Rucstall Primary School

A caring, fun loving, learning community

Our Early Years Curriculum

Our Early Years Curriculum

Our curriculum has clearly defined links with the whole school curriculum and there is clarity in what we want children to learn, through the areas of learning and development (educational programmes). 


The curriculum is designed to provide a range of opportunities to add to children’s early understanding of the world around them, to add to their developing cultural capital and to enable progress. Moreover, independence is sought and the same high expectations of the children’s abilities are held in Early Years, as are held throughout the school.


In Early Years, every interaction has purpose. 


The Early Years Curriculum is focused on developing children against the below areas of learning and development, supporting them to work towards the Early Learning Goals:


The 3 Prime Areas

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development


The 4 specific areas:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design


At Rucstall, we also want to secure in our pupils the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning:


  • 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

How our Early Years curriculum is implemented 

Our Early Years Curriculum is focused on enabling the children to develop identified knowledge and skills against the areas of learning and educational programmes. This supports children's progress towards our Early Years curriculum aspirations and milestones. 


Our skilled team of practitioners understand individual pupils and use high quality interactions to support children's progress. Provision is carefully planned and sequenced, facilitating meaningful learning both indoors and out. Observation and discussion with pupils leads to learning opportunities developed from their interests.


Pupils are encouraged to fully engage with all learning experiences and to become curious about the world around them. In consequence, pupils become motivated and interested in their learning. Successful learning attributes and characteristics of learning underpin teaching and learning across all areas of the curriculum in a way that is meaningful for the pupils. Teacher modelling of these attributes supports pupils to understand and apply these independently.


Communication and language is a priority, with adults modelling accurate language and the use of stories and poems in place to aid development. The mathematics curriculum produces a sound understanding of number and number sense, so that pupils can more easily access and understand subsequent learning in mathematics. Phonics is also systematically taught to pupils on a daily basis beginning on day one of the children’s learning journey with us; these skills underpin subsequent learning in phonics.

Working with other stakeholders

Before children join our school, we engage with preschools, nurseries, Homestart practitioners, school nurses and other agencies providing individual family support. These professional links enable us to support children successfully from the start of their primary journey. 


Our most valuable relationship is with parents and carers, who we welcome as part of our community from their expression of interest in Rucstall as the primary school for their child. Before children start at the school, parents/carers have a number of opportunities to familarise themselves with the school, as well as build relationships with the key school staff who will provide care and education for their child. From this, our Early Years practitioners continue to communicate with parents/carers about children's progress so that we can work together to support their emotional and academic development. 


During the children's time in Early Years, we continue to engage with external agencies and professionals, as required.