Part of the Glyn Academies Trust

Early Years Foundation Stage


At Marden Lodge we offer a diverse, engaging curriculum which challenges and inspires children to learn. We work closely with our wrap around care and parents to ensure we create a picture of the development of the  whole child. Our curriculum reflects real life situations of awe and wonder, encouraging them to develop into independent, motivated learners who are curious about the world around them. Our children are nurtured within a secure environment, whilst being allowed to explore, enquire and take risks both inside and outside of the classroom. Our  curriculum is underpinned by communication and language opportunities and focus on specific vocabulary to allow our children to be able to communicate effectively throughout their education

We achieve this through a balance of  systematic direct teaching and child centered discovery opportunities. We offer a range of opportunities for awe and wonder, sparking and developing conversational skills. through our Topic based learning we introduce “star”  words weekly which helps to increase our childrens’ vocabulary. We use RWI to teach Phonics and early reading. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum as a basis for the learning in our setting, alongside developing their skills as learners through the Characteristics of Effective Leaning.

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in all early years settings.  

The Three Prime Areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. They are as follows: 

  •  Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities. 
  •  Communication, and language involves giving children opportunities to  experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations. 
  • Physical development involves children being provided with opportunities to be active and interactive and to develop their coordination, control and movement; children are also made aware of the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

The Four Specific Areas are as follows and through these areas the three prime areas are strengthened and applied: 

  • Literacy involves encouraging pupils to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest. 
  • Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shape, space and measures. 
  • Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. 
  • Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology. 

By promoting and developing skills in these areas we are underpinning all future learning.  However, we do appreciate that children’s learning is not divided up like this and that one experience may provide an opportunity to learn from several areas.  All areas are important and inter-connected. 

Children learn in different ways and deepen their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and each other.  As the curriculum explains, “play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults”.

We aim for children to gain a Good Level of Development that at least matches national figures. We also aim for our children to be independent, resilient learners who can express themselves in a range of situations. We build our children to be kind, supportive learners who build meaningful relationships. We pride ourselves in getting children ready for KS1 with a love of learning, especially reading a range of genres. We aim to close communication and language gaps to allow our children to access



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