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Arboretum Primary School

Reach for the Stars

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Early Years


Our Early Years department at Arboretum believes in providing an environment where all children feel safe and secure and develop a lifelong love for learning. Our intent is to support them to develop the knowledge and skills they need to build strong foundations which will prepare them for their next stage of learning. We aim to enable every child to make good progress from their individual starting points so that they achieve a good level of development. We build strong, mutually respectful relationships with our families and work collaboratively to support their children to become independent learners. All children learn at different rates and in order to become lifelong learners we must foster their love for learning through the successful development of the characteristics of effective learning.



Children build positive relationships with others through play and quality interactions with adults.  All adults are extremely ambitious for all children to achieve and make progress; they value children’s decisions and choices, get to know each, unique, individual learning style and ultimately recognise that all children develop in different ways.

 “Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time” (Statutory Framework for the EYFS March 2021)

Our welcoming, engaging learning environments enable children to follow their own interests and fascinations by exploring and developing their learning. All children are given a range of experiences that allow them to build on their knowledge both indoors and outside of the classroom.  We learn through child initiated play with adult led activities taking place where appropriate. Children develop a love of phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. programme which ensures a robust, consistent approach to reading and writing. All children are grouped based on ability and move through the programme appropriately. We follow the White Rose scheme for maths which ensures children not only achieve mastery level learning but also foster a love of maths.

We love to see children discover for themselves by playing, exploring, actively learning, having a go at activities and thinking critically. There are opportunities for children to revisit their learning which supports children to practise and consolidate their understanding. It also helps them to transfer experiences and skills into their long-term memory.

There are many opportunities for learning in our language rich environments and through the positive relationships with both adults and peers, children progress with everyone on their learning journeys. They are continuously challenged and encouraged to take risks in their play both inside the classroom and out.  They are taught a wide repertoire of rhymes and songs and their love of reading is extended through the sharing of interesting and inspirational texts. Each learning environment has a welcoming reading area with a selection of fiction and non-fiction texts to ensure that there is something for everyone.



All children are assessed by the whole team of staff. This ensures any adult led activities can be planned in response to their changing needs. Children develop a love of learning and become highly motivated. They build resilience and learn to persevere even when faced with challenges. They work hard at developing concentration, imagination and deep level learning that builds the foundations needed to succeed on their journey into Key Stage One.  

Throughout their time in Early Years, children’s feelings and emotions are accepted and nurtured. Children develop self-awareness and learn self-regulation skills to support their mental health and wellbeing. They leave us as happy, independent individuals who are confident in their abilities and ready to embrace new learning in Key Stage One.

Here is the link to 'Development Matters' for parental information.

Our Curriculum and Curricular Goals

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.

(EYFS Framework 2023, pg5)


Overarching principles


  • All children should be provided with the best possible start to their education to ensure they can flourish and be confident life-long learners.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) forms the foundation to success for every child. Whilst every child is unique, we believe all children can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • We believe every child can flourish with the right help and that they may progress at different rates. 
  • For children to achieve their best, they need to be happy, confident and settled. We make children’s enjoyment and choices our priority and provide high-quality care for all.
  • Our children benefit from positive relationships with all adults. Our staff explicitly model and teach our shared behaviour principles: ready, respectful and safe.
  • Effective teaching and learning in the EYFS meets children’s identified needs and interests. We carefully create an enabling environment which helps children to learn and develop in all areas of our curriculum.
  • We work together with parents. We work in close partnership with all of our parents so all children benefit from a successful early years (both at home and at school).
  • Different aspects of early learning require different approaches. Much of early maths learning is sequential: learning new concepts must build on the solid foundations of earlier concepts. On the other hand, learning about the world is much less sequential. The order of learning matters less than building on children’s interests and widening their horizons.
  • Children develop and learn at different rates. Children’s additional needs, such as special educational needs, are identified quickly. All children promptly receive any extra help which they need so they can progress well in their learning from their starting point.  


Our Curriculum Overview

We offer a high quality broad and balanced curriculum based upon the needs of our children. Our curriculum has the following elements:


Our curricular goals at Arboretum Primary

We regularly review our curriculum and the resources we use. We want a curriculum that is relevant, meaningful and reflects the diverse society that we live in. We want to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’; creating a strong foundation on which they can build as they enter KS1.



I will express my ideas and feelings with confidence


I can understand and follow a simple recipe


I will become a confident, reflective and resilient learner


I can confidently and independently move across and over the outdoor climbing frame


I can independently read books that are matched to my phonic knowledge


I can write a message for someone else to read


I can spot patterns and relationships in numbers and shapes

Design and create

I will work collaboratively to design and create a class art gallery. I will create art work to display using a variety of media and artistic effects


I can perform a song and dance to an audience


I will care for the animals and plants around our school 


I can celebrate differences and similarities