EYFS | Curriculum | Primary | Swindon Academy

Our EYFS Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and the age of 5.

This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school, as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years experiences should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and support their development, care and learning needs.  

The EYFS framework exists to support all professionals working in early years and was developed through consultation with a number of early years experts and parents. In 2012, the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop. 

Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development.

  • Communication and language  
  • Physical development  
  • Personal, social and emotional development  
  • Literacy  
  • Mathematics  
  • Understanding the world 
  • Expressive arts and design  

These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs.

We take a ‘balanced’ teaching approach in our Reception classes blending adult instruction with child-led, relational approaches. We believe that incorporating adult‐scaffolded learning objectives can effectively support all areas of learning and enables our children to make good progress. We support your child extensively with communication and language development. Our practitioners provide clear support for extending children's oral language, vocabulary, oral comprehension, and sentence repetition. Role play, and small group times are used to build sustained conversation and language development. We make sure that our children experience diverse vocabularies within a language-rich environment and plenty of opportunity for songs and nursery rhymes.

Reception Topics and Core Books

Term 1

Topic - Marvellous me and on the farm
Core Text - The Little Red Hen (Ronnie Randall)

Term 2

Topic - Celebration and my environment with the people around me
Core Text - The Christmas Story

Term 3



While in Reception your child will continue to learn to read through phonics. Research shows that children who learn to read quickly go on to succeed in school and in life.

At Swindon Academy we use the Read Write Inc. phonics (RWI) approach to support and teach your child to read.

‘Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything. And I mean everything’. Jeanette Winterson

What is Phonics?

All words are made up of individual sounds. These sounds are blended together to form words. e.g. in ‘mat’ we have the sounds ‘m’, ‘a’, ‘t’.

A grapheme is another name for the letters we use to write the sound.

Phonics is the method of teaching reading through the identification of sounds and graphemes. The new National Curriculum ensures that all children are taught phonics systematically. This gives your children the tools to read any word.

We use 44 sounds to make all the words in the English language. This means we’ve got a problem. We’ve got 44 sounds and only 26 letters. The 26 letters work singly, in pairs and sometimes in threes to represent one sound. We have to group letters together to write some sounds e.g. ‘igh’, ‘air’. In English we have more than 150 ways to represent 44 sounds, using the 26 letters in the alphabet. This makes our language one of the most complex in the world!

Using RWI, we make learning to read easy for children because we start by teaching them just one way of reading and writing every sound. Alongside teaching children sounds, we teach them to blend sounds to read words e.g. s-a-t, sat.

We use something called Fred Talk to help children to blend and read words. Fred is a frog who can only speak in sounds. He says d-o-g, h-a-t etc. Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds. Fred helps children practice blending sounds together because he needs the children to say the words for him. Fred says d-o-g, children tell him the word is dog. This is how we quickly teach all our children to blend.

For more information about Read Write Inc. phonics, please access the parent information page below to better support your child’s reading at home at: http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/

Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction is a teaching method we use in our Nursery 4 and Reception provision that has been extensively tested and proven to turn all students into confident learners. Siegfried Engelmann, creator of Direct Instruction believed, and has proved, that correctly applied DI can improve academic performance as well as behaviour. Direct Instruction gives schools a clear path to achieving and even surpassing Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).​

​The Direct Instruction method is based on two core principles:

  1. All students can learn when taught correctly, regardless of past history and background.
  2. All teachers can be successful, given effective teaching materials and presentation techniques. Every aspect of a Direct Instruction program is designed, tested, and proven to fulfil these essential principles. ​

Lessons are:

  • Explicit, with purposeful instruction designed to develop skilled and confident learners.
  • Intensive, allowing teachers to cover more than a year’s worth of material in a single year.
  • Consistent, allowing students to focus on the material they are learning.
  • Interactive, with quick pacing and group responses that keep all students engaged.

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Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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