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West Oxford Primary

West Oxford Primary

01865 248862

Welcome to the Reception Class

Early Years

Long term plan synopsis

The Early Years Foundation Stage long term plan at West Oxford Community Primary School has been developed by all Early Years staff using the EYFS Statutory Framework and the Development Matters Framework as guidance.


The aim of the Early Years Curriculum at our school is to nurture and build upon children's natural energy, enthusiasm and curiosity. Young children learn predominately through playing individually or co-operatively in small groups and, therefore, a balance of child initiated play and structured, planned play is the medium through which the Early Years Curriculum at West Oxford Community Primary School is predominantly delivered.


Our curriculum is designed around the needs of children aged between 3 and 5 years and is organised into the following seven areas of Learning and Development.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Self-confidence & awareness

  • Managing feelings and behaviour

  • Making relationships

Physical Development

  • Moving and handling

  • Health and self-care

Communication and Language

  • Listening and attention

  • Understanding

  • Speaking


  • Numbers

  • Shapes, space and measures


  • Reading

  • Writing

Understanding the World

  • People and communities

  • The world

  • Technology

Expressive Arts & Design

  • Exploring and using media and materials

  • Being imaginative

Enabling Environments 

The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning. Enabling environments encourage young children to play because they feel relaxed, comfortable and ‘at home’ in them. When children feel emotionally safe and secure they are able to explore and find out about the place they are in and the things they can see, touch, manoeuvre or manipulate.

At West Oxford Community Primary school, our children have daily access to well-planned stimulating learning environments, indoors and outdoors. These environments give children opportunities to be active and physical and also quiet and reflective.

The early years environment - inside and outside - is viewed as a whole, providing different areas where resources, materials and activities are freely and easily accessible.

The areas of learning in the environment include:

  • role play area

  • book/reading area

  • mark making/writing area

  • mathematical area

  • construction area

  • small world area

  • music area

  • creative area

  • malleable area

  • sand/water areas

Outdoor Learning

It is important to develop learning opportunities outside as outdoor learning provides opportunities for: the acquisition of gross motor skills, taking risks, fostering a love of nature and the environment, large (and possibly messier) play which is not possible indoors, learning experiences suited to the outdoor environment and physical fitness.

Outdoor Learning Sessions

What are outdoor learning sessions?

Outdoor learning is an inspirational process, that offers children and young people opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.

Outdoor learning is an approach to outdoor learning and is about children exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical involvement. The varied natural resources of the woodland and the children’s own interest combine to stimulate imaginative, creative and investigative activity. Children who experience outdoor learning are likely to have an increased understanding of and interest in the natural environment. They learn about risk and danger and quite naturally become used to looking after and caring for each other.

At West Oxford Community Primary School, we and aim to provide every child in the Foundation Stage with outdoor learning opportunities at some point during the year.

Mrs. Warburton, nursery nurse, is currently studying to be a Forest School Leader. With support, she is planning to bring outdoor learning sessions to the Foundation Stage children at West Oxford School as soon as possible.

​We will periodically update this page with photos and news about our forest school activities, so that you can see the children enjoying all of the wonderful activities.


We plan through a topic based approach, which can be amended at any time to incorporate the children’s interests/needs. Each topic provides teachers with a starting point for their lessons and will often be linked to the continuous provision set up within the learning environment. In addition to a wide range of daily activities, we aim to organise several events, outings and visits/visitors to enhance the children’s learning throughout the year.

To keep you well informed about the children’s activities we send home a weekly newsletter outlining what the children have been learning that week. We also provide weekly home work tasks, which relate to the learning taking place in class. If you would like to see some of the activities the children will cover across the term, please follow the link to our EYFS medium term plan in 'downloads'.

Literacy in the Foundation Stage 

In the foundation Stage, literacy is taught through a variety of adult led and child led sessions and children’s play. Throughout these sessions, children are able to develop and extend their speaking & listening, reading and writing skills. Additionally, children in reception class also take part in a 20 minute focused Phonics lesson every day. Phonics are based on Letters and Sounds. All learning is planned using the EYFS framework in Foundation Stage.

We support children to see themselves as readers and writers from a young age and share a range of different types of texts with them such as stories, information books and poetry. We use a variety of reading schemes, including Oxford Reading Tree, Phonics Bugs, Songbirds etc.  We introduce a wide variety of vocabulary linked to each topic and also to particular genres of writing.

Opportunities are also given for children to extend their learning through purposeful homework, and we value the role of parents in sharing books at home with their children.

Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child's development in Literacy through:

  • Parents meetings
  • Book looks
  • Annual reports to parents
  • Literacy homework


Writing is taught in reception class during carpet sessions and adult led focused sessions. There are always a wide range of writing activities available to children in both the nursey and the reception class every day. All children's written work is valued, from marks on paper in nursery to a full sentence written by a child in reception. We acknowledge the need for children to pass through many stages before they become fluent, confident communicators in print. The messages that children are communicating is of paramount importance and we value each stage of the writing process.


In hand writing sessions the teacher or teaching assistant supports a group of children to improve their writing by sensitive intervention, direct modelling and shared ideas.

We teach children to write using lowercase letters and therefore we ask that you adhere to this strategy at home. This is important because children who have been taught to write their name in capital letters can become easily confused.

Fine motor skills EYFS

Writing tips booklet for parents


The children enjoy listening to stories and poems, saying rhymes, participating in drama and role play - all of which help to develop their listening and speaking skills. They become confident, fluent and articulate, and very able to express themselves. They also become interested in and are able to listen to other people's thoughts and feelings, ideas and opinions, and value them. 


At West Oxford Community Primary School we are committed to provide a rich and comprehensive reading programme, offering a range of opportunities to become fluent, enthusiastic readers. A wide range of reading experiences is offered through the Literacy Lesson.

Shared Reading (Big Books or Large Texts)

When reading the Big Books or large texts the teacher helps children become better readers, for example, by demonstrating how to read accurately and fluently and teaching appropriate reading strategies.

Guided Reading (Reading in groups with the teacher or teaching assistant)

A group of children with similar reading ability each has a copy of the same book. The book is specially chosen to match the reading ability of the group. The teacher or teaching assistant teaches appropriate reading strategies or skills, many of which are the same as those outlined in the Shared Reading paragraph above. Guided reading provides opportunities for children to take part in discussion where they can enthuse and learn from each other.

Home/School reading and other independent reading

We really value and appreciate the time parents spend reading with their children at home. This is vital for developing fluency and establishing a good reading habit and a love of books. 

From term Two all reception children are issued with a reading book each week. In addition, we have many books in school, both fiction and non-fiction, from which the children can chose, so giving them an opportunity to increase their language experience and appreciation of the written word.

Bookstart - Reading with your child age 3-4

Bookstart - Reading with your child age 4-6

For more information about reading with your child follow the links below;

BookTrust reading with your child bookletBookTrust tips and advice 

Oxford owl - literacy



Letters and Sounds

Teaching Mathematics in the EYFS


Mathematics taught in the Foundation Stage is based on Development Matters in the EYFS (2012).


“Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple additional and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures” (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, DfE: 2012).

Maths concepts for parents

Maths at home leaflet

Oxford Owl - Maths



Nrich Maths


Nutritious snacks in the Foundation Stage  

We provide a snack and drinks (milk and water) for your child during their day. We believe that eating healthily is extremely important in the development of young children and that children should be able to enjoy food as well as learn good eating habits for the future.

Children in the Foundation Stage enjoy a range of fruit and vegetables as part of their daily snack. Twice daily the children sit down in small groups for snack time with their key person. While they eat they are free to enjoy the social aspect of snack time too.

We are a NUT-FREE school and are happy to help make adjustments for any allergies, dietary requirements or religious beliefs.

A range of fruit and vegetables are also enjoyed daily in the Year 1 class too.

Help your little ones learn healthy eating habits for life.

Children’s experiences of mealtimes and food can stay with them for a lifetime. If healthy food and eating habits are the norm in your house then children are more likely to adopt these later on in life.

We have put together a list of pointers that will help you be a good role model for your little ones when it comes to food, as well as some simple suggestions to encourage healthy eating.

Children learn by example. So one of the most important things is for your child to see you enjoying eating healthily. When your children see you enjoying a rich, varied and healthy diet they will be more likely to follow in your footsteps.

  • Try to deliver consistent messages about healthy eating. You may need to sit down with your partner, or the other people who help with childcare, such as grandparents, and explain what your policies on food and snacks are.

  • Eat the same foods as your children. Giving the whole family the same dish and just adjusting the portion sizes means kids won’t be left thinking that your meal looks much more exciting than theirs.

  • Enjoy your fruit and veg. If your kids see you eating round your veggies they are likely to copy you. However, if you wolf them down and go back for more, chances are they will do the same!

  • Try new foods together. But remember that children will be watching how you approach and react to new foods. So be open minded and positive.

  • Try not to have unhealthy snacks in the house. That way, when your child becomes hungry and asks for food, there are only healthy snacks on hand to choose from.

  • Children have smaller stomachs than grown-ups and so need to eat regularly – no more than three hours apart. Don’t leave it until your little one is so hungry that they can’t wait for you to prepare them a healthy snack.

  • Areas used for eating should be clean, warm and bright, and should be free from distractions such as television and toys.

  • Use appropriately sized chairs, plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. This will help children to eat independently.

  • Encourage children to choose the food they are going to eat for themselves, and to try new foods. Visit our Fussy eaters page for advice on overcoming fussy eating.

  • Children should not be expected to finish everything on their plate, and should be able to eat their dessert, even if they have not finished their main course. If they are still hungry after their main course, they should have the option to get seconds.

  • Mealtimes should be sociable occasions. Try to sit down together to eat whenever possible and chat about things other than just the food.

  • Children can be involved in helping to set up and clear away tables before and after meals. This will help to get them involved and interested in mealtimes.

  • Encourage your children to sit around a table to eat their meals and snacks. This will help develop their social skills and good eating habits.

  • Get cooking together. This will get children interested in food and help them learn how to make healthy tasty meals from scratch.

oxfordhealth.nhs.uk - healthy eating


Your Nursery teachers are Miss Cheeseman and Mrs Seville.  Mrs Warburton and Mrs Gibbling are your Nursery Nurses and Mrs Adams is your teaching assistant each morning.

In Nursery we encourage and support children to become confident and independent learners. We provide a rich learning environment which encourages a high degree of autonomy 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.

Nursery is the first class of the Foundation Stage. Foundation stage is a vital part in your child’s ongoing education. A positive start to school, where a love of exploration and learning is fostered, sets children up for a love of learning as they continue their education journey. We work closely with parents and carers to develop a partnership between home and school in order to share together the importance of these early years in your child’s education.

Nursery starts the term after your child is three and continues until they start the Reception Year of primary school. We work closely with the Reception Class and share a large outside space. The Foundation Unit as a whole contains two large classrooms, a spacious outside area, a space for small group work and toilets.

You may think that children are ‘just playing’ when you see young children in Foundation Stage. However, if you look more closely, you will see that a whole world of learning is happening. We carefully plan playful, purposeful activities to suit the needs and interests of the children, in order to support them and to help to move their learning forward. Young children are ‘active learners’ and the experiences that we plan enhance the all-round development of the child. We want all children to feel valued as individuals and to be successful achievers in a safe, secure, nurturing environment. Spontaneous learning opportunities are recognised and extended by the adults as they occur. Through play, and with the support of adults in class, children explore and discover new ideas, skills and concepts.

Rain or shine, our outside environment is open for the children to explore. The outdoors is a natural teaching and learning environment and is where a lot of the children feel settled and capable. Outdoor teaching and learning is as carefully planned, just as it is indoors. The only real difference between the indoor and outdoor curriculum is that the outdoors provides children with the opportunity to work on a much larger scale and to be more physically active.

Most of all, all members of the Nursery team, want your child to have a happy, positive and exciting experience. We want their day to be filled with purposeful play, making friendships, learning, developing and lots of fun! 

 Home visits

In our setting we aim to provide a caring, happy and stimulating environment to encourage and support children’s learning. We recognise the importance of staff, parents, carers and children working together in partnership to ensure the best possible start for the children.

Therefore, before starting, there is an opportunity for all new nursery children and all new reception children to be visited at home by me, Laura Cheeseman, (Early Years Lead) and one other. This only applies to children living in the catchment area. This will help to make the transition into your child’s new class easier and happier. It will also provide another opportunity for us to share information and for you to ask any questions you may have about our provision and routines. These home visits will be approximately 20 minutes long and will take place in early September, January and April. 

Transition Mornings (September start only)

We are committed to ensuring all of the changes children go through during their school life are seamless and successful. Moving to a new nursery or into school is one of the biggest transitions a child will make. In addition to ‘home visits’ we aim to visit children in their current nursery settings and set aside dates for new parents and children to attend their class transition mornings in the month of June/July.

During a transition morning:

  • Your child will be free to engage in play

  • Your child will enjoy meeting their new peers

  • You will meet our team of enthusiastic teachers and support staff that will be happy to answer any queries you may have

  • You will be given time to complete important forms while enjoying the refreshments provided

  • You will attend a welcome meeting where you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your child starting school.

  • You will receive a nursery/reception class starter pack containing important information about our school and what you and your child need to know before September

Open Mornings

There will also be opportunities for new potential parents to visit our school prior to applying for their child’s nursery/reception place throughout the year. At present parent visits to the school are not permitted. Please contact the school office for further information


We use the Tapestry Online Learning Journey system throughout the EYFS in school. All children in Nursery and Reception classes have a personal on-line Learning Journey which will contain observations, photographs and videos documenting key moments of learning and progress.  The evidence collected is a record of your child’s experiences and achievements during their time with us, and will be linked in to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.  In addition to our contributions we encourage you to add to it by adding your own photographs and comments, or commenting on observations added by us.

To access the Tapestry site, and to log in to your account please use this link:


Tapestry Parent Guide

Tapestry Android Tutorial

Tapestry iOS Tutorial


The Importance of Attendance in the Early Years

We Are Special Autumn 2020Blasting Rockets and Magical Powers 2020It's a Bug's Life Spring 2021

Nursery Admissions Policy

Nursery Application Form

30 Hour Funding Information

Additional Funding in the EYFS

Early Years Pupil Premium Form

Home Visit Policy

EYFS Policy

EYFS Statutory Framework

EYFS Development Matters Document

Early Years Brochure

What to Expect When Document


Apply for a Reception Class place