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Early Years

In the EYFS we encourage and support children to become confident and independent learners. We provide a rich learning environment which encourages independence so that children can quickly learn to be responsible for their own learning. We believe that children should be allowed to develop at their own pace. The needs of each child vary and we cater for them as individuals.


At Botley School, work with our families to build strong foundations for our children's learning, developing skills, knowledge and dispositions that will guide and support their learning as they grow.  


We foster and nurture positive working relationships with our families and children to ensure they feel safe, cared for and valued.  We concentrate on creating an atmosphere of trust through detailed and focussed transition arrangements from home and previous settings to make the transition to school as smooth as possible.  We invite families to visit us prior to joining us in Nursery and Reception and have a tour of the school. When children have been allocated a place with us we make links with any previous settings including visiting and liaising with Key Workers. We organise come and play session and an individual parent meeting with families to talk about their child. We work to establish positive and trusting relationships from the start.


Our children are unique and we celebrate the diversity of all of our backgrounds and experiences, learning together about the importance of acceptance and understanding of each other.  We celebrate our families' traditions for birthdays, festivals and special occasions and love talking with the children about what they enjoy at home and in school.


We continually strive to develop and improve our own subject knowledge and understanding of child development to enable us to provide the best support and learning experiences for the children.  We run regular information meetings and workshops for parents to enhance the team approach to our children's learning.


As an EYFS team, we have developed our curriculum based on our knowledge of our children and our families and using the EYFS Statutory Framework and EYFS Development Matters as guidance. We have create curriculum maps to show the learning that will take each term which is adapted based on the children and their needs.


Please see below for more information of the seven areas of learning and how we support our children's development in each area.

Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all the seven area of learning and development. Children’s back and forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversation they have with adults and their peers throughout the day in a language rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioner will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, storytelling and role play, where children share their idea with support and modelling from their practitioners, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

At Botley School we want to develop confident communicators who can listen carefully in a range of situations, hold a conversation with friends and adults, ask relevant questions and use new vocabulary to explain ideas and feelings.

Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, coordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, coordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye coordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.

At Botley School we want to develop children who can show strength, balance and coordination when playing, move confidently and safely in a variety of different ways, as well as use a range of equipment. We want to develop children who can hold a pencil effectively, use a range of tools safely and with confidence.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, cooperate and resolve conflict peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.

At Botley School we want to develop independent individuals who can follow the school values, set simple goals and persevere to achieve them, select resources, manage their own personal feelings and needs and know how to stay fit and healthy. We want to create children who are kind, caring and helpful, show empathy and respect to others, work and play cooperatively whilst considering other’s ideas and feelings.


It is crucial for children to develop a life long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension is necessary for both reading and writing and starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).

At Botley School we want children to show a love for reading, use new vocabulary to talk about what they have read or has been read to them, read words and simple sentences using single sounds and digraphs they have learnt. We want children to become confident writers who can write letters that are formed correctly, write words and simple sentences that can be read by others.


Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding, such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting, children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that they curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

At Botley Schools we want children to show a deep understanding of numbers to 10, recognise patterns within the number system, subitise, compare quantities and recall number bonds to 5. We want children to have and use a wealth of vocabulary to talk about mathematical concepts and to express their ideas confidently.

Understanding of the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them, from visiting parks and libraries to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

At Botley School we want to develop children who are curious about the word around them, understand some differences between seasons, times and places. We want children to talk about their family and people who are important to them. We want them to show an interest in helping to look after their community and care for the environment. We want them to have an awareness of other people’s cultures and beliefs.

Expressive Arts and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

At Botley School we want children to be able to choose and safely use the resources they need to make their creations, talk about what they have made and how they have made it. We want children to become confident to perform a song, poem or dance to an audience, retell stories with expression and confidence, play a range of percussion instruments with a good rhythm.

Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective teaching and learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learnt and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the areas of learning and development.

Playing and Exploring - Children investigate and experience things, and have a go

Active Learning - Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements

Creating and Thinking Critically - Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things


Oral Health

Please take a look at our Oral Health section on our Class Page.