Cheriton Primary School

Cheriton Primary School
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The school is vibrant, cultural heritages are valued and celebrated. Outstanding engagement with parents. Pupils lives are enriched because you make the most of the diverse cultral and social mix. All staff are proud to work here and enjoy being part of the school. Ofsted

Early Years


Through a positive caring environment, we provide the opportunity for every child to reach their full potential. Every child must feel secure, valued and confident to explore new learning. We follow the school values of learning, caring and sharing and ensure all children are ready for their next steps in their school journey.

The terms ‘Early Years’ and ‘Foundation Stage’ are used to describe the Reception Classes.

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, Department for Education, March 2012.


The Early Years Foundation Stage framework is based on four overarching principles:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, and confident.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.




  • To ensure that all Foundation Stage children feel secure, valued and part of the school community.
  • To provide a relevant curriculum with tasks that take into account the children’s interests and fascinations and are both practical and purposeful.
  • To provide quality opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that children plan or self-initiate. Teachers must plan challenging and enjoyable experiences in all areas of learning and development.
  • Practitioners acknowledge the holistic nature of young children’s learning and natural links will be made between different areas of the curriculum, with the emphasis on learning through play and the importance of developing the prime areas of the Foundation Stage curriculum.
  • Practitioners must create a learning environment that develops children’s imagination and encourages children to explore and express their ideas and feelings.


Planning and Organising the Curriculum

There are seven areas of learning and development that provide a framework for planning, teaching and assessing in Early Years’ settings. All areas of learning and development are inter-connected.

There are three Prime Areas:

  • Communication and Language – children will be given a range of opportunities to experience a language-rich environment, to develop their ability to express themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


  • Physical Development – children will be provided with lots of opportunities to be active; to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children will be able to explore the vast environment that is Cheriton Primary including the playground, field and forest school. Children will be taught the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – helps children develop a positive sense of themselves and others, forming positive relationships, developing social skills and learning how to manage their feelings. Children understand appropriate behaviour in a range of different social situations and have confidence in their own abilities. They are encouraged to make independent choices.

There are also four Specific Areas, (through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied):

  • Literacy – children will be taught to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be taught Phonics from the ‘Success for All’ programme which closely links to Letters and Sounds. This will enable them to make good progress with both their reading and writing. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics – children will be provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating addition and subtraction problems using single digit numbers and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
  • Understanding the World – Children will make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. Children will be able take advantage of our richly diverse school community and will be able to explore what makes people unique and also what brings us together.
  • Expressive Arts and Design – Children will explore and play with a range of media and materials, as well as having opportunities for sharing their ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and DT.



Classroom Organisation and Resources

 The organisation of the Foundation Stage classrooms reflects the importance placed on children learning through play and first-hand experience, developing independence and having opportunities to initiate their own activities.

Foundation Stage classes provide the following areas:

  • Malleable areas
  • Roles play areas
  • Construction and small world areas
  • Sand and water
  • Book areas with a range of fiction and non-fiction books
  • Writing tables with a range of writing resources
  • Creative areas including junk modelling, painting, collage and other media and materials
  • Computers and printers
  • Interactive whiteboards/ TV/ tablet table
  • Musical instruments
  • Maths games and equipment
  • Outside classroom – large scale construction materials, gross motor area, mathematical games and ball games, mud kitchen, water area, bike area, a stage for music and dramatic play as well as a gardening area

Boots and waterproof clothing are available every day in order to make full use of the outside classroom, school field and the on-site Forest School

Transition from Nursery

We have close links with most Nurseries in the local area as well as St Martins Nursery which is situated on our school grounds and Shorncliffe Nursery which is situated at the centre of the Army housing near the school.

In June, a meeting is held by the Headteacher and key school staff to introduce parents/carers to the school, procedures and curriculum. Parents or carers are given a school prospectus which outlines the curriculum and school routines, along with a document pack to be completed and returned to school.

When school starts in September, all parents or carers have the opportunity for a short visit to their classroom, this gives the new child and their family an opportunity to meet with their new teacher individually. The children will then have a short period of half days in school – either with or without lunch followed by a full-time start. This ensures children have time to settle into school life gradually. Foundation Stage children are introduced to the life of the wider school gently and as they are ready.


Involving Parents

Parents/carers are the child’s first and most enduring educators. When they work together with teachers, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise. We aim to develop this:

  • By outlining how the EYFS is being delivered to Parents/carers during the new parents meeting in June, to enable them to understand the value of supporting their child’s learning at home and how they can access more information.
  • By operating an “open door” policy, whereby parents/carers can come and discuss concerns and developments in an informal manner, and also to view children’s work.
  • By sharing progress at school through annotated photographs and observations in ‘Learning Journeys’ which are always available for parents to look at. .
  • In the Autumn term, there will be an evening meeting for parents to further explain the curriculum, with a particular focus on phonics, reading and early maths skills, to share ideas on how parents can be involved.
  • Discussing individual next steps and progress with parents or carers at parents’ evening in the Spring term.
  • By discussing any Special Education Needs concerns with parents and the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for the school.
  • The first books that children bring home to share with parents/carers will be picture books and then books with simple repetitive text and words that are phonetically decodable.
  • During the year, each child will take home independent reading books that have been shared at school.