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Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage at Denbigh

We believe that the Reception year at Denbigh is instrumental in developing confident and resilient individuals who love coming to school to learn.


At Denbigh Primary School our children begin in September, where all teachers and teaching assistants ensure pupils settle into school life quickly. A key to this is developing strong relationships with families from the very beginning.


Purposeful Play and Learning


Our engaging curriculum and stimulating environment is planned around the children and has a strong emphasis on first hand experiences and high quality play. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework – seven areas of learning split between the prime and specific areas of learning.


The prime areas of learning are:


  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development.


The specific areas of learning are:


  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


Learning at Denbigh is a meticulously planned balance of child-initiated and adult-led activities. This includes lots of opportunity for children to play in a stimulating and well-resourced environment both inside and out. Learning opportunities are linked to the children’s own interests and, wherever possible, taught in real world situations. This way we can ensure that the learning is relevant, purposeful and engaging for every boy, girl, ethnicity and ability.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin all learning experiences at Denbigh, as we understand that these are the key to successful and resilient learners. The Characteristic of Effective Learning are:


  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically


Knowing each child as an individual


Assessment is an integral part of every day at Denbigh. All practitioners working in Reception are continuously observing how the children play and learn to ensure that an opportunity to find out something new is never missed. Parents are invited into school regularly to discuss and share how their child is progressing, both in class and at home. Our weekly ‘Family Friday’ sessions encourage pupils and parents to celebrate the learning that has taken place that week and work on new learning together.


Exciting outdoor Learning


Our outdoor ‘Courtyard’ is a hub for exciting learning experiences whatever the weather. At Denbigh we know that the outdoor environments allow the children to take risks, solve problems and get as messy as can be; all in a safe and controlled environment. Our unique outdoor environment was designed specifically for our children to make the most of every inch of space.


An Engaging Curriculum


We have a range of strategies that are carefully woven together to ensure that our curriculum is relevant and engaging. We do this by teaching a range of key skills to ensure children are fully prepared for their learning Key Stage 1.


International Primary Curriculum (IPC) – all EYFS areas underpin the exciting themes and topics we teach throughout the year. The key areas of the IPC are:


  • Knowledge – factual knowledge related to the topic
  • Skills – Specific skills that need to be learned practically and time given to be practiced.
  • Understanding - development or ‘grasping’ of conceptual ideas, the ‘lightbulb’ moment that we all strive for. Understanding is always developing and it is up to each teacher in Reception to ensure that opportunities are given to get that ‘lightbulb’ moment.


Inspire Mathematics and Numicon – We teach maths through exploring practically, talking about maths and working together to solve problems. Our Numicon resources are the key to developing concrete foundations in the basic concepts of maths. By working together in real life situations, we ensure children are ready for the Inspire Maths scheme taught throughout the rest of the school.


Read Write Inc (RWI) – The structure to teaching reading in Denbigh is a proven success. We teach children to read from a very early age in an exciting and well managed way. Small groups are the key to ensuring all children are learning at their own pace. We believe that Reception is where the foundations of reading are set to ensure children develop a love of reading right from the beginning.


Forest School – Coming soon! Watch this space for exciting new learning opportunities next year.


Challenging and Improving our Practice


We are always looking at ways to challenge and improve our teaching practice further at Denbigh. As a result, we regularly have teachers taking part in research projects with other practitioners across the country and with published Early Years professionals. We welcome visits from other schools on many occasions throughout the year to share our own practice further. If you would like to visit our Early Year Foundation Setting, please don’t hesitate in getting in contact with us; we would love to show you around!