Bradley Stoke Community School

Acorns (Reception)   

Class Teacher - Miss Pendry


How we teach in EYFS - A Curious Curriculum


At Bradley Stoke Community School we teach our Reception class within the EYFS ethos.  We embark on a play-based, child-led curriculum offering children a mix of child-initiated and adult led learning opportunities – but always taking into account the interests and needs of the children. 

This is in response to a number of aims:

  • A desire to enable children to engage in free-flow play and learning:


“The state in which children are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that children will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.  The best moments are not those of passive pleasure but those when we feel exhilarated by achievement; when we are in a state of flow.” Mihalay Csikszentmihalyi


  • A desire to develop children with independent learning skills;
  • A desire to create life-long learners with the intrinsic motivation to engage in learning opportunities;
  • A desire to build on children’s knowledge, skills and concepts so learning opportunities reflect the individual learning needs of the children.
  • Inclusive practice that helps every individual child to meet their learning potential regardless of gender, belief system, culture or language;

Our ultimate aim is outstanding progress and outcomes for all of our children.


  • In EYFS, Phonics and some elements of Maths and English skills are taught discretely. Every other subject is developed through a play-based, child-led curriculum. Play provides opportunities for children to experience learning in a meaningful and purposeful way, allowing them to develop the skills needed to become effective learners.
  • The classroom environment is organised to enable children independently access a wide range of resource during their play; this is called ‘continuous provision’ – the continuous provision allows children’s learning to continue when they are working without an adult’s support.
  • The adults within the setting continually observe children’s interests and learning behaviours. They use this knowledge to add enhancements and provocations to the continuous provision; creating ‘enhanced provision’.
  • The class teacher uses knowledge of the children’s interests to select quality key texts as an additional focus for developing children’s learning.
  • Each day, children have extended periods of time where they can follow their own agenda with free-flow – playing, exploring and learning through a carefully resourced and planned learning environment; inside and out.
  • ‘Planning time’ and ‘Review time’ (plan, do and review), each day, play an important role in developing good thinking habits and independent learners.


  • A Child-led Curriculum has many benefits. Our children enjoy learning and are active the whole time. They are totally involved in their learning as they have choice about the activity they want to focus on and have influence and discussion on activities and resources that could go into enhancing the different areas of continuous provision.
  • Teachers use continuous, formative assessment to monitor progress within the Early Years Framework. Assessments are in the form of observations of learning as it happens and are recorded in each child’s online Learning Journal (Tapestry). 
  • The inclusion of the basic skills of reading, writing and mathematics as integral within the system surrounding the child-led curriculum, not only gives children the opportunity to develop and use these skills on a daily basis in addition to the planned focussed English and Maths teaching, but the integrity of these skills ensures they are viewed by the children as relevant to their lives, with meaning and purpose.

A Typical Day in Year EYFS





Children enter school at 8.40am; they self-register and make their lunch choices.  The children start the day with a period of ‘linked provision’ – they are guided towards an activity linked to a theme, for example, there could be a range of activities with a maths, shape theme or a range of activities focussed around developing fine motor skills. 


The children will come together around 9.00am to say ‘good morning’ and for a whole class teacher led session – this session will be a discreet phonics lesson following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.


Children will then move to a period of self-initiated, free-flow learning.  During this time, the Class Teacher and Teaching Assistant may work with a child 1:1, a small focus group or support children engaged in self-initiated learning. 


The children know they will be asked to talk about the learning they have been engaged in at the end of the session.


During the morning, the class do not stop for a timetabled break; children can choose to take a break from their learning and access the snack bar when their learning comes to a natural break. 


Towards the end of the morning, the children will have a second whole class teacher led input – this will have a maths focus. 


The children will spend time, as a class, reviewing the morning’s learning.  They may share examples of work completed as well as looking at photographs and observations, taken by the adults, of children engaged in learning.  Children are asked to explain what they have learnt as well as what kind of learners they have been – with a focus on purple learning and ELLI learning powers.


Lunch time


The afternoon starts with a teacher led session – the focus of this session will vary from day to day but is usually linked to themed learning that the children have shown an interest in developing further. 


Children then move to the second main learning session of the day.  During this session, children have free-flow to take their learning in whichever direction they choose – supported by the adults within the setting.


On some days, the children join the rest of the school for an assembly.  Some days this will be in the main hall and led by the Head of Primary Phase.  Other days this will be within the class and led by the class teacher. 


School finishes at 3.00pm

Children also have discreet lessons in PE, PSHE and Forest School at different times throughout the school week. The children take part in a daily ‘mile’.  The whole class will go out to the field for two laps which they can choose to run or walk – the teacher will choose the appropriate time for the daily mile, which varies from day to day.                       

 Developing Effective Lifelong Learners

The skills that children develop are significant. Every day, children are given the opportunity to manage information, solve problems and make decisions, make connections, be creative, self-manage, work with others and value others ideas, resulting in independent and resilient children



The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)  

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