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Early Years

Welcome to St James CE Primary School

Welcome to St James CE School’s Early Years Foundation Stage Unit. We aim to provide a nurturing environment where each child can build lifelong skills of independence, confidence and resilience.


We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for children aged 0–5. This curriculum covers children’s development from birth to aged 5 (end of Reception) and describes how a child’s development needs can be supported. The EYFS curriculum is based on four important themes and principles which underpin teaching.


A Unique Child


Positive Relationships


Enabling Environments


Learning and Development


Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.


Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.


The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s learning and development.


Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. All the areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.

The EYFS curriculum is divided into three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas are the most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the four specific areas of learning. These areas of learning and development are subdivided into a further seventeen aspects, as seen below.

Prime Areas of Learning and

Specific Areas of Learning and Development

Communication and Language
-Listening ,Attention and Understanding

Physical Development
-Gross Motor Skills
-Fine Motor Skills

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

-Managing Self

-Building Relationships


-Word Reading


-Numerical Patterns

Understanding the World
-People, Culture and Communities
-The Natural World
-Past and Present

Expressive Arts and Design
-Creating with Materials
-Being Imaginative and Expressive

We also support children in becoming resilient, life-long learners through promoting and celebrating the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ within our learning environment and daily interactions.

These are as follows:

‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’


Playing and Exploring – Engagement
-Finding out and exploring
-Playing with what they know
-Being willing to ‘have a go’


Active Learning – Motivation
-Being involved and concentrating
-Keeping trying
-Enjoying achieving what they set out to do



Creating and Thinking Critically – Thinking
-Having their own ideas
-Making links
-Choosing ways to do things


Activities and provision are carefully planned and the indoor and outdoor learning environments are set up in order to challenge and support children in reaching their next steps. Children are encouraged to develop as independent learners who are confident and capable within the school and the wider community.

The children learn through a thematic approach, following our core curriculum drivers of Adventure, Curiosity and Empathy, within which they are firmly placed at the centre of their learning. The children are encouraged to take ownership over their learning and contribute to topic selection and planning. This approach ensures high levels of interest and engagement from children, which in turn drives their learning and progress.


St James C of E Primary School
OX12 0JN


01235 868232