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John Bamford Primary

Early Years Curriculum

The EYFS Curriculum at The John Bamford Primary School and Nursery

Our EYFS Curriculum has been designed to reflect the nature of our beautiful environment, the seasons of the year and the nature around our school. It aims to teach the children how their environment compares to other places, cultures, and nature in other parts of the world. It is therefore unique to The John Bamford Primary school.

Each adventure is included in the curriculum for very specific reasons and we want to ensure that all children leaving the Reception Year are ready to continue their journey into The John Bamford KS1 curriculum. Each adventure does not last a specific amount of time but is based on the children’s learning at the time, so a topic can run from anything between two and seven weeks. All the topics have resources and activities ready to use in the enhanced provision. Adventures are introduced with a good quality storybook or an age appropriate non – fiction text. Using books in this way teaches children that books and reading form the basis of all learning.

This ambitious Early Years curriculum aims to teach all children the skills and knowledge required to reach the seventeen Early Learning Goals described in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We teach through a range of teaching methods including child-initiated learning, whole class teaching, group teaching, investigations and problem solving together and independently. As many activities as possible are play-based; however, there is also a need for direct teacher-led activities to ensure children gain essential knowledge and skills from their teacher. All activities are modelled and children are given sufficient time, support and resources to repeat and practise them.

Personal Social and Emotional Development

We strive to enable children to be safe, happy and confident individuals. We also encourage self-regulation as much as possible and introduce rules and boundaries through modelling good behaviour and reflection time. We teach the children the Characteristics of Effective Learning through Mr Men characters in Nursery and Tots and dinosaurs in Reception.  We introduce the characters at the beginning of the year. These values underpin our whole curriculum and teaching style throughout the Early Years. These values then follow on throughout the school.

Physical Development

Our enriching outdoor environment and grounds enable us to make the most of the outdoors and we encourage children to play outside as much as possible. Our intention is that children learn how to take measured risks and they are given access to our whole playground and outdoor nursery. We encourage children to learn about nature and look after their environment through regular welly walks around the local environment. In Nursery and Reception, children participate in Finger Gym/Dough Disco sessions, which allow the development of fine motor skills through completing fun activities to an upbeat song. Children are taught about the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating, and are encouraged to join in with whole-school sports initiatives such as school competitions.

Communication and Language

Children are encouraged to listen and communicate appropriately. We enhance the classroom and outdoor area to reflect the topic learnt. Each topic encompasses enhancements to the learning environment that include role-play areas, small-world play and story-scribing to encourage the children to act out scenarios and discuss concepts being learnt. This helps children learn and use new vocabulary introduced through the topics. Children are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to whole-class and group discussion whenever possible. Children who struggle to communicate are targeted in the provision and learning interventions are used when children lack confidence or do not have the age-appropriate skills.


We aim to teach children to read and develop a love of books as soon as they arrive at The John Bamford Primary Nursery and Tots, and books are used to teach topics and to enhance our whole curriculum.  We follow a systematic approach to phonics teaching based on Letters and Sounds. Phonics lessons are taught daily for twenty-five minutes. In addition to daily phonics in Reception, children take part in reading individually with an adult and a reading book matched to their phonics ability is taken home every day. Children are also encouraged to take home age-appropriate books from the class library books in the reading corner; these are changed each half-term to reflect the different seasons, topics taught and children’s interests. Teachers read stories to children from high quality age-appropriate texts at every available opportunity. These books are then used to enhance the learning environment and reading area. Children who need extra help with phonics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff.


We introduce writing straight away, and teach handwriting alongside the phonics curriculum. Children are encouraged to write sounds, words, phrases then sentences within phonics, applying the familiar sounds they have learnt during the session. Story scribing is introduced to children in Nursery. This is where children tell a story for the adult listening to write. At some point within the session, the children will gather together to act the story out with their friends. As the children develop, children begin to hear the familiar sounds and then apply these within their story. By the end of Reception, children will independently write a story using the skills taught throughout Early Years. During the children’s time in Reception, they will be asked to complete ‘challenges’ which will be an independent writing activity celebrated within class. Children practise writing their name when they come into school in Reception. Letter formation is introduced in phonics lessons focusing on the handwriting families we follow within school. The children are provided with a range of pencils, pens, and other media to encourage them to write as much as possible. We hope to inspire children to write independently after they have been introduced to writing skills in their phonics sessions.


Children are taught maths through a shared adult input and application within the classroom activities. We also use maths enhancement activities in the different areas in the classroom, including the outdoors. The main aim of the maths curriculum is to teach children to be able to subitise numbers to ten automatically as soon as possible. We begin in Nursery by concentrating on numbers to five. In Reception, we introduce one number a week in the first term, with the aim that children have a better understanding of one digit numbers before they move on to place value, calculation and arithmetic later in the year. Children also learn shape, space and measure skills and knowledge through guided work and as activities in the enhanced provision. Children who need extra help with mathematics are targeted in the provision by key members of staff. In Reception, we like to have number sessions each afternoon where we practise correct number formation and play games focusing on applying our maths knowledge and skills for that week.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

We strive to give children knowledge about the world around them at John Bamford and the rest of the world. Science is taught through most of our topics. For example, we observe ice in our Ice Age topic and investigate how ice melts and forms through real hands-on experiences. We are extremely fortunate to have a lovely outdoor area at our school. Staff are very knowledgeable about wildlife and plant species, and endeavour to pass this knowledge onto children at every opportunity. Our Living Things topic links particularly well to our nature walks, and we always have frogspawn hatching in our classroom as well as chicks hatching in Reception so that children are encouraged to see nature changing over time.

Geography is taught, including maps and countries of the world, through our Celebrations and Around the World topics. We take a trip to the beach during our Under the Sea adventure to observe and enjoy the environment, which is very different to life at our school. Similarly, we introduce the children to history learning through our Toys and Transport adventure. For example, we look at old and new modes of transport and how toys have changed over time. We teach RE throughout the year based on celebrations, including the story of Diwali, The Christmas Story and The Easter Story so that children are introduced to different beliefs and cultures.

Expressive Arts and Design

There is a buzz of music, dance and drama and John Bamford. We want children to sing songs, make music, dance and perform. We regularly have music playing and being performed within the setting and dances and performances taking place on our stages. Children are given time and are encouraged to play imaginative games and make up stories, songs and dances.

In art, the children are taught how to safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function. We study artists and experience skills used by real artists. Child-initiated art activities are encouraged during continuous provision as well as art and crafts being taught by the staff. We endeavour that children leave Reception with good art skills, as well as encouraging them to use their own ideas and techniques in their art and design work.


Autumn Nursery


The Adventures of Mr Men

Autumn Adventures


Key texts

Starting Nursery stories

Mr Men Books

The Treasure Hunt etc. – Nick Butterworth.

Ferdie and the Falling Leaves

The Prickly Hedgehog.

The Gruffalo

The Stickman

Non-fiction texts

Range of Christmas stories

Winnie the Witch

Jack Frost


Outdoor Learning

Learning to respect the environment and follow boundaries

Practise putting on wellies

Autumn sensory walk

Treasure hunt

Events and Themes

Harvest, Christmas, Diwali, Bonfire Night, Halloween, Remembrance, Children in Need, October – BLM


Recite numbers in order to 5 – through singing songs.  Begin to explore 1-1 correspondence by movement of objects.  Categorise objects big/large/little/small. Begin to talk about an arrangement making a pattern – leaf/conker/leaf. Begin to follow some instructions using positional language. Show an interest in shapes in the environment.

Phonics and Reading

Introduce sitting and listening skills. Develop awareness of sounds in the environment. Develop awareness of sounds made with instruments. Listen to and appreciate the difference between sounds made with instruments.


Drawing shapes to match characters from Mr Men books

Letter to Santa. Christmas card.

Recognising their name

Expressive Art and Design

Self portrait

Showing emotions in drawings

Mr Men shape pictures

Kandinsky – shape pictures

Leaf printing, Colour mixing

Nursery rhymes, Autumn sounds – rain makers,  Firework printing/marble rolling,

Leaf/vegetable printing

Christmas card

Christmas crafts

Christmas performance

Christmas songs

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Shapes in the environment






Observing changes over time

How to care for the natural environment and living things

Learning about our own and other cultures.

Significant Black figures - BLM



COEL - Achievosaurs


All Around Us


Key texts

The Dinosaur that Pooped

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to school.

Dear dinosaur

Non-fiction dinosaurs


Maps/Google Earth

Non-fiction local area

Local websites

The Scarecrows Wedding

Room on the Broom

Rama and Sita

Where the Poppies Grow

The Gun Powder Plot

The Christmas Story

Outdoor Learning

Putting on puddle suits

Outdoor Nursery rules

Being kind to the environment


Introduce surrounding areas of school

Autumn walk

Introduction to Woodwork

Natural Christmas decorations

Events and Themes

Visit Church for Harvest Festival, Visit library and gain a membership, Visit the vets, Children in Need, Bonfire Night

Remembrance, Christmas,  October – BLM, Diwali, Halloween disco



Numbers 1 – 10 including subitising numbers / number bonds. Days of the Week, 2D shapes, Seasons of the year, 3Dshapes, Counting forwards and backwards to 20

Phonics and Reading

Introduce Phase 2 sounds: satpindogmnckeurhbfl ff ll ss        Reading and writing cvc words. Tricky words: I the to go no


Recognising and writing their names.  Writing CVC words and a sentence.   Label a picture (links to adventure). Writing a letter to Father Christmas. Christmas Cards. Can you write a sentence about a story? Re-Introduce story scribing.


Gymnastics in the hall

Expressive Art and Design

2d shape Dinosaur printing.



Research Andy Warhol style


Christmas card using shapes.

Christmas decorations using patterns.

Christmas songs

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Share photos and memories from the summer

Compare and contrast characters


Looking at maps,

Family and familiar people – baby, family, local area photos (past and present)

Seasonal changes

Nativity – Out of the Ark – The Nativity

Significant Black figures – BLM

Visit Santa

Christmas around the world

Autumn Reception

Spring Nursery


People Who Help Us

Living Things


Key texts

Non-fiction texts

The Hungry Caterpillar, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Butterfly Dance

The Gigantic Turnip, I am a Frog, Sunflower Cycle,

Easter Story

Guess How Much I Love You

The Great Race

Outdoor Learning – Welly Walks

Winter Walk



Going to see the frogspawn in Forest School

Spring Walk

Treasure hunt

Events and Themes

New Year, Pancake Day, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, St Patricks Day, Easter, Red Nose Day, Mother’s Day


Know that numbers identify how many are in a set. Begin to separate a group of 3/4 objects in different ways. Subitising 1, 2. Find the odd one out with shapes. Count up to ¾ objects saying one number for each object to be counted. Begin to continue a pattern ABABA. Compare 2 groups saying when they have the same/different number. Show an awareness of similarities of shapes in the environment. Use language such as more/ ‘a lot’.


Phonics and Reading

Develop awareness of sounds and rhythms. Distinguish between sounds and to remember patterns of sound. Talk about sounds we make with our bodies and what the sounds mean. Experience and appreciate rhythm and rhyme and to develop awareness of rhythm and rhyme in speech. Increase awareness of words that rhyme and to develop knowledge about rhyme. Talk about words that rhyme and to produce rhyming words. Develop understanding of alliteration. Listen to sounds at the beginning of words and hear the differences between them. Explore how different sounds are articulated.


Drawing pictures of their families

Recognising and writing their names

Expressive Art and Design

Junk modelling – fire engine and ambulance

Butterfly printing – mirror image

Kandinsky – shapes pictures

Valentine’s Day craft

Easter craft, Mother’s Day craft

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Understanding the role of different jobs

Dentists – Oral health

Visit from fire engine, police, ambulance


Looking at our own families and creating a family tree, Planting cress and plant life cycle – how to look after plants, Healthy eating, The life cycle of a caterpillar, Herb and spices tasting

The Easter Story

Chinese New Year

Pancake race and making

Spring Reception


Ice Age

Growing Up


Key texts

Mr Men Adventures of the Ice Age

Non-fiction – Ice, Arctic, Antarctic, Winter

The Little Red Hen

Chicken Licken

Non-fiction – chicks, life cycles

Healthy Eating -Oliver’s fruit salad.

The Easter Story

Mother’s Day story

Outdoor Learning – Welly Walks

Wellies on the right feet

Winter walk

Spring walk – new life plants and animals

Growing plants

Growing Mother’s Day presents

Events and Themes

New Year, Pancake Day, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, St Patricks Day, Easter, Red Nose Day, Mother’s Day


Numbers 1 – 10 including subitising numbers / automatic recall of number bonds. Days of the Week, 2dshapes, Seasons of the year, 3Dshapes, Counting forwards and backwards to 20 and beyond. One More and One less for numbers to 20.

Calculation including addition and subtraction of one digit numbers. Doubling numbers and number bonds.

Phonics and Reading

Introduce Phase 3 sounds: jvyxz zz ch sh th ai ee igh oa oo ar oi ow reading and writing cvvc words. Tricky words:  phase 2


Drawing pictures of their families. Writing CVC words and a sentence.  Recognising and writing their names, Chick diaries, Valentine’s day, Easter, Mother’s Day cards. Write a list of ingredients to make pancakes. Story Scribing.


Throwing and catching skills in the hall

Expressive Art and Design

Cave painting

Ice painting

Self portraits

Easter songs

Kandinsky – Valentine’s Day

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Looking at different environments – similarities and differences

Compare seasons

Ice observations

How we have changed since the beginning of reception

Chick life cycle

Look at photos from the past/babies

Making a fruit salad.

The Easter Story

Church visit – places special to member of their community



Summer Nursery



Toys and Transport

Under the Sea

Key texts

Non-fiction texts

The Rainbow Fish

Sharing a Shell

Outdoor Learning

Den building

Summer walk, Treasure hunt

Events and Themes

Father’s Day, Sports Day, Beach trip, Graduation


Begin to subitise small numbers, Begin to select the correct numeral to represent 1-5, Begin to order numbers to 5, discussing their position, Counts up to 5 objects counts an irregular arrangement , Begin to count beyond 5 saying one number name for each item, Begin  to recite backwards from 5, Begin to use the language of weight

Heavy/light, Begins to find the total of items in 2 groups by counting all of them

Phonics and Reading

Distinguish between the differences in vocal sounds, including oral blending and segmenting. Explore speech sounds, talk about the different sounds that we can make with our voices. Develop oral blending and segmenting of sounds in words. Listen to phonemes within words and to remember them in order in which they occur. Talk about the different phonemes that make up words.


Drawing pictures of familiar items

Name writing

Expressive Art and Design

Car wheel painting

Cutting pictures from catalogues

Papier machier hot air balloons

Transport mobiles

Fish collage

Fish sun catcher

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Exploring different materials and the properties of toys and cars

How the different toys and cars work

Forces, Space

Holidays – maps and where they have visited

Hednesford museum – toys

Pictures of favourite toys

Difference of materials – beach – sand and water

Sea life




Summer Reception


Traditional Tales


Around the World

Key texts

The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, The Gingerbread Man, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Handa’s Surprise

Non-fiction- different habitats and environments

The Tinga Tales stories

Outdoor Learning

Summer walk


Events and Themes

Father’s Day, Sports Day, Beach trip, Transition to Year 1


Numbers 1 – 10 including subitising numbers / automatic recall of number bonds. Days of the Week, 2dshapes, Seasons of the year, 3Dshapes, Counting forwards and backwards to 100 and beyond.

One More and One less of numbers to 20. Understanding place value in teen numbers.

Calculation including addition and subtraction of one digit numbers. Doubling numbers. Halving numbers, odd and even numbers.

Phonics and Reading

Revising Phase 3 sounds: jvyxz zz ch sh th ai ee igh oa oo ar oi ow reading and writing cvvc words. Tricky words:  Phase 3 and 4

Phase 4 – consonant blends – ccvcc words.


Recognising and writing their own names. Writing CVC words, sentences and extending sentences. Instruction writing. Father’s day cards, what are you looking forward to in year 1? Recount sports/ beach day. Story scribing. Writing a list for what we need to go to the beach.


Sports on the field

Sports Day preparation

Expressive Art and Design

Junk modelling the story characters,

Role playing the story

Cultural music – How does it make you feel?

African Art

Stephen Njenga

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Lives of characters – changes from the past

Comparisons of different environments – desert, jungle, city, beach – weather/people/jobs/cultures/religions

Animals from around the world drawings.

Beach visit EYFS

Treat week - bouncy castle, ice cream van, McDonald’s