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Mendham Primary School




At Waveney Valley Partnership we see the Early Years Foundation Stage as crucial in securing solid foundations that children can continue to build on as each grows and develops their unique potential.

We recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Communication and language is our overarching, core principle, it underpins everything that we plan to do. At Waveney Valley Partnership we strive for a language rich environment where adults communicate with children effectively, commenting on their learning, echoing back speech with added new vocabulary and reading and actively engaging children in stories, rhymes, poems and songs rich in language. 

We use children’s own interests and the flexibility of the Early Years curriculum to follow individual learning paths, keeping the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning at the heart of all we do, linking these to our own school drivers and learning characteristics.

From the start of Nursery through to the end of the Reception year children work towards 13 curricular goals, each one chosen specifically to provide children with experiences to develop them holistically. During their time in EYFS the skills required to progress to the curriculum goal’s are revisited regularly allowing children to embed their learning.

Children’s interests are used as a starting point for exploring learning, providing a strong foundation for future knowledge, skills development and reaching our curricular goals.


Within the Early Years learning is not a formal or top down approach, experiences occur naturally through both intuitive and provided play and practical opportunities.


The Early Years curriculum has been written to emphasise this more natural approach and has therefore been left open ended. We follow the interests of the children through the year to engage and intrinsically motivate children to learn through their interests. 


Our curriculum provides a ‘goal’, for children to achieve by the end of their Reception year. The skills required to meet the goals are taught progressively through the child's time in the EYFS, beginning in Nursery with challenges increasing as they move through the Reception year and head towards the Early Learning Goals and the end curriculum goal. Each curriculum goal has a theme linked to one of the EYFS areas of learning and the Trust’s core drivers.


Children develop their knowledge and language skills through conversation. Staff model appropriate skills, good use of language and offer support and challenge so that children can develop their skills to communicate their needs, listen effectively, understand verbal and visual cues and develop a range of vocabulary and speech skills.  Our key vocabulary document supports staff with vocabulary in each area of learning. Alongside continuous provision and child initiated activities children work with staff in groups, individually and as a whole class.


The systematic teaching of phonics has a very high priority throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. We value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers.  We acknowledge that children need to be taught the key skills in segmenting and blending to be equipped with the knowledge to be able to become fluent readers. We also value and encourage our pupils to read for enjoyment and recognise that this starts with the foundations of acquiring letter sounds, segmenting and blending skills.


Maths is essential to many areas of everyday life and often we don’t know we are using it. So in Early Years we provide children with opportunities through their play and everyday routines to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure. Children have daily maths inputs directly from an adult and skills are embedded through planned activities, books and continuous provision activities. Mathematical resources are provided in all areas of the classrooms, indoors and outdoors to ensure children have ongoing opportunities to access Maths at all times.


Waveney Valley’s Early Years curriculum has evolved over the last three years, with there being considerable developments in the last year. Our curriculum, now redesigned for greater impact, aims for every child to achieve at least national expected outcomes by the end of the Early Years Foundation stage.

We teach skills to ensure that children in the Early Years are prepared for the structure and demands of a Year 1 curriculum. Children leave the Early Years equipped to embrace the challenges of a Key Stage 1 classroom.

Learning PI learning characteristics help children to develop holistically. They recognise that mistakes are useful as they help us learn, they show positive learning behaviours, make choices about how they learn best and can articulate their learning. Children are creative in their approach to learning, building links between what they have been taught and using it independently in their play based learning. Our children have a real sense of belonging to the school community. They love to help shape our work in the local community and share their learning with them.

Consortium Trust's schools provides an environment which delivers a broad and balanced curriculum and collaborative learning across our schools,  providing the opportunity for every child to meet their full potential and beyond.

The Trust actively promotes global education and encourages our schools through PSHE and after school clubs to develop their pupil's spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness, through the the education of countries, cultures and religious festivals.

As part of this, the Trust recognises the British Values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The Trust ensures that British Values are embedded within curriculum and learning in our Schools.

The outcomes of our curriculum values delivers closer integration of staff and collaborative working across the Trust, ensuring that our school’s curriculum are broad and exciting, provision is full and effective and the outcomes for pupils are exceptional. 



  1. PSHE Appendix 1 SMSC
  2. PSHE Appendix 2 British Values
  3. PSHE Curriculum Planning Document