessions.

Sayes Court Nursery

On joining our Nursery your child will be assigned a Key Worker who will provide a supportive relationship for your child whilst they are away from home. Your child will take part in individual or small group focussed sessions with their Key Worker.  The Key Worker will work closely with the Nursery Teacher to gather evidence about your child’s learning and make sure that they are flourishing in all areas including socially, academically, physically and spiritually.  

We pride ourselves on giving your child the best early year’s education they can receive.

  • A wonderful early year’s environment in which your 2 to 5-year-old can grow and flourish
  • Amazing staff who are friendly, energetic, caring and incredibly passionate about the EYFS
  • 30 hours per week childcare (30-hour funding entitlement for eligible 3 and 4 year olds) 
  • FEET funding for eligible 2 year olds
  • Open Monday to Friday during term time
  • Two-and-a-half-day attendance pattern (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, Friday) 
  • Freshly cooked lunches on site

Learning is shared with parents via Tapestry which is an online journal.  To find out more about Tapestry and how you can use this as a parent, click on the link below:

Tapestry guide

Please contact the office on 01932-845093 if you would like any additional information, an application form or to arrange a tour of the Nursery and School.   We look forward to welcoming you and your child!

Please note that children attending the Nursery at Sayes Court will not automatically qualify for a place in our Reception Class in the year that they turn 5.  There is a separate admissions process to join Reception.  Please visit our Admissions section of the website for further information.

Tax-Free Childcare Voucher Scheme:

The school is registered to accept the Tax-Free Childcare Voucher Scheme for the Nursery, Breakfast club and the school’s after school clubs. 

If you wish to use this Government Scheme you will need to first register with a provider and the provider will contact the school direct.  To find out more about the school please visit the Government site;

Get Tax-Free Childcare: step by step - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Please can you advise the school of the activity you wish the payment to be allocated against when you have instructed your provider to make a payment.

We regret this scheme can not be used for school trips.

Nursery admission & parent contract

Sayes Court School Reception Class

At the beginning of the Reception year, the teacher will administer the Baseline Assessment with each individual child. The test is taken on an iPad: the teacher reads the questions and the pupil answer them independently.


At the end of EYFS, the expectation nationally is that children will achieve a Good Level of Development (GLD). In order to achieve the GLD, children must reach the Early Learning Goals (ELG) in the Prime and Specific areas of learning.

Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language Development

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy Development
  • Mathematics Development
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The learning milestones of the various areas can be found in the Development Matters document.  Teacher and practitioners use this document to plan a child’s journey through learning and to guide their assessment of each child.  This document can be accessed by clicking on the link below:

Early Years Curriclum Development Matters

Depending on whether or not they meet or exceed the ELGs in the various areas of learning, the following descriptors will be used to report outcomes for each child:

  • Emerging (1) - yet to be secure in the end of year expectations.
  • Expected (2) - solidly secure in the end of year expectations.

Data for EYFS is tracked on Arbor and learning is shared with parents via Tapestry which is an online journal.  To find out more about Tapestry and how you can use this as a parent, click on the link below:

Tapestry guide

Development Matters

In EYFS we make use of Development Matters document to ensure children meet their developmental milestones. We believe that theme based learning enables children to make connections across all areas of the learning enabling a strong foundation to be built in preparation for the rest of their primary education and beyond.

If you would like to find out more about Development Matters and the National Curriculum, click on the links below.

Development Matters - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

EYFS Progression of Skills and Knowledge

Communication and Language (C+L)

Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Turn towards familiar sounds. They are also startled by loud noises and accurately locate the source of a familiar person’s voice, such as their key person or a parent.
  • Gaze at faces, copying facial expressions and movements like sticking out their tongue. Make eye contact for longer periods.
  • Watch someone’s face as they talk.
  • Copy what adults do, taking ‘turns’ in conversations (through babbling) and activities. Try to copy adult speech and lip movements.
  • Enjoy singing, music and toys that make sounds.
  • Recognise and are calmed by a familiar and friendly voice.
  • Listen and respond to a simple instruction.
  • Make sounds to get attention in different ways (for example, crying when hungry or unhappy, making gurgling sounds, laughing, cooing or babbling).
  • Babble, using sounds like ‘ba- ba’, ‘mamama’.
  • Use gestures like waving and pointing to communicate.
  • Reach or point to something they want while making sounds.
  • Copy your gestures and words.
  • Constantly babble and use single words during play.
  • Use intonation, pitch and changing volume when ‘talking’.
  • Understand single words in context – ‘cup’, ‘milk’, ‘daddy’.
  • Understand frequently used words such as ‘all gone’, ‘no’ and ‘bye-bye’.
  • Understand simple instructions like “give to mummy” or “stop”.
  • Recognise and point to objects if asked about them.
  • Generally focus on an activity of their own choice and find it difficult

to be directed by an adult.

  • Listen to other people’s talk with interest, but can easily be distracted by other things.
  • Can become frustrated when they can’t make themselves understood.
  • Start to say how they are feeling, using words as well as actions.
  • Start to develop conversation, often jumping from topic to topic.
  • Develop pretend play: ‘putting the baby to sleep’ or ‘driving the car to the shops’.
  • Use the speech sounds p, b, and m, w.
  • Are usually still learning to pronounce:
    • L/r/w/y            - s/sh/ch/dz/j/f/th and multi-syllabic words such as ‘banana’ and ‘computer’.
  • Listen to simple stories and understand what is happening, with the help of the pictures.
  • Identify familiar objects and properties for practitioners when they are described. For example: ‘Katie’s coat’, ‘blue car’, ‘shiny apple’.
  • Understand and act on longer sentences like ‘make teddy jump’ or

‘find your coat’.

Understand simple questions about ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ (but generally not ‘why’)


  • Enjoy listening to longer stories and can remember much of what happens.
  • Can find it difficult to pay attention to more than one thing at a time.
  • Use a wider range of vocabulary.
  • Understand a question or instruction that has two parts, such as “Get your coat and wait at the door”.
  • Understand ‘why’ questions, like: “Why do you think the caterpillar got so fat?”
  • Sing a large repertoire of songs.
  • Know many rhymes, be able to talk about familiar books, and be able to tell a long story.
  • Develop their communication, but may continue to have problems with irregular tenses and plurals, such as ‘runned’ for ‘ran’, ‘swimmed’ for ‘swam’.
  • May have problems saying:
    • some sounds: r, j, th, ch, and sh
    • multisyllabic words such as ‘pterodactyl’, ‘planetarium’ or ‘hippopotamus’
  • Use longer sentences of four to six words.
  • Be able to express a point of view and to debate when they disagree with an adult or a friend, using words as well as actions.
  • Can start a conversation with an adult or a friend and continue it for many turns.
  • Use talk to organise themselves and their play: “Let’s go on a bus... you sit there... I’ll be the driver.”
  • Understand how to listen carefully and why listening is important.
  • Learn new vocabulary.
  • Use new vocabulary through the day.
  • Ask questions to find out more and to check they understand what has been said to them.
  • Articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.
  • Connect one idea or action to another using a range of connectives.
  • Describe events in some detail.
  • Use talk to help work out problems and organise thinking and activities explain how things work and why they might happen.
  • Develop social phrases.
  • Engage in story times.
  • Listen to and talk about stories to build familiarity and understanding.
  • Retell the story, once they have developed a deep familiarity with the text; some as exact repetition and some in their own words.
  • Use new vocabulary in different contexts.
  • Listen carefully to rhymes and songs, paying attention to how they sound.
  • Learn rhymes, poems and songs.
  • Engage in non-fiction books.
  • Listen to and talk about selected non-fiction to develop a deep familiarity with new knowledge and vocabulary.

Listening, Attention and Understanding

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions.
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding.
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.


  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary.

Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate.

  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Find ways to calm themselves, through being calmed and comforted by their key person.
  • Establish their sense of self.
  • Express preferences and decisions. They also try new things and start establishing their autonomy.
  • Engage with others through gestures, gaze and talk.
  • Use that engagement to achieve a goal. For example, gesture towards their cup to say they want a drink.
  • Find ways of managing transitions, for example from their parent to their key person.
  • Thrive as they develop self-assurance.
  • Look back as they crawl or walk away from their key person. Look for clues about how to respond to something interesting.
  • Play with increasing confidence on their own and with other children,

because they know their key person is nearby and available.

  • Feel confident when taken out around the local neighbourhood, and enjoy

exploring new places with their key person.

  • Feel strong enough to express a range of emotions.
  • Grow in independence, rejecting help (“me do it”). Sometimes this leads to feelings of frustration and tantrums.
  • Begin to show ‘effortful control’. For example, waiting for a turn and resisting the strong impulse to grab what they want or push their way to the front.
  • Be increasingly able to talk about and manage their emotions.
  • Notice and ask questions about differences, such as skin colour, types of hair, gender, special needs and disabilities, and so on.
  • Develop friendships with other children.
  • Safely explore emotions beyond their normal range through play and stories.
  • Are talking about their feelings in more elaborated ways: “I’m sad because...” or “I love it when ...”.
  • Select and use activities and resources, with help when needed. This helps them to achieve a goal they have chosen, or one which is suggested to them.
  • Develop their sense of responsibility and membership of a community.
  • Become more outgoing with unfamiliar people, in the safe context of their setting.
  • Show more confidence in new social situations.
  • Play with one or more other children, extending and elaborating play ideas.
  • Help to find solutions to conflicts and rivalries. For example, accepting that not everyone can be Spider-Man in the game, and suggesting other ideas.
  • Increasingly follow rules, understanding why they are important.
  • Do not always need an adult to remind them of a rule.
  • Develop appropriate ways of being assertive.
  • Talk with others to solve conflicts.
  • Talk about their feelings using words like ‘happy’, ‘sad’, and ‘angry’ or ‘worried’.
  • Begin to understand how others might be feeling.
  • See themselves as a valuable individual.
  • Build constructive and respectful relationships.
  • Express their feelings and consider the feelings of others.
  • Show resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
  • Identify and moderate their own feelings socially and emotionally.
  • Think about the perspectives of others.
  • Manage their own needs.


  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly.
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate.
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

Managing Self

  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and

perseverance in the face of challenge.

  • Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly.
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy

food choices.

Building Relationships

  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others.
  • Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers.

Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.



Physical Development (PD)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Lift their head while lying on their front.
  • Push their chest up with straight arms.
  • Roll over: from front to back, then back to front.
  • Enjoy moving when outdoors and inside.
  • Sit without support.
  • Begin to crawl in different ways and directions.
  • Pull themselves upright and bouncing in preparation for walking.
  • Reach out for objects as co-ordination develops.
  • Eat finger food and develop likes and dislikes.
  • Try a wider range of foods with different tastes and textures.
  • Lift objects up to suck them.
  • Pass things from one hand to the other. Let go of things and hands them to another person, or drops them.
  • Gradually gain control of their whole body through continual practice of large movements, such as waving, kicking, rolling, crawling and walking.
  • Clap and stamp to music.
  • Fit themselves into spaces, like tunnels, dens and large boxes, and move around in them.
  • Enjoy starting to kick, throw and catch balls.
  • Build independently with a range of appropriate resources.
  • Begin to walk independently – choosing appropriate props to support at first.
  • Walk, run, jump and climb – and start to use the stairs independently.
  • Spin, roll and independently use ropes and swings (for example, tyre swings).
  • Sit on a push-along wheeled toy, use a scooter or ride a tricycle.
  • Develop manipulation and control.
  • Explore different materials and tools.
  • Use large and small motor skills to do things independently, for example manage buttons and zips, and pour drinks.
  • Show an increasing desire to be independent, such as wanting to feed themselves and dress or undress.
  • Learn to use the toilet with help, and then independently.
  • Continue to develop their movement, balancing, riding (scooters, trikes and bikes) and ball skills.
  • Go up steps and stairs, or climb up apparatus, using alternate feet.
  • Skip, hop, stand on one leg and hold a pose for a game like musical statues.
  • Use large-muscle movements to wave flags and
    • Streamers, paint and make marks.
  • Start taking part in some group activities which they make up for themselves, or in teams.
  • Are increasingly able to use and remember sequences and patterns of movements which are related to music and rhythm.
  • Match their developing physical skills to tasks and activities in the setting. For example, they decide whether to crawl, walk or run across a plank, depending on its length and width
  • Choose the right resources to carry out their own plan. For example, choosing a spade to enlarge a small hole they dug with a trowel.
  • Collaborate with others to manage large items, such as moving a long plank safely, carrying large hollow blocks.
  • Use one-handed tools and equipment, for example, making snips in paper with scissors.
  • Use a comfortable grip with good control when holding pens and pencils.
  • Start to eat independently and learning how to use a knife and fork.
  • Show a preference for a dominant hand.
  • Be increasingly independent as they get dressed and undressed, for example, putting coats on and doing up zips.
  • Be increasingly independent in meeting their own care needs, e.g. brushing teeth, using the toilet, washing and drying their hands thoroughly.
  • Make healthy choices about food, drink, activity and tooth brushing.
  • Revise and refine the fundamental movement skills they have already acquired:
    • rolling       - walking       - running       - skipping
    • crawling - jumping - hopping - climbing
  • Progress towards a more fluent style of moving, with developing control and grace.
  • Develop the overall body strength, co-ordination, balance and agility needed to engage successfully with future physical education sessions and other physical disciplines including dance, gymnastics, sport and swimming.
  • Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of tools competently, safely and confidently. Suggested tools: pencils for drawing and writing, paintbrushes, scissors, knives, forks and spoons.
  • Use their core muscle strength to achieve a good posture when sitting at a table or sitting on the floor.
  • Combine different movements with ease and fluency.
  • Confidently and safely use a range of large and small apparatus indoors and outside, alone and in a group.
  • Develop overall body-strength, balance, co-ordination and agility.
  • Further develop and refine a range of ball skills including: throwing, catching, kicking, passing, batting and aiming.
  • Develop confidence, competence, precision and accuracy when engaging in activities that involve a ball.
  • Develop the foundations of a handwriting style which is fast, accurate and efficient.
  • Know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing:
    • regular physical activity - sensible amounts of ‘screen time’
    • healthy eating - having a good sleep routine
    • tooth brushing and being a safe pedestrian
  • Further develop the skills they need to manage the school day successfully:
    • lining up and queuing          - personal hygiene
    • mealtimes

Gross Motor Skills

  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others.
  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing.
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases.
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery.

Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.




Literacy (L)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Enjoy songs and rhymes, tuning in and paying attention.
  • Join in with songs and rhymes, copying sounds, rhythms, tunes and tempo.
  • Say some of the words in songs and rhymes.
  • Copy finger movements and other gestures.
  • Sing songs and say rhymes independently, for example, singing whilst playing.
  • Enjoy sharing books with an adult.
  • Pay attention and responds to the pictures or the words.
  • Have favourite books and seeks them out, to share with an adult, with another child, or to look at alone.
  • Repeat words and phrases from familiar stories.
  • Ask questions about the book. Makes comments and shares their own ideas.
  • Develop play around favourite stories using props.
  • Notice some print, such as the first letter of their name, a bus or door

number, or a familiar logo.

  • Enjoy drawing freely.
  • Add some marks to their drawings, which they give meaning to. For example: “That says mummy.”
  • Make marks on their picture to stand for their name.
  • Understand the five key concepts about print:
    • print has meaning
    • the names of the different parts of a book
    • print can have different purposes
    • page sequencing
    • we read English text from left to right and from top to bottom
  • Develop their phonological awareness, so that they can:
    • spot and suggest rhymes
    • count or clap syllables in a word
    • recognise words with the same initial sound, such as money and mother
  • Engage in extended conversations about stories, learning new vocabulary.
  • Use some of their print and letter knowledge in their early writing. For example: writing a pretend shopping list that starts at the top of the page; write ‘m’ for mummy.
  • Write some or all of their name.
  • Write some letters accurately.
  • Read individual letters by saying the sounds for them.
  • Blend sounds into words, so that they can read short words made up of known letter- sound correspondences.
  • Read some letter groups that each represent one sound and say sounds for them.
  • Read a few common exception words matched to the school’s phonic programme.
  • Read simple phrases and sentences made up of words with known letter–sound correspondences and, where necessary, a few exception words.
  • Re-read these books to build up their confidence in word reading, their fluency and their

understanding and enjoyment.

  • Form lower-case and capital letters correctly.
  • Spell words by identifying the sounds and then writing the sound with letter/s.
  • Write short sentences with words with known letter-sound correspondences using a capital letter and full stop.
  • Re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense.


  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about

stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play.

Word Reading

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.


  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.




Maths (M)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Combine objects like stacking blocks and cups. Put objects inside others and take them out again.
  • Take part in finger rhymes with numbers.
  • React to changes of amount in a group of up to three items.
  • Compare amounts, saying ‘lots’, ‘more’ or ‘same’.
  • Counting-like behaviour, such as making sounds, pointing or saying some numbers in sequence.
  • Count in everyday contexts, sometimes skipping numbers - ‘1-2-3-5.’
  • Climb and squeezing selves into different types of spaces.
  • Build with a range of resources.
  • Complete inset puzzles.
  • Compare sizes, weights etc. using gesture and language - ‘bigger/ little/smaller’, ‘high/low’, ‘tall’, ‘heavy’.
  • Notice patterns and arrange things in patterns.
  • Fast recognition of up to 3 objects, without having to count them individually (‘subitising’).
  • Recite numbers past 5.
  • Say one number for each item in order: 1, 2,3,4,5.
  • Know that the last number reached when counting a small set of objects tells you how many there are in total (‘cardinal principle’).
  • Show ‘finger numbers’ up to 5.
  • Link numerals and amounts: for example, showing the right number of objects to match the numeral, up to 5.
  • Experiment with their own symbols and marks as well as numerals.
  • Solve real world mathematical problems with numbers up to 5.
  • Compare quantities using language: ‘more than’, ‘fewer than’.
  • Talk about and explore 2D and 3D shapes (for example, circles, rectangles, triangles and cuboids) using informal and mathematical language: ‘sides’, ‘corners’; ‘straight’, ‘flat’, ‘round’.
  • Understand position through words alone – for example, “The bag is under the table,” – with no pointing.
  • Describe a familiar route.
  • Discuss routes and locations, using words like ‘in front of’ and ‘behind’.
  • Make comparisons between objects relating to size, length, weight and capacity.
  • Select shapes appropriately: flat surfaces for building, a triangular

prism for a roof etc.

  • Combine shapes to make new ones – an arch, a bigger triangle etc.
  • Talk about and identifies the patterns around them. For example: stripes on clothes, designs on rugs and wallpaper. Use informal language like ‘pointy’, ‘spotty’, ‘blobs’ etc.
  • Extend and create ABAB patterns – stick, leaf, stick, leaf.
  • Notice and correct an error in a repeating pattern.
  • Begin to describe a sequence of events, real or fictional, using words such as ‘first’, ‘then...’
  1. Count objects, actions and sounds.
  2. Subitise.
  3. Link the number symbol (numeral) with its cardinal number value.
  4. Count beyond ten.
  5. Compare numbers.
  6. Understand the ‘one more than/one less than’ relationship between consecutive numbers.
  7. Explore the composition of numbers to 10.
  8. Automatically recall number bonds for numbers 0–10.
  9. Select, rotate and manipulate shapes in order to develop spatial reasoning skills.
  10. Compose and decompose shapes so that children recognise a shape can have other shapes within it, just as numbers can.
  11. Continue, copy and create repeating patterns.
  12. Compare length, weight and capacity.


  • Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number.
  • Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5.
  • Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Numerical Patterns

  • Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system.
  • Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity.
  • Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.



Understanding the World (UTW)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Repeat actions that have an effect.
  • Explore materials with different properties.
  • Explore natural materials, indoors and outside.
  • Explore and respond to different natural phenomena in their setting and on trips.
  • Make connections between the features of their family and other families.
  • Notice differences between people.
  • Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
  • Explore collections of materials with similar and/or different properties.
  • Talk about what they see, using a wide vocabulary.
  • Begin to make sense of their own life-story and family’s history.
  • Show interest in different occupations.
  • Explore how things work.
  • Plant seeds and care for growing plants.
  • Understand the key features of the life cycle of a plant and an animal.
  • Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
  • Explore and talk about different forces they can feel.
  • Talk about the differences between materials and changes they notice.
  • Continue to develop positive attitudes about the differences between people.
  • Know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos.
  • Talk about members of their immediate family and community.
  • Name and describe people who are familiar to them.
  • Comment on images of familiar situations in the past.
  • Compare and contrast characters from stories, including figures

from the past.

  • Draw information from a simple map.
  • Understand that some places are special to members of their community.
  • Recognise that people have different beliefs and celebrate special times in different ways.
  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
  • Explore the natural world around.

Past and Present

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society.
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

People, Culture and Communities

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction

texts and (when appropriate) maps.

The Natural World

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.



Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)


Nursery Children (Birth to 3 Years)

Nursery Children (3-4 years)

Reception Children (4-5 Years)

End of Reception Goal (ELG)

  • Show attention to sounds and music.
  • Respond emotionally and physically to music when it changes.
  • Move and dance to music.
  • Anticipate phrases and actions in rhymes and songs, like ‘Peepo’.
  • Explore their voices and enjoy making sounds.
  • Join in with songs and rhymes, making some sounds.
  • Make rhythmical and repetitive sounds.
  • Explore a range of sound-makers and instruments and play them in different ways.
  • Notice patterns with strong contrasts and be attracted by patterns resembling the human face.
  • Start to make marks intentionally.
  • Explore paint, using fingers and other parts of their bodies as well as brushes and other tools.
  • Express ideas and feelings through making marks, and sometimes give a meaning to the marks they make.
  • Enjoy and take part in action songs, such as ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’.
  • Start to develop pretend play, pretending that one object represents another. For example, a child holds a wooden block to her ear and pretends it’s a phone.
  • Explore different materials, using all their senses to investigate them. Manipulate and play with different materials.
  • Use their imagination as they consider what they can do with different materials.
  • Make simple models which express their ideas.
  • Take part in simple pretend play, using an object to represent something else even though they are not similar.
  • Begin to develop complex stories using small world equipment like animal sets, dolls and dolls houses etc.
  • Make imaginative and complex ‘small worlds’ with blocks and construction kits, such as a city with different buildings and a park.
  • Explore different materials freely, in order to develop their ideas about how to use them and what to make.
  • Develop their own ideas and then decide which materials to use to express them.
  • Join different materials and explore different textures.
  • Create closed shapes with continuous lines, and begin to use these shapes to represent objects.
  • Draw with increasing complexity and detail, such as representing a face with a circle and including details.
  • Use drawing to represent ideas like movement or loud noises.
  • Show different emotions in their drawings and paintings, like happiness, sadness, fear etc.
  • Explore colour and colour-mixing.
  • Listen with increased attention to sounds.
  • Respond to what they have heard, expressing their thoughts and feelings.
  • Remember and sing entire songs.
  • Sing the pitch of a tone sung by another person (‘pitch match’).
  • Sing the melodic shape (moving melody, such as up and down, down and up) of familiar songs.
  • Create their own songs, or improvise a song around one they know.
  • Play instruments with increasing control to express their feelings and ideas.
  • Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express their

ideas and feelings.

  • Return to and build on their previous learning, refining ideas and

developing their ability to represent them.

  • Create collaboratively sharing ideas, resources and skills.
  • Listen attentively, move to and talk about music, expressing their feelings and responses.
  • Watch and talk about dance and performance art, expressing their feelings and responses.
  • Sing in a group or on their own, increasingly matching the pitch and following the melody.
  • Develop storylines in their pretend play.
  • Explore and engage in music making and dance, performing solo or in groups.

Creating with Materials

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Being Imaginative and Expressive

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and (when appropriate) try to move in time with music.


Intent, Implementation and Impact


We aim to provide a curriculum that meets all aspects of the Statutory EYFS Framework enabling children to;

 · Be kind.

· Respect and care for the world around them.

 · Know and talk about the world beyond Sayes Court.

· Be confident and competent communicators.

· Work hard.

 · Experience a language rich environment.

· Be independent learners.

 · Take care of themselves and others.

· Meet the expectations as outlined in the EYFS framework.

 · Develop the expected skills for reading, writing and number.

· Learn to read and write through high quality phonics teaching and learning.

 · Be prepared for learning beyond the Early Learning Goals and into Key Stage 1.


In order to implement the curriculum effectively, we will:

 · Work closely with families to gain an understanding of children’s starting points and previous experiences. We use this knowledge to extend learning throughout their time in early years.

· Provide both child and adult led outdoor opportunities daily to experience the world around them.

· Provide visits, visitors and experiences where possible in addition to the enhancement of provision to reflect the wider world.

 · Have a daily group story time and repeated reading of key texts.

· Weekly planned circle time sessions with a personal, social and emotional focus using our jigsaw scheme.

 · Regular discussion on a healthy body and mind through class discussions, practical PE and Yoga lessons and during mealtimes.

· Provide well-planned activities that promote learning in all areas of the EYFS to help children achieve the ELG and beyond.

 · Provide progressive experiences and teaching sequences in order to develop reading, writing and number skills as well as covering all the areas of the curriculum.


Having provided all children with relevant experiences, children will

 · at least meet the expectations as outlined in the EYFS framework

· Be ready for the next stage in their learning. (Key stage one)

· Be independent and inquisitive learners.

· Be able to talk about and communicate their learning experiences.


  • Jigsaw (PSED)
  • Get Set 4 PE
  • Bug Club
  • Power Maths
  • Developing Experts (Reception)
  • Kapow (Reception)
  • Discovery RE



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