Early Years

At Watcombe School we believe that the children in our care have an exciting start to their educational life whether it be in the Nursery or Reception class. The early years of a child’s education are vital in developing a foundation for the children to become successful learners and confident individuals.

We aim to develop the children’s attitudes to learning so that they are confident to participate, make choices and decisions and become active and inquisitive learners who are creative and think critically. The children will develop the skills to behave appropriately, cooperate, share and respect others, stay safe and show they feel safe.

The early years provision is rich and stimulating. Children enjoy the range of activities available and make strong progress.


We have an excellent and unique learning environment, both in and out doors, which is skilfully used to enhance great learning opportunities. The learning environment has been developed to nurture, engage and motivate the children to be active learners. Children can move freely between the different areas accessing a range of different activities to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.

The curriculum is delivered through the ‘Development Matters in the Early Years: www.early-education.org.uk

Daily activities and learning opportunities are develop around the interests of the children and are carefully planned to meet their developmental needs.

The nursery and reception children share the same learning environment and this is very successful in aiding transition from one stage to the next. The next transition into Yr1 is carefully managed through a number of exchange opportunities and the relevant adults working closely together.

We working partnership with the Watcombe Children Centre so to ensure a seamless transition from the age of years through to school.


  • We aim to provide a happy, safe, caring and stimulating indoor and outdoor learning environment in which children can play, learn and develop together.
  • We aim to offer well planned, purposeful and relevant play activities through which children can develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and physically.
  • We aim to respect children’s individuality and ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued.
  • We aim to work in partnership with parents and carers, using a variety of approaches to build on what children already know and can do.


Play based activities, both indoors and outdoors, are the most important way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.

Through play, children:

  • Actively explore and make sense of their world
  • Practise and build on ideas, concepts and skills
  • Try things out, take risks and make mistakes
  • Discover and make connections in their learning
  • Communicate with others as they investigate or solve problems
  • Learn self-control and understand the need for rules
  • Explore and express feelings in safe and controlled situations.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

What is the EYFS?

  • It is a stage of children’s development from birth to the end of their first year (reception) in school.
  • The EYFS framework describes how staff should work with children and their families to support their learning and development.
  • It describes how your child should be kept safe and cared for.
  • It is based on 4 important themes and principles, and divided into 7 areas of learning and development.

What are the EYFS themes and principles?

  1. A Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  2. Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  3. Enabling Environments – 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 carers.
  4. Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the 7 areas of learning and development.

What are the EYFS areas of learning and development?

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – This is about children developing a positive view of themselves, respect for others, social skills, and a positive attitude to learning.

Communication and Language – This is about children learning to listen attentively in a range of situations, understanding instructions and ideas, and using talk to express themselves clearly and effectively.

Physical Development – This is about children moving in different ways and manipulating tools and equipment, safely and with increasing control and coordination. It is also about beginning to understand what it means to be healthy.

Literacy – This is about children developing a love of books, retelling stories and learning to read simple texts. It also includes developing early writing skills – giving meaning to the marks they make and writing for different purposes.

Mathematics – This is about children counting, sorting, matching, exploring patterns, making connections and solving problems through working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.

Understanding the World – This is about developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to help children make sense of the world. This forms the foundation for later learning in science, ICT, history, geography and religious education.

Expressive Arts and Design – This is about children having opportunities to explore, express and represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

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