Bulwell St Mary's Primary and Nursery SchoolWhere Your Journey Begins


Welcome to EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)


The vision for our EYFS unit is for it to be a happy, safe and inspiring place to be. The environment and curriculum provides rich learning experiences that embed Christian values and create awe and wonder. We want the children to be able to be responsible, respectful and ready to learn. We want them to show they take care of themselves, others, their environment and their work. We want the children to feel loved and have a sense of belonging.


The environment is continually being developed and improved. The overall look of the environment is based on neutral backgrounds and as many natural and real resources as possible. The neutral backgrounds are then enhanced by colour of the children’s work and books. The emphasis is on ‘less is more’ and ‘quality versus quantity’.


Children learn best through play with a combination of 'Free flow' Continuous Provision sessions and short directed teaching sessions. The purpose of Continuous Provision is to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult. Continuous Provision involves having resources available to children to use all of the time in an accessible system of open storage. The resources have clearly set out places using photos and symbols to enable children to know where they belong; therefore, supporting them in being responsible and independent for both choosing and replacing what they use. The outdoor environment offers opportunities to use senses, think critically and take risks as well as developing gross motor skills. Enhancements are the resources provided extra to the continuous provision to spark interest and enhance learning. They are planned for and changed accordingly and linked to current themes/topics or to develop a particular skill.

We strive to ensure we have a communication friendly environment, where all children can understand where things belong and what is happening. A visual timetable is displayed and referred to in each room and simple Makaton signs are used. All equipment and resources are labelled with photos and symbols. 

We place a great importance on communication and language skills and the value of quality interactions.  Quality interactions provide opportunity for us to introduce new vocabulary, learn what children are interested in, what knowledge they have and question to challenge thinking and develop play.


The curriculum we provide meets the requirements set out in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage and focuses on developing the children’s skills in line with the Early Learning Goals.

The EYFS curriculum comprises of seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three prime areas are:


Communication and Language  - giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Physical Development - providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


Personal, social and emotional development - helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.


We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:


Literacy - encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write


Mathematics - opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures


Understanding the World - guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places and the environment


Expressive Arts and Design - enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology


Our teaching is based on the Characteristics of Effective Learning:


  • Playing and exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and thinking critically


Both F1 and F2 have PE in the hall, join KS1 for weekly Collective Worship and engage in SCARF (PHSE) lessons in addition to lots of story and singing times on the carpet. Daily dough disco in both classes is a fun way of helping strengthen the muscles in our hands to develop our fine motor skills in preparation for writing. F2 have daily phonics and maths lessons which are short and interactive. 


Building good relationships with parents and carers is very important to us and we ensure that opportunities are made available regularly to share information. We provide opportunities for parents/carers to join us to celebrate learning and engage in activities and trips at different points during the year. We use Class Dojo as a platform of communication to share learning and information.

Steps to starting school