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Our Lady of Hartley Catholic Primary SchoolTogether in faith, love and learning…

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Our Lady of Hartley Catholic Primary School Together in faith, love and learning…

Early Years Foundation Stage



In the Reception class at Our Lady of Hartley,  we have high academic ambition for all children. Our curriculum is designed to provide rich, varied and imaginative experiences that enthuse, engage and motivate children to learn and achieve highly.


High expectations for all, learning through high quality play and developing the whole child are the core values we share and promote every day. Children benefit from meaningful learning experiences across all seven areas of the Early Years curriculum, enabling them to make links in their learning and to the wider world.

There is a sharp focus on the prime areas of learning, including communication and language. A language rich environment and core texts are used as a key stimulus for learning and help support the development of vocabulary and language skills for all children. Talk For Writing is used regularly to immerse children in language and promote a love of reading and stories.


The teaching of phonics has a high priority in the Early Years. The Little Wandle scheme is used to ensure that phonics is taught systematically in order for children to build their knowledge and skills effectively.  Children are taught through discrete phonics lessons as well as having regular opportunities to explore phonic activities within the learning environment.    


The implementation of our Early Years curriculum and the care practices we have in place promote and support children’s emotional security and character development. The commitment to holistic development and a clear focus on the prime areas of learning enable children to develop social and emotionally, providing a strong foundation for learning later on in their schooling.

Development Matters 


At Our Lady of Hartley, Early Years practitioners use Development Matters to support the early learning of young children as part of daily observation, assessment and planning. It can also be used at points during the EYFS as a guide to making best-fit summative judgements.


The age/stage bands overlap because these are not fixed age boundaries but suggest a typical range of development. When using Development Matters it is however important to remember that babies, toddlers and young children develop at their own rates and in their own ways.


The EYFS development statements and their order are not necessary steps for every child and should not be used as checklists.