Early Years

Early Years and Foundation Stage

Beginning school is a major event in the life of a four year old. At South Bersted CE Primary School, we strongly believe in encouraging our children to be independent learners through a range of practical activities. We follow a thematic curriculum which allows us to be creative with our lessons and lets the children follow and develop their own interests.  

Throughout the year, there is a clear structure to the day that is focused on the 7 key areas of the Early Learning Goals:

Prime Areas:

  • Communication and language,
  • Personal, social and emotional development,
  • Physical development,

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy,
  • Mathematics,
  • Understanding the world,
  • Expressive arts and design.

In capturing your child’s progress, we produce a Learning Journal, which will include observations, your child’s work and pictures of their achievements against the Early Learning Goals.

We recognise and value the importance of working collaboratively with parents and carers to ensure children make the best start to their education at South Bersted. Therefore, through the use of ‘WOW Moments’ we encourage you to record and share observations at home.

Autumn Term

During the first half of the Autumn Term, pupils will learn the routines and expectations.  Creative themes focus initially on Who am I? Children begin by getting to know their new class mates and sharing stories about their families and the things they like to do. This leads into thinking about ourselves and the things that make us unique.  We discuss our own talents and skills and the skills we would like to have.  Following this children begin a short topic on Superheroes supported by the text Supertato and taking part in a Superhero Day full of exciting challenges.  The end of a busy first half term at school asks the children to think about real life Superheroes including the emergency services and is supported by a visit from the Fire Engine.  A camp fire afternoon allows children to reflect on all they have done since starting school.  During this half term parents and pupils share a Bedtime Breakfast to enable parents to meet other parents and allow pupils to demonstrate some of the things they have been doing in class.


The second half term is just as busy! Following the creative theme Out of this World! children take part in many space themed activities; an astronaut training day, writing letters to NASA explaining why they would be a good astronaut, finding a crashed alien space ship and trying to contact and help the aliens, finding out about planets in our solar system and completing activities supported by the text Aliens love Underpants! Alongside this pupils are busy learning lines and songs for their first school Nativity.

This term also sees an outdoor learning day based on the theme of Autumn.  Pupils begin to attend assembly with the rest of the school.


Spring Term

Children start this term with the topic of Once Upon a Time! While becoming familiar with a number of traditional fairy tales children explore the theme of growth.  This leads them to planting seeds and watching them grow while learning the conditions needed for growth.  Learning is supported by visits form Giant Jim who has lost his toothbrush and encourages children to think about keeping healthy.  Children also learn about the life cycles of animals including chicks and tadpoles.  The Fairy Tale topic also leads them to find out about Knights and Castles.  Another Outdoor Learning Day also takes place on the theme of Winter.


The second half of this term follows the creative theme Off We Go!  It begins with an exciting Scooter Day with lots of outdoor activity. Children then look at different modes of transport and have the chance to go on both a bus ride around the town and a train trip further afield. They will share memories of journeys they have been on.  Learning this half term is supported by the text Mrs Armitage on Wheels and children have to consider what they would add to a bike just like the main character in the story.  A second outdoor learning day this half term focuses on signs of Spring. 

Summer Term

 Learning in the first half of the Summer Term begins with the topic On the Farm and starts with an exciting visit to the farm at Staunton Country Park where children get to meet some of the animals up close.  Children talk about pets they have at home (or would like to have) and how these animals should be cared for.  Learning in this half term is supported by looking at non-fiction texts.


The second half of this term follows the topic All at Sea!  Pupils will learn about creatures that live in the sea as well as exploring pirates, mermaids and treasure islands.  They will create treasure maps and think about the different environments that may be found on treasure islands.  Learning is supported by the text Jack and the Flum Flum Tree following Jack on his journey across the sea.

During this term children begin their transition to Year 1. In class learning is adapted with more whole class session taking place in preparation for the Year 1 curriculum and timetable.  Children begin to play outside on the big playground and field with the rest of the school during break and lunchtimes.  Children also make a number of visits to the Year 1 classroom to meet the teacher and experience their new environment.

A final outdoor learning day takes place with a focus on Summer and is a chance for the children to look back and celebrate their achievements during their first year at school.