The early years foundation stage

      Foundation New Starters      

Welcome to all of our new parents and children. Below, you will find information about joining us in September, as well as pictures of your new classroom! Any updated information will be available on this page. 

New Starters Welcome Letter

Please click here to read the Reception 2024 Welcome Letter!


Below, you will find key documents which you will recieve in your new starter pack when you come to your first parent meeting at St Nicholas. 



We can't wait to meet you all and welcome you to St Nicholas Catholic Primary School.


Take a peek at our areas of provision and classroom below!

Reception Curriculum Information

“Children must be taught how to think independently, not what to think.” - Margaret Mead

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education from birth to 5 years. In our Foundation Stage we have two Reception classes – Reception A and Reception B. Each Reception class consists of 23 children, support staff, plus one full time HLTA across both classes. Both classes have their own carpet area for group time, but they then share the same areas of provision and outside area.

Our curriculum recognises children’s prior learning from previous settings, by liaising with nurseries and pre-schools prior to school entry, as well as their home experiences, by liaising with parents and observing the children prior to entry. We provide first hand learning opportunities, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity.

Every child is a unique individual, we celebrate and welcome differences within our school community. We provide enhancement opportunities to engage learning and believe that school should be a happy and positive place, enabling children to develop a lifelong love of learning.


 At St Nicholas Catholic Primary School, we place great value on the development of children as individuals. Our aim to provide all children with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the next stage of their learning journey in Key Stage One.

 We intend:

  • to work in partnership with parents and carers to encourage independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential from their various starting points.
  • to understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning, consolidate and deepen knowledge and ensure children meet their next steps.
  • to create a learning environment and build relationships which support, enhance and invite a child’s curiosity, confidence and individual competency to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs.
  • to prepare children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of the Reception year and ensure children make good or better progress from their individual starting points.
  • to take an active role in events within the wider community.
  • to provide children with a high-quality, broad and challenging Maths curriculum which develops and deepens their understanding of numbers.
  • to teach daily direct, focused phonics lessons and provide extra support throughout the day where necessary.
  • to instil in children a love of literature, using a range of texts and types of writing across the year.
  • to support transition into KS1.  


At St Nicholas Catholic Primary School, we use the Department for Education Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) to underpin our curriculum and planning. The Curriculum document may be viewed in its entirety by clicking on the following: EYFS Statutory Framework - September 2021

Our curriculum provides a balance of child initiated and teacher led activities which enables our children to become fully engaged and excited by their learning. Effective and enabling indoor and outdoor provision motivates children to be independent learners with access to quality play-based experiences which encourages them to notice, question and wonder. The learning experiences within Reception are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS.

The Reception team observe, question and extend children’s learning to ensure children’s next steps are met through planning and teaching in the moment. Wow moments are recorded on Tapestry, and in team meetings, areas of concerns are identified and interventions for groups or individuals are planned as appropriate.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking, which takes place both indoors and outdoors. Part of our outdoor area is covered, meaning learning can take place all year round and in most weather conditions. Continuous provision is a vital aspect in the development of knowledge, skills and consolidation of learning. Through our indoor and outdoor learning environments, children develop key life skills such as independence, creativity, enquiry and problem solving. During the school day, our children have opportunities to work independently and collaboratively with peers and members of staff. Our curriculum, planning and learning environments enable children to become resilient, take risks and be motivated to learn.

Our themes are driven from child-centred topics which are deeply rooted in the love of stories and reading. Over the year we plan a range of educational visits, for example the local library, Skelton Grange environmental centre and Temple Newsam. Our children enjoy visits from a range of people within the local community such as people who help us (firefighters and dentists) and those from various cultures. During the Spring term, we look at new life and growth by watching plants grow and eggs hatch.


The children at St Nicholas Catholic Primary School experience a smooth transition between pre-school settings/nurseries, Reception and into Year 1. Effective communication and collaboration ensure the children leave Reception with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon.

Our children have varied and diverse starting points. We have high expectations to ensure that all children make expected or above expected progress across all of the areas of the EYFS curriculum. Progress is evident in online learning journeys, books, data and the Reception team’s knowledge of the children. We strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be in line or around National Expectations.

As a team, we carry our regular meetings to monitor progress, identify areas of concern and moderate assessments. By monitoring assessments regularly, we can effectively demonstrate what learning is taking place and how each child is progressing towards the Early Learning Goals.

In Reception, our children develop into well rounded individuals who uphold school values and demonstrate attitudes which will make them confident, lifelong learners and valuable citizens.

Curriculum Information

In the EYFS, we follow a Long Term Plan which has been carefully put together to match the need and interests of our children, however we know children’s interests vary at times and so we adapt our curriculum to the children's interests as they arise, in order to support and enhance their learning experiences. Please see our Topic Leaflets below for an outline of what we will be covering in class:

EYFS Early Learning Goals