“Inside every child is a rainbow waiting to shine.”

Frederick Douglass

English Martyrs School is committed to the highest possible quality of education and childcare in our Early Years Foundation Stage. We understand that all children learn and develop at different times. Our duty is to cater for children’s individual needs, enabling every child to reach their full potential and to ensure lifelong learning. At English Martyrs we create a safe and happy home from home environment with stimulating and enjoyable learning experiences to enable the children to become confident and independent.


Within the Early Years our curriculum is designed to provide all children with the opportunities and experiences that they need in order to develop positive dispositions and attitudes to be able to succeed as learners and in life.  We take into account the challenging backgrounds that many of our pupils come from and, as a result, within Nursery planned learning opportunities are heavily weighted around Personal, Social and Emotional Development and upon developing pupils’ ability to acquire a wide vocabulary, communicate effectively and interact positively. Once these foundations to learning are embedded then other areas will be focused upon.

We aim to foster excellent attitudes to learning by providing effective and timely adult interactions to ensure that learning is instantly captured and enhanced.  All staff have high expectations and the enhancement of skills for learning is achieved through a well-resourced, stimulating environment that allows children to repeat and consolidate their own learning. Children are encouraged to become independent and confident learners within our setting. We foster a love of learning by ensuring that we capture and learn through the children’s interests as much as possible.

The aim within Reception is to ensure that children are ready for the next phase of school life and we focus in particular in ensuring that all have developed a sound base of early reading skills and phonics.


At English Martyrs we also acknowledge the individual child’s learning strategies. We recognise that children all learn in different ways and at different rates. This knowledge gives staff an insight as to how to plan their next steps and enhance the provision even further. At the end of your child’s year in Reception a summative statement will be given to the Year 1 staff. This will help inform the child’s next teacher about your child and how they learn.

At English Martyrs our curriculum is designed to develop the characteristics of effective learning. 

  • playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’ 
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements. 
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 

We use a range of resources to support the development of the curriculum including Development Matters, The EYFS Framework, Pathways to Write, White Rose Maths, Mastering the Curriculum, RWI, Come and See, RWI, Tapestry and Kapow.

High quality teaching and learning is based on a team planning approach centred around children’s individual needs and interests. Staff are knowledgeable about the areas of learning they teach and are expert in the teaching of phonics as a result of an extensive training programme that all teachers in Y1 and EYFS have access to.  Staff generate an enthusiasm for reading and a love of books whilst effectively teaching new ideas, concepts and vocabulary.  Parents are involved and engaged in supporting their child to learn to read through library books and reading books being sent home, parent workshops, information leaflets and weekly sessions where parents are invited to come in and read with their child.  A comprehensive mathematics curriculum is taught and then embedded through the continuous provision. Children have access to a high quality learning environment covering all the required areas of learning.  All children, including those who are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language are able to participate equally. Staff are skilled at asking questions that encourage children to think more deeply about their learning, to extend their use of language across the curriculum and to make connections in order to embed new learning. Regular opportunities are planned to reinforce new learning and for staff to check understanding.  

Assessments and interventions are relevant and purposeful, leading to improved outcomes for children.  All pupils’ basic needs are met through the provision of a safe, stimulating and secure environment and staff regularly reinforce messages about how to stay safe and healthy and to ensure that their friends do too. 

By the end of the Foundation Stage, the vast majority of children read accurately and are starting to develop fluency in their reading.  Their vocabulary and understanding of language is good and most children achieve the early learning goals, particularly in mathematics and literacy, representing high achievement from low starting points. As a result of the creative, stimulating environment we provide, by the end of the Foundation Stage children flourish and develop into confident, motivated and independent learners, who understand right from wrong and are ready for the next stage of their education.

The EYFS staff attend in-house and external training, cross-moderation and attend regular pupil progress meetings to ensure progress is being made for each individual child. In providing a broad and balanced curriculum the individual needs of every child are met including our disadvantaged, SEND and EAL pupils.