Scroll to content
Wantage Primary Academy home page


Primary Academy


Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum


The Early Years Foundation Stage framework is requirement for all early years providers in England. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and, that given the right start, they able to fulfill their potential. The Early Years Foundation Stage framework supports children between birth and five and we recognise that through providing care from children Rising 3s, we have the opportunity to have an immensely positive impact on their future lives and embed a lifelong love of learning.


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. See for more information.


At WPA, our Foundation Stage department plan using high-quality texts and themes at its core, allowing children to explore big ideas in fun and accessible ways.


The Early Years Curriculum 


Our Nursery and Reception classes offer a stimulating and nurturing environment where the children learn through a combination of direct teaching and exploration. We strive to ensure that all children in our Early Years not only achieve their potential in reading, writing and maths by the time they leave Reception for Year 1, but also develop strong friendships and a love for learning, which will stay with them throughout their educational journey. 


Through inspiring lessons, stimulating topics and exciting resources, children are able to make rapid progress across the seven ‘Areas of Learning’ in the Early Years, which form the basis of our curriculum. 


These are:  

  • Personal Social and Emotional Development 
  • Physical Development 
  • Communication & Language 
  • Literacy 
  • Mathematics 
  • Understanding the World 
  • Expressive Art and Design 


A typical day in Nursery, starts all together on the carpet, introducing the learning and intent for the day. Our Nursery teacher and Nursery team introduce or recap the core text and learning opportunities, and then group activities and free flow take place throughout the day. Throughout the day, children take part in phonics, Maths, Literacy (including mark making), Reading, activities to promote PSED, EAD and physical activities too. Continuous and extended provision is targeted and varied to meet the needs and stages of our pupils.


A typical day in Reception at WPA includes a focused phonics session in the morning and a phonics apply and rhyme time in the afternoon, in which children start learning to read and write from the outset.  In addition to this, there is a daily maths input in which children learn to count, read and write numbers, solve simple equations and have fun with lots of mathematical concepts, such as shape, weighing and measuring, and time. There is also a daily literacy input, during which children become familiar with a core text, learning to retell it and use newly introduced vocabulary in a range of contexts, both verbally and in writing.  


In EYFS each week, children also learn about our topics such as Terrific Tales and Animals, as well as spending timeone-to-one with an adult, reading andworking on focused activities and their personalised targets. Crucially, all children are given lots of time to learn through exploration, investigation and creative play in our continuous and extended provision.  


At WPA, we understand that an interested and engaged child is a learning child. Therefore, in addition to our half-termly topics, our experienced teachers take into account children’s own individual interests to ensure that our daily activities and lessons are tailored to what will stimulate and challenge our children, to help them achieve their potential across the curriculum. 


WPA also benefits from two Outdoor Classrooms (Nursery and Reception), which our children have access to each day. This offers lots of exciting opportunities to engage in topic related practical activities and exploration to extend and enrich their learning.  



Reading and Phonics in the Early Years 


At WPA we feel passionately that fluent, confident reading is key to both academicsuccess and your child’s well-being and happiness. During their time in our Nursery and Reception classes, we will dedicate ourselves to laying the foundations for every child to become a successful reader and writer, as well as encouraging a love of reading and books, which will last a lifetime. 


Early Reading in the Early Years is taught by targeting both fluent word reading as well as comprehension. Both skills are equally important for children to develop but require different teaching strategies (see our Reading approach for full details).  



Skillful and fluent word reading is taught from an early age through speedy decoding and recognition of printed words. This is taught during daily, systematic phonics sessions, using the Supersonic Phonic Friends phonics programme. 


In Nursery, the focus of phonics sessions will be on encouraging the children to listen carefully to different sounds, and developing their blending, segmentation and sound discrimination skills, through fun games and exercises. 


In Reception, phonics sessions will focus on teaching letter sounds as well as blending and segmenting skills. Children will be taught to recognise, say and write all the sounds of the alphabet, and additional blend sounds (e.g., sh, th, ay, ee). They will also be taught to blend those sounds together to read words (e.g., h – a – tàhat), and segment the sounds in words, to help them write (e.g., sheepàsh – ee - p). Whilst initially focusing on letter sounds, every child will quickly progress to reading words, sentences and books during each session. 


All children will also receive phonics books and phonics homework each week to take home to read and practise with a parent or carer, which will be carefully matched to their skill level, and planned to support what is happening in class. 

In addition, every child reads weekly with their teacher and teaching assistant and extra booster sessions run daily for children who need more support.  




Learning to read is about listening and understanding, as well as decoding letters printed on the page. Comprehension skills are therefore just as important to every young reader, and at WPA we teach themby immersing all children in an environment rich in high-quality communication and discussion, storytelling, and role-play, as well as providing daily opportunities for children to practise their budding literacy skills. 


Reading to, and with, your child is the best, most supportive, way of building a child’s comprehension, and at WPA we are lucky enough to have a bank of quality, engaging story books which we share with our children throughout each day. Through repeatedly hearing carefully selected stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words, ideas and concepts which supports them in building their own vocabulary and improving their understanding of both words and the world around them, all of which is vitally important as they start to read. 


Throughout Nursery and Reception, staff develop a love of reading in our children through reading aloud our own favourite stories, introducing children to new high-quality texts, as well as re-telling the classics again and again.  




Belong, Believe, Achieve