Early Years

We have a rich and vibrant curriculum in the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception).

We pride ourselves on our induction process and aim for all children new to Clifton to have a home visit from a member of staff. We forge strong links with families and run a number of parent workshops throughout the year.

We plan carefully for each child, taking into account what stage of development they are at and what previous experiences they have had. We ensure that the curriculum is delivered through a variety of independent, child initiated activities and teacher-led activities and is enriched with a number of high quality educational visits and visitors .

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

The new framework (September 2014) is mandatory for all EYFS providers. It sets out the areas for learning and development which form the EYFS curriculum. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development;
  • Personal, social and emotional development;
  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world;
  • Expressive arts and design.

The document sets out the expected level of progress for each area; these are called the Early Learning Goals. In a child's final term in Reception the EYFS Profile is completed for each pupil. Each child is assesses against the Early Learning Goals

Development Matters

To help implement the statutory framework, we use 'Development Matters' to support children's learning and development by closely matching what we provide to a child's needs.

Within Development Matters, the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning' are identified. These are:

  • playing and exploring;
  • active learning; and
  • creating and thinking critically.

These play a central role in supporting children to become lifelong learners.

The characteristics of effective learning run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development, representing processes rather than outcomes.

Our Learning

Have a look at our Topic Webs, on our Curriculum page, to find out more about what we are learning.


We have been talking about size in Reception. We worked together to put the animals in order from largest to smallest.
Some of the children in RE have been building vehicles in role play.

We have been reading big books to the class using the microphone and our big speaking voices.
We made a zoo for our animals. We thought about the size of the pens and who could be together. We didn't want the tigers to eat the other animals!

We went on a trip to the Sea Life Centre. It was fantastic! We saw lots of fish, sea turtles and even hammerhead sharks!
We make marks and practise writing in all kinds of ways – including in shaving foam on the table tops! It is very slimy!