Teaching and Learning in Early Years

In Medcroft Class, the children are at the heart of their learning. We strive to give children the best possible start to their education journey, by delivering a unique and inspired early years curriculum for all.  Learning experiences are adapted to centre around the children’s needs, interests and development, allowing children to thrive in our care.

Our curriculum is underpinned by three key principles: adult led learning, child led learning and our provision in the learning environment.


Adult Led Learning

Children in Reception will participate in daily teacher led Phonics and Maths sessions. You will be kept up to date with the focus of learning in these sessions through our weekly updates on Google Classroom. In addition, we have a termly theme that we focus on in class, an overview of our themes for learning can be found on the school website. Children will also complete adult led tasks during free flow which relate to our learning objectives.

Child Led Learning and Our Provision

The learning in our classroom is designed so that children have long periods of play to develop their ideas, extend their learning, use imagination, language and creativity. Much research had been done around the effectiveness of learning through play and how essential it is to children’s early development. Alongside this adult interactions with the children help to develop and move their learning on.

The indoor and outdoor areas are organised so that children can select any resources they choose to play with. The children can be outside all year round, whatever the weather!

The classroom is set up with continuous tools for learning. These are the resources that are available during play each session for the children to become familiar with. They are set up so that the children can access them independently.

In class we are continually observing and assessing the children. Our planning is based around the observations we make, including children’s interests or areas for development. We enhance certain areas of the provision based on this to extend play and engage the children further. All resources and learning areas are carefully thought out so that we maximise the learning opportunities for children.

As the children play the adults are constantly observing to find the teachable moments, where they can intervene and extend the learning opportunities for the children; offering comments, suggestions, modelling language, introducing new ideas, demonstrating skills and scribing children’s ideas. The adult may choose not to intervene as the play often develops, engages and supports learning without an adult. In this case the role of the adult is to observe and assess where the children are and how they can continue to move learning on.

How will you be informed of your child’s progress?

The revised framework for Early Years has a greater focus on high quality interactions between adults and children. This means our staff will be dedicating our time to being ‘in the moment’ with our children, engaging and extending their learning experiences. For this reason, our new, ‘in the moment’ teaching and learning cycle will replace the previously used ‘focus child observations’.

Parents will be informed of their child’s progress regularly throughout the year. This will include parent evenings, in which you will be updated in detail on your child’s progress across each area of the curriculum. Reception parents will also receive information at the start of the year from their baseline assessments, and at the end of the academic year when they are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.

We use the guidance documents, ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ and ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ to assess children in the Early Years.

Children will also have an individual learning journal, as a portfolio of the work they have achieved throughout the year. Parents will have opportunities to look through these with their child on regular occasions.

If you have any further questions about learning in the Early Years, please come and speak to a member of the team.


Miss Freeman

Medcroft Class Teacher.


Teaching of Phonic and Writing Skills

To support the development of writing we teach a regular phonics session four days a week. On top of this we use story telling as a valuable teaching tool. The children are encouraged to tell stories about something they have created, played with or simply something which is in their head at the time! Initially the adult scribes their ideas and as the year progresses the children are encouraged to begin contributing to the story by writing the initial sounds, sounding out simple words and eventually writing their own stories independently. This approach follows the ideas in the book “Princesses, Dragons and Helicopter Stories” by Trisha Lee.
The timetable in the Reception classroom is designed in order that children have long periods of play to develop their ideas, extend their learning, use imagination, language and creativity. Much research had been done around the effectiveness of learning through play and how essential it is to children’s early development.

We aim to make the children’s experiences in the Early Years as exciting as possible ensuring they leave with the tools to be lifelong learners and with a real enthusiasm for learning alongside the concepts and skills to access the National Curriculum as they move through the school.


Curriculum Maps

Autumn Term 2 Overview – Nursery

Autumn Term 2 Overview – Reception

Autumn Term 1 Overview – Nursery

Autumn Term 1 Overview – Reception

Medcroft Class Long Term Plan 2022-2023

Parents information evenings September 2022

Nursery Parents Info Evening 2022

Reception Parents Info Evening 2022


Weekly Newsletters and Home Learning