Early Years Curriculum

In Foundation Stage, our overarching aim is to help the children begin their lifelong learning journeys. We want them to become confident and independent learners by following the BCPS values of Believe, Care, Persevere and Succeed.

Planned purposeful play is essential for children’s learning and by far the most effective way for children to learn.  Adult-led activities increase as the year goes on to help children prepare for the next stage of their learning journey.

Half termly topics

Each half term starts with a topic which is carefully chosen to capture the children’s interests and ensure wide-ranging and vibrant learning.

Autumn 1 – Me and My World

This is a lovely start to the school year which starts with all that is so familiar to the children, family and friends, then begins to branch out to explore the world around them.

Autumn 2 – All that Glitters

The next topic begins with a focus on the five senses, then moves on to celebrations and birthdays.  This morphs neatly into Jesus’s birthday and all the associated Christmas celebrations.

Spring 1 – A Little Bit of Winter

Starting with a super book, the children will have great fun exploring freezing and melting as well as ways to keep healthy and safe in the winter months.  An author study of Nick Butterworth, particularly his Percy the Park Keeper books, really helps the children embrace a love of books and reading.

Spring 2 – Growing and Changing

The children will find out about how they have changed and how they expect to change further as they grow.  Part of our lovely outdoor area is especially for the children to create and tend their very own garden

Summer 1 – Down on the Farm

Inspired by a fantastic school trip, this topic is always a winner as the children find out about food and farming.

Summer 2 – Creeping and Crawling

What can be more fun than grubbing around in the dirt and discovering a whole new world?  The children’s developing skills of observation and questioning are really put to work in this engaging topic.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The statutory curriculum called The Early Years Foundation Stage contains seven areas of learning and development.  All the areas are considered to be important and are very inter-connected.  

Communication and Language – We build a language rich environment where every child has the opportunity to have quality interactions with adults and peers every day.  Role play and storytelling enable children to become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – At Burnham Copse, we truly understand that happy children learn best and effective PSED is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives. It underpins and takes priority over everything we do, as it is fundamental to their cognitive development and establishes emotional resilience.  The building of strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enables children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others.

Physical Development – Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, we support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Our outdoor area, in particular, inspires children to climb, lift and crawl while playing.  Fine motor control will follow, and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy.

Literacy – We share rhymes, stories and poems together every day.  It is vital to develop a life-long love of reading and our synthetic phonics programme, Little Wandle, ensures the speedy working out of unfamiliar printed words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.  As the children learn to write, they discover the thrill of creating written stories of their own.

Mathematics – All our maths learning is based on real-life practical experiences to ensure a really secure grounding of the numbers to 10.  We provide a number rich environment where the children can explore the relationships between and the patterns within those numbers.

Understanding the World – The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them.  Throughout the school year we will visit parks, the local environment and enjoy visits from important members of society such as nurses and religious leaders.  A wide selection of stories and non-fiction books will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world.

Expressive Arts and Design – The children’s imagination and creativity is fostered by having daily opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. To name but a few, they will be encouraged to sing and dance, use role play, use paint, watercolours, chalk and oil pastels, junk modelling and will eventually make fantastic clay models to be fired in our school kiln!