Early Years

At Hacton, the Early Years Foundation Stage consists of:


The Nursery and Reception classes are spacious, stimulating areas each with a secure outside learning area. In addition, we have the access to the extensive school grounds and are able to have use of the school hall for P.E. sessions and assemblies.


At Hacton, we aim to develop children’s learning and intellectual curiosity within a safe and motivating environment. We have a positive approach to behaviour and will help your child to develop a responsible attitude and an awareness of the needs and feelings of others.

‘What have you done at school today?’

Your child may come out of their EYFS setting each day and answer this question with ‘nothing’ or ‘just playing’ but we can assure you that your child is doing a lot more than that! We fully encourage learning through play but there is a very tight curriculum that we need to follow to ensure that children are always learning, challenging their knowledge and developing new skills.

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Prime Areas

The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in other areas. They are fundamental in the EYFS and are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

The Specific Areas

These areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning. They are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Curriculum Goals

In support of the curriculum, we have developed curricular goals that we endeavour for children to achieve by the end of their Reception year. At Hacton, we strive for our children to be:

  • Confident Communicators
  • Independent Individuals
  • Fantastic Friends
  • Amazing Athletes
  • Talented Tool Users
  • Brilliant Bookworms
  • WOW Writers
  • Masters of Maths
  • Exceptional Explorers
  • Compassionate Citizens
  • Proud Performers
  • Dynamic Designers

Characteristics of Learning

All children engage with other people and their environment in different ways and we recognise that children have individual needs, interests and develop at different rates. In our planning and teaching, we reflect on our knowledge of each individual and encompass the characteristics of effective teaching and learning:

  • Playing and Exploring – children are given opportunities to investigate, experience new things and are encouraged to ‘have a go’.
  • Active Learning – we encourage children to persevere if they encounter difficulties and to enjoy their achievements.
  • Creating and Thinking Critically – we support children to have and develop their own ideas, encouraging them to make links and develop their own strategies for doing things.

These characteristics underpin learning and development across all areas and support children to remain effective and motivated learners.

We plan for children to access the areas of learning through a mixture of child initiated, adult lead play activities and focussed group teaching. We build on what each child can do and provide opportunities for them to develop these skills in all areas of the curriculum.

Teaching and learning in the Early Years is carefully planned and structured to meet individual needs. We plan as a team to give the children a range of experiences and opportunities to make choices and decisions, to work individually or in groups to explore the learning environment. One of our main aims is to help children become independent learners and be confident in their own selves to develop skills at their own pace.

Learning through play underpins all development and learning for young children and through play they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, emotionally and socially. We plan opportunities, both indoors and outdoors for the children to have a wide range of experiences that are challenging and that extend their language and communication and practice and build on ideas and concepts.