Skip to content ↓

Early Years

Year Reception marks the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) before moving into the National Curriculum in Year 1. The key method of learning in the Early Years is through ‘play’. This involves children having the freedom to apply their learned skills through practical, directed and non – directed activities which help to cement their learning. Children are continually immersed into a theme which is based on their interests and help them to develop their knowledge in the seven areas of development:

  1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  2. Communication and Language
  3. Physical Development
  4. Mathematics
  5. Literacy
  6. Understanding the World
  7. Expressive Arts and Design

Within the Early Years, learning occurs both indoors and outdoors. Learning is supported through directed activities which take place in both environments. At Norwood, we believe that a wide range of experiences are vital to developing the learning of the whole child. This is why we do not view the seven areas of development as singular topics, but ones that integrate within each other. This is why we encourage outdoor learning as it provides many experiences which indoors cannot accommodate, such as bug hunting, seasonal change and large scale construction. We encourage children to be outside in all weathers to ensure they develop a breath of experience and knowledge throughout their time in the Early Years.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Self-confidence, Self-respect, self-awareness
  • Awareness of helping others
  • Relationships with peers and adults
  • Positive behaviour
  • Morals and feelings
  • Effects of our actions and controlling our emotions
  • Differences and similarities
  • Decision making
  • Co-operation, sharing and taking turns
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs.
  • Show confidence, resilience, perseverance and independence in the face of challenge.


  • Rhyming words
  • Responding to stories and poems by re-enacting them or retelling them.
  • Predicting what might happen in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Read, Write, Inc. – a synthetic phonics approach to learning to read and write
  • Sounding out and blending
  • Letter formation
  • Reading development
  • Independent writing
  • Making up/copying stories
  • Simple sentence structure

Communication and Language

  • Understanding language
  • Listening skills
  • Speaking audibly and clearly
  • Concentration and attention
  • Breaking up words into sounds
  • Questioning skills
  • Understanding humour
  • Extending vocabulary
  • Correct responses
  • Initiating conversations
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Respond to stories that they hear.
  • Offering their own ideas in class discussions.
  • Use full sentences including past, present and future tenses.

Understanding the World

  • Study of locality (where we live and our home)
  • Comparison activities
  • Development of geographical vocabulary
  • Weather and dates
  • Awareness of past and present (e.g. electricity and toys)
  • Change and life cycles (growth of animals, humans and plants)
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments
  • Observation skills
  • People and their communities (differences and comparisons)
  • Experimenting
  • Finding out and exploring information
  • Talk about the lives of the people around them
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and present

Physical Development

  • Outdoor play (push and pull equipment, large construction, ball games)
  • P.E. (body awareness, effect of exercise, balancing and strength)
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
  • Gross and Fine motor development
  • Manipulative skills over large and small tools
  • Writing development (pencil grip and control)
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing

Expressive Arts and Design

  • Exploring and using various media e.g. paint, play dough, clay, chalk, crayon
  • Colour mixing
  • Junk modelling
  • Singing
  • Perform songs and rhymes and move to music.
  • Using instruments
  • Imaginative play
  • Role play
  • Dancing
  • The children share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
  • Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.
  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher


  • Extending mathematical vocabulary
  • 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.
  • Verbally count beyond 20
  • Odds and Evens to 10
  • Doubling
  • Creating and continuing patterns
  • Matching and sorting
  • Counting with one-to-one correspondence
  • Number recognition
  • Value of numbers
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Sequencing