Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

At Christ Church (Church of England) Infant School and Nursery every effort is made to provide a full and interesting curriculum to prepare children for their future education and to give them the skills and enthusiasm to pursue learning for the rest of their lives. We therefore provide a carefully planned range of practical and structured play activities within a calm, happy and stimulating environment. We believe children should have the opportunity to learn through play and that learning should be fun, engaging and suitably challenging.

We have high expectations for education and care and aim for each child to achieve in a caring, supportive and positive environment. Christ Church provides a broad and balanced curriculum which encourages the development of the whole child.


‘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.’ (Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2014)

Throughout the early years foundation stage (EYFS) there is a strong emphasis on learning through play, both child initiated and planned play. The curriculum is delivered through a combination of whole class, adult led focused activities and child initiated activities. We value the use of the outdoor environment and aim to provide effective practice both indoors and out providing opportunities for children in meaningful, engaging experiences that support their development in all 7 areas of the curriculum. Care is taken when planning activities to build in challenges which will move the children’s learning on, enabling them to attain the early learning goals by the end of the Foundation Stage (Reception).

There are 7 areas of learning and development, 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas with 3 characteristics of learning.

Prime Areas

Communication and Language

Physical Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific Areas



​Understanding the World

​Expressive Arts and Design

Characteristics of effective learning

​Playing and Exploring

Active Learning

Creating and Thinking Critically


Phonics is the knowledge of letters and the sounds they make. At Christ Church (Church of England) Infant School and Nursery phonics is taught using the Read, Write, Inc programme. 


The teaching of phonics begins in Nursery where children are exposed to a growing number of words through role-play, discussion and questioning. The emphasis is placed on developing the children’s love of reading through enticing story and poetry times. Children then move on to learn, recognise and say the sounds of letters with the help of RWInc mnemonics before beginning to blend the sounds into words allowing them to read simple CVC words independently e.g. cat. Throughout Reception, differentiated phonic work will be set to support the level the children are working at. All pupils’ receive 35 minutes focused phonics teaching Monday-Thursday inclusive.


Forest School

During Reception all children will have the opportunity to undertake our Forest School programme of activities. These experiences are run by members of the Christ Church staff that are fully qualified Forest School leaders. If you have any questions please don't hesitate in asking one of the Forest School team – Miss Fowler, Miss Bennett and Mrs Kehel.