Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage covers the Nursery and Reception years. At Crosscanonby the children are taught in a well resourced classroom with a continuous provision to meet the needs of all pupils. The children have access to outside learning daily. In addition enhancements are provided to meet the needs of individual children and are tailored to the interests of the children.

We pride ourselves in taking the children out to local places of interest and inviting visitors into school.

The staff are highly qualified and pupil to staff ratios are low.

At Crosscanonby Primary School, we aim to provide a balanced curriculum across the seven areas of learning, providing opportunities for children to engage in activities that are adult led, child initiated and guided and supported by adults.

There are seven areas of learning and development which are all important and interconnected.

The three prime areas are important to develop children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their ability to learn and to thrive.

The prime areas are;

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

Children are also supported through the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are;

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive art and design.

Practitioners working with the youngest children will focus strongly on the three prime areas of learning. As the children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas the balance will then shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning. However the three prime areas will continue throughout the EYFS with the aim that all children will have the skills in the prime areas that will enable them to access the Year 1 curriculum.

Directed Learning

Children will have some small group times and whole group times for directed learning. The balance of time spent in directed learning will change as children progress through the EYFS.

Phonics is the key approach for teaching reading and is delivered in ability groups and is reinforced by activities children can access when making choices about the activities they take part in.

We have implemented the 'Twinkl Phonics' Scheme (an approved Phonics teaching scheme). All staff have completed CPD training to ensure that our approach is consistent throughout.

The Twinkl Phonics Approach is a rigorous and proven multi-sensory approach. The children can join in with the adventures of Kit, Sam and the Twinkl Phonics family, while they receive the vital building blocks they need to read and write. Our multi-sensory approach includes: engaging activities focused on developing and applying reading and writing skills. mnemonics, actions, handwriting formation rhymes and songs to reinforce sound and letter recognition, as well as active repetition to ensure rapid recall of grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPCs) and common exceptions words.

New reading books are also being introduced to support the structure of this teaching scheme - 'Rhino Readers'. These are an an exciting, original collection of engaging fully-decodable books, exactly aligned with Twinkl Phonics, covering all levels. Children will only encounter the sounds and tricky words they’ve already learnt at their stage of the scheme. The books include a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, quizzes and fabulous illustrations. The books reflect the world in which we live, promote diversity, and keep 21st century readers turning pages.Children and parents will be able to have access to our eBook library via the free Rhino Readers app, and in hard copy as they are published. 

Mathematics and Literacy are also taught in focused groups. Wherever possible a multi sensory approach is adopted and children are given opportunities and resources in order to practise the skills taught both indoors and out.

The Early Years' framework states that,” Each area of learning and development must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult led and child initiated activities.”

We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own activities and those that are planned by adults. During children’s play practitioners interact to stretch and challenge children further.

Child Initiated Learning

Through play, our children explore and develop learning experiences which help them make sense of the world. They have the opportunity to practise skills, develop ideas and think creatively alongside other children as well as individually. The children communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They become engaged for sustained periods as they have ownership over their own learning. How children learn is known as their characteristics of learning.

 “The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.” Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage – non statutory guidance material 2012.

Visit the EYFS blog here


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
Updated: 25/03/2022 148 KB
How Children Learn Phonics
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Early Years - EYFS - Policy
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An EYFS guide for parents!
Updated: 26/09/2016 451 KB
Child Development Guide
Updated: 16/05/2016 1.58 MB