Willow Grove, Milton Keynes, MK19 6AZ


Old Stratford Primary School

Early Years

Old Stratford Primary School EYFS Curriculum Rationale


At Old Stratford Primary School we have designed an effective early years curriculum that builds on the strengths and meets the needs of the children within the individual cohort. Our high-quality early years education, has a strong focus on communication and provides a learning environment that enhances and invites a child's curiosity, confidence and individual competency to flourish. All children will have an equal chance of success regardless of their background, educational needs or disabilities. We aim to provide education and care that is inclusive and considers the child's starting points and needs as they begin their learning journey. Our curriculum is designed to be balanced and differentiated which prepares children for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences. By following the childrens personal interests and needs, it allows us to provide opportunties throughout our EYFS curriculum to support learning and development to achieve their next steps. We aim to enable our children to be confident and secure so they enjoy coming to school to learn new skills and knowledge. Our curriculum has been designed to recognise children's prior learning, both from previous settings and their experience at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings and professionals to provide the best possible start at Old Stratford Primary School. Our curriculum has been designed to enable children to succeed through cooperative and collaborative learning principles. As such, their is a strong emphasis on the prime areas of learning; Personl, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language.


At Old Stratford Primary School, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and we use the Development Matters 2022 document to support our curriculum. This includes four overriding principles which our early years education is based on. These principles are as follows:

  • Unique Child - Every child is unique and is constantly learning. They will develop skills that enable them to become resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Enabling Environments - The children learn well in an environment that creates experiences to respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers.
  • Positive Relationships -Children learn to become strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Learning and Developing - Children develop and learn in different ways. The Framework covers the education and care of all children in early years, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The curriculum provides a play based experiential learning environment, combined with focussed teacher led activities that help equip the children and promote basic skills. Opportunities for learning are shared between indoor and outdoor environments. These activities vary from teacher led activities to child initiated activities. There  will also be oppportunities for free flow activities and continuous provision. The learning experiences within our curriculum are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. These areas are split into three prime areas (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) and four specific areas (Literacy, Maths, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design). The three Prime areas are those which children should develop first  and are considered most essential for healthy development and future learning. As children grow and progress in the prime areas, this will help them naturally develop skills within the four specific areas.


The school follows the Ruth Miskin, Read Write Inc systematic, synthetic phonics scheme from the children's early days in school. Through this all children learn to read and write with accuracy, fluency and automaticity. The scheme provides support for parents and staff are trained and monitored regularly to ensure a consistent successful approach. Children read daily in class and the books are matched specifically to the phonic phase they are learning, ensuring they are able to read independently. 

We provide effective and focused intervention for those children who are finding learning challenging and are not on track to meet the national expectations at the end of the year. These intervention are provided in an inclusive and flexible manner.

A wide range of formative and summative assessment is used to identify what children know and understand and precisely target their next steps in learning. The EYFS team collect evidence in a number of ways through completed work, observations, photos and videos which are shared with parents using the Tapestry online system. 

Towards the end of the year, the EYFS team will increase the opportunities where children can access activities independently ensuring they are well prepared for Year 1. We also ensure that the curriculum and pedagogy in Year 1 continues to reflect the independent skills children have gained in EYFS.



The experiences of the task will be revisited and demonstrated through being deeply engaged in play. Our children will grow to be confident, competent lifelong learners and good citizens. The children will experience a smooth transition beteen Early years and Key Stage 1. Effective communication and collaboration ensure the children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon.

Our children consistently exceed the National and Local Authority averages for children achieving a Good Level of Development. The teaching of pedagogy are reviewed and evaluated regularly through Learning walks carried out by the Senior Management Team and the Trust. 

If your child is about to join Old Stratford Primary School in Reception, please follow the link to watch the induction presentation: Reception Induction Information for Parents