At Maple Court Academy we endeavour to nurture independent and resilient learners who are ready for the next stage of their education. Our Foundation Stage provides a secure, happy and caring environment in which the pupils encounter new and exciting experiences. We take time to get to know all of our pupils well so we can best understand their individual needs, likes and interests.

Communication and Language is at the heart of our curriculum; we provide engaging learning opportunities, purposeful play and a focus on enriching the vocabulary of our pupils which will build a strong foundation for future achievements and aspirations.

EYFS Curriculum Intent

In line with our whole school core values (moral, adaptable, learners), our EYFS Curriculum has been designed to support pupils to become resilient, confident and positive learners. The curriculum also encourages pupils to build respectful relationships and communicate effectively with each other. It is carefully planned to enable pupils to make connections between home and school life, prior knowledge and new learning and begin to make links with the wider community.

Our ambitious curriculum focuses on embedding key skills and knowledge we want the children to learn, through carefully planned topic themes that build upon children’s prior knowledge and learning. The topics also provide a context to the world around our children and include seasonal changes in the natural world and cultural celebrations and traditions. Although our curriculum includes six half-termly topics, we are responsive to the children’s learning needs and interests and will adapt our EYFS curriculum in order to meet the needs of our youngest learners. The topics are always introduced with a good-quality text, which helps children learn the value and importance of books and

reading. Our EYFS curriculum is enhanced by visiting speakers, workshop, educational visits and enrichment opportunities like Wonderful Wednesday.

Nursery topic overview

Reception topic overview

Reading and Phonics

As an academy, we follow the validated synthetic phonics programme, ‘Little Wandle, Letters and Sounds.’ Phonics is taught daily across the Foundation Stage and is a priority focus for the academy. Our Nursery pupils embed phase 1 phonics (Foundations in Phonics) which focuses on skills such as listening, rhyme and oral blending. These skills and knowledge then enable our pupils to access the Little Wandle programme in Reception. During the Reception year, pupils learn phase 2 and 3 graphemes and apply these to reading and writing. Pupils also take part in reading practise sessions each week to embed reading skills and develop fluency. This is further developed with a partnership with parents and pupils are actively encouraged to practise their reading skills at home.

Alongside our phonics programme, the children also engage in taught English sessions which are focused around high quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Our English lessons allow the children to further embed their phonic skills and also promote independence with the children’s writing.


Within our Maths lessons across the Foundation Stage, we focus on developing core skills that are needed to give the children secure foundations when moving on into Key Stage 1. Our Maths lessons give the children the opportunity to use concrete resources to secure their understanding of mathematical concepts being taught and this is then linked and developed further through the use of the continuous provision.

EYFS Framework

The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum outlines the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, and sets the standards for care and learning in the early years. The framework outlines seven areas of learning and development which our curriculum follows and is built upon.

The three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for future learning and success. There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

Prime Areas 

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

There are two classes that form our Reception class unit – The Rainbow Fish class and the Hungry Caterpillar class. Each individual class of up to 30 pupils has a class teacher and an experienced member of support staff. Children in Reception will have the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways, including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, small-group teaching, investigations, problem-solving, paired talk and independent learning.

Assessment in Early years

Through the Nursery and Reception classes, the staff work alongside the pupils to support their development. The pupil’s achievements in the EYFS form the starting point for their primary education. We encourage parents to contribute to their child’s learning journey at Maple Court by sharing experiences from home, important milestones achieved and their interests and curiosities.

At the start of the Reception year, pupils will be formally assessed using the Reception Baseline Assessment. During a short one-to-one session with their teacher, your child will do a number of practical and interactive tasks. The tasks are carefully designed to assess early mathematics, literacy, communication and language skills. Observations, conversations and formative information gathered by the adults working in the EYFS department will create a picture of your child’s achievements in school.

Parents will be kept up-to-date with their child’s progress and development through termly parent conferences, open events and written feedback.

Early Intervention

Any pupils identified as ‘falling behind’ in any aspect of learning will be quickly identified and additional support will be put into place for the pupil. In Reception, we use the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) and have a peripatric teacher who supports with the delivery of this to ensure that the programme is having maximum impact. As part of the NELI intervention, children are screened using an assessment tool which allows us to quickly identify children who are not working at an expected level within their communication and language. We are then able to use appropriate intervention to support their needs.

In the Nursery, we use ‘Talking Time’ which is universal and offered to all Nursery children via small group sessions with the aim to support the development of early language and communication skills. Children who require additional support beyond this, will take part in ‘Time to Talk’ sessions which are also carried out in small groups and promotes good listening and attention skills.

EYFS Curriculum Documents