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Early Years


At Holy Trinity, we recognise the importance of providing a positive start to children’s school life, developing strong relationships with the children and their parents in an environment where they feel confident and safe. This allows children to develop a love of learning and curiosity about the world around them. We believe that valued and respected children will develop resilience and self-confidence, as well as a positive attitude to future relations and learning.

Learning for young children goes on everywhere, not just in planned activities but also in everyday tasks such as when children wash their hands, play in the playground and have their snacks. The curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage cannot be organised into neatly packaged sections: opportunity for learning exists everywhere.

For this reason, Reception children must have the opportunity to learn in different environments (both indoors and outdoors) and in the context of different relationships and social settings such as child-initiated activities, adult led tasks and adult guided activities.


Transition from Pre-School / Nursery

At Holy Trinity, we recognise the importance of a smooth transition from Pre-school / Nursery for children to be happy at school. Children who feel secure and confident when beginning school in September will be able to settle more quickly and adapt to the ways of school life more successfully.

For this reason, our transition process begins in the summer term before children start school in the September. During this term, Reception staff visit or talk to all children’s’ key workers to begin to form an idea of who each child is and what support they might need to help with their transition.

We also invite the children to come into the Reception unit in July, initially with their parent and then on their own in a later session. This gives the children several opportunities to explore the Reception environment and to get excited about starting school. It also allows staff time to talk to parents about friendships and other matters before determining the classes for the September.

In September, we have a staggered start for Reception children to ensure they are not overwhelmed by all the new routines, adults looking after them and expectations. Home visits are conducted in the 1st 4 days, providing an opportunity for Reception staff to meet the child in the environment they feel most comfortable in. It is also an opportunity for parents to talk to their child’s class teacher on a 1:1 basis about any concerns they may have.

Children then attend school on a part time basis over the next few weeks to allow them to be introduced slowly to the routines, staying for lunch, expectations of school life and allowing them to form positive relationships with staff and peers.

More details regarding the induction of school pupils are provided once applications have been accepted.


EYFS Curriculum

In Reception (Early Years) we follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters.

The curriculum for Early Years is organised into 7 areas of learning. There are Prime and Specific areas. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. The Prime areas are crucial for engaging and promoting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, for building their capacity to form relationships and thrive. The Prime areas are strengthened and applied through the Specific areas.

Alongside the curriculum we focus on ‘how children learn’ and this is assessed through The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.

The characteristics of effective teaching and learning are developed through:

  • Playing and exploring (being curious and asking questions) so that children become engaged. They have opportunities to find out and explore, play with what they know and develop the confidence to ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning so that children are motivated. They learn to become involved, concentrate, keep trying (be resilient) and enjoy achieving.
  • Creating and thinking critically so that they have their own ideas, can make links in learning and can choose ways of doing things.

Learning takes place through a range of adult led and child-initiated activities. Children take part in whole class and small group learning opportunities throughout the day with a variety of adults in a variety of settings (inside / outside / Willow Hall etc).

The three Prime areas are: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

The four Specific areas are: Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.


Communication and Language

There are 2 Early Learning Goals in this area:

Listening, Attention and Understanding:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
  • Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
  • Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
  • Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

At Holy Trinity CofE Primary School, we believe that the ability to communicate effectively leads to a happy learning experience. Children should be fluent and confident in a range of situations and with a range of people. They need to be able to listen to the views of others, responding appropriately by questioning or commenting. We encourage speech to be clear and the children to make eye contact.

Specific skills are taught and opportunities planned for children to rehearse their skills to ensure development. Effective listening and pronunciation is vital for learning phonics and time is spent supporting the correct sounding of phonemes. Parents are also inducted into correct phonic pronunciation in order to support their children’s literacy development.



Physical Development

There are two Early Learning Goals within this area:

Gross Motor Skills:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others.
  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing.
  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

Fine Motor Skills:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases.
  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery.
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


Children at Holy Trinity CofE Primary School have many opportunities planned to develop effective fine and gross motor skills that will support a range of learning experiences from handwriting, using scissors and a knife and fork to putting on PE Kits and coats. These skills increase the children’s levels of independence and well-being.

Specific skills are taught in PE, and a wide range of resources for developing these skills are available for the children to use.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

There are three Early Learning Goals within this area:

Self regulation:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly.
  • Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate.
  • Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

Managing Self:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
  • Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly.
  • Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.




Building Relationships:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others.
  • Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers.
  • Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

At Holy Trinity, children are taught about our School Values and are encouraged to promote and demonstrate these in their learning and play. We also teach the children the 7 habits of Leader in Me which empowers them to make their own decisions and take responsibility for their own actions, decisions and feelings.

Using a range of strategies such as emotion coaching and house points for positive behaviour, children are supported to master the skills of self regulation, empathy and consideration of others.

Through meaningful play and adult modelling, children begin to build positive relationships with both their peers and members of staff.



There are three Early Learning Goals in this area:


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play.

Word Reading:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.

There are many opportunities in the Early Years classes for children to engage in activities that promote a love of books and writing. Children engage in activities that develop pencil control and they learn to write their name with correct letter formation from September. Children are placed in focus groups for phonics, enabling learning to be specific, targeted and personalised. Phonic sessions take place daily and are used to enhance the links between sounds, reading and writing.

Planned weekly sessions of reading and writing take place in small groups or as individuals.


There are two Early Learning Goals in this area:


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • 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 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Numerical patterns:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system.
  • Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity.
  • Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.


In Mathematics children learn to count, order, record and recognise numbers. Much Mathematics is embedded through work and play in other areas - when making or building things, through role-play for example. They develop skills in adding and subtracting practically, and using numbers in problem-solving situations in and around the classroom. Children explore shapes, and learn the vocabulary of Mathematics. They explore numerical patterns and how numbers can be made from smaller amounts.



Understanding the World

There are three Early Learning Goals in this area:

Past and Present:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society.
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

People, Culture and Communities:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and (when appropriate) maps.

The Natural World:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants.
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Through a range of topics and everyday experiences children develop their understanding and knowledge of the world around them. They are encouraged to notice and celebrate the similarities and differences they discover. Children learn about their immediate family and friends, as well as wider communities on a local, national and international scale.

Expressive Art and Design

There are two Early Learning Goals in this area:

Creating with materials:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.
  • Make use of props and materials when role-playing characters in narratives and stories.

Being Imaginative and Expressive:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher.
  • Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and (when appropriate) try to move in time with music.

Children are taught a range of art and design technology skills which they are then encouraged to use in their child-initiated activities. Children are encouraged to make individual choices, to select the resources they need to make their pictures/models. They are taught how to look after and put away these resources.

Children take part in music and movement sessions. They have opportunities to explore the sounds of different instruments and to create their own sounds. They have opportunities to listen and respond to different types of music.

A role play area is set up to enhance the topic being covered; opportunities are made for learning in all seven areas of our curriculum. Children use their imaginations as they take on roles and create story lines in their play.


Religious Education and Diversity

As a church school we follow the Surrey RE syllabus. We try to integrate RE into our many topic areas. For instance, when we learn about ‘Babies’ we visit our church and take part in a baptism ceremony. We also learn about other festivals such Diwali and Chinese New Year.

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Benjamin Franklin