Skip to content ↓

St Edmunds Primary School




At Waveney Valley Partnership we see the Early Years Foundation Stage as crucial in securing solid foundations that children can continue to build on as each grows and develops their unique potential.

In September 2020 we will become early adopters of the new Early Years framework 2020 and children will work towards reaching the new early learning goals.

The early years framework is broken down into 3 areas;

  1. Characteristics of effective learning; playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.
  2. Prime areas of learning; communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.
  3. Specific areas of learning; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

In line with our Trust Early Years Foundation Stage Policy, we shape our curriculum based on the children's individual interests and needs. We recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. Children who enter our Early Years are given every opportunity to develop holistically; physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

On entry into the early years we look at the individual needs of each child and their starting points. We use children’s own interests and the flexibility of the Early Years curriculum to follow each child’s individual learning paths, keeping the Characteristics of Effective Learning at the heart of all we do.

We have an ambitious curriculum with high expectations. We expect all children to make good progress regardless of their starting points. 


Learning in the Early Years is not a formal or top down approach. Learning experiences will occur naturally in school through play. Children are also provided with playful and practical experiences which develop their knowledge, language skills through conversation and encourage participation to develop new skills. Staff model appropriate skills, good use of language and offer support and challenge.

Language and communication skills are paramount to every aspect of life. Our Early Years team support children to develop their skills so that they can communicate their needs appropriately, listen effectively, understand verbal and visual cues and develop a range of vocabulary and speech skills.

Alongside continuous provision and child initiated activities children work with staff in groups, individually and as a whole class, during adult led and taught sessions.

The whole school themes; journeys, to boldly go, extreme earth, amazing people, celebrations, footsteps in time, provide a catalyst for learning opportunities in the Early Years. However, we follow the interests of the children adapting the school themes and adding new ones through the year to engage and intrinsically motivate children to learn through their interests. We revisit these themes throughout the Reception year/ in Year 1 to ensure new knowledge is secure.

At Waveney Valley Partnership we are proud of the links we have with the communities in which we live. These links are used to support the development of positive relationships, celebrate diversity, embed British values, tolerance and respect. 


At Waveney Valley Partnership we keep the characteristics of Effective Learning running through the heart of the Early Years curriculum, adults design and develop experiences to enhance and extend.  Children can explore and lead their own learning, develop curiosity, take risks, become resourceful, learn to be reflective, collaborate with others and become resilient.

By the end of the year, all children will be securing the foundations required to work with our whole school curriculum drivers:

  • Initiative:

It is vital that we nurture the natural curiosity of our children, enabling them to become independent in thought and action and encouraging them to imagine, enquire and question. We will give children opportunities to think critically, by solving problems and making choices.

  • Community:

It is important that children make links from school to the local and wider communities; through developing and experiencing positive relationships and celebrating diversity, therefore equipping them with the skills to become valued members of society.

  • Communication:

Pupils in our schools will develop the skills necessary to articulate their own thoughts, ideas and feelings successfully in a range of forms. Tolerance and respect towards of others’ differing points of view will be modelled with a culture of acceptance.

  • Adventure:

We recognise the responsibility we have for the physical development and well-being of our children. We believe that a curriculum rich in sport and physical activity along with participation in positive competition develops confidence and resilience and allowing them to manage real risks.