Early Years

At Cragside Church of England Primary School, we greatly value the importance of the EYFS in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development. We aim, from the very first days in our school, to help every child to ‘shine bright’ in all they do.

We ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. We promote the highest standards of teaching and learning striving in all we do to prepare children for the next stage of their education, and give them a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

We believe: 

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. 

  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships

  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between the school and parents.

  • Learning and development is important. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

Our aim is to enable independent, curious and happy children. We achieve this through our stimulating, hands on, child centred activities. We focus our learning on the three prime areas of the EYFS curriculum:

  • Communication and language

  • Physical development

  • Personal, social and emotional development

We also focus on four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied these are:

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the world

  • Expressive arts and design

Our learning environment is organised to ensure that children can explore and learn independently in a safe and interactive environment. Our resources are arranged to encourage children to self select and be in charge of their own learning. 

A real emphasis is put upon ‘in the moment’ learning opportunities in the outdoor environment. Our setting provides unique experiences; focussing on supporting children’s problem solving skills, nurturing creativity and encouraging independence. Children are able to freely access a range of resources to support their gross motor skills, as an integral part of children’s development. We use natural resources to support this such as tyres, wooden building blocks and crates. We place emphasis on promoting a sense of well-being, respecting nature and sensory experiences in the outdoor environment. 

In Nursery, our youngest children begin the term after they turn three and in Reception,our children join us at four and all children have the opportunity to explore new activities and to become part of our wider school community.