Naphill and Walters Ash School


Early Years

Early Years at Naphill and Walters Ash School

In Year R we look at each child holistically and aim to develop each individual to their full potential. We work individually and in small groups with your child and offer a wide range of activities both inside our large Foundation Stage area, our outside classroom and separate playground. We offer a large variety of child-initiated activities and teachers and teaching assistants support and develop your child in their play. We also provide a wealth of teacher directed activities to engage your child and further their knowledge and understanding.

The Curriculum

We aim to give your child a broad and balanced curriculum and follow the guidance given in the ‘Early Years Foundations Stage Framework’ (EYFS) and Development Matters guidance. The EYFS follows on from Pre-school and works towards the Early Learning Goals (ELG’s). The curriculum is broken up into 7 areas of learning including 17 aspects. There are 3 Prime Areas and 4 Specific Areas as follows:

All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected. The 3 Prime Areas reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively. The 3 Prime Areas lay the foundations for future learning in all the other areas.  It is expected that the balance will change to reflect an equal focus across all areas of development as a child grows in confidence and ability within the prime areas. Your children will experience a good range of activities covering all areas.


As well as these areas of development, we look at the different ways in which children learn. The EYFS lays out the Characteristics of Effective Learning. When planning activities we aim to reflect the different ways in which children learn.

The curriculum is based on learning through play.  The guidance states that ‘Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.’ We work at the child’s pace and when they are ready to progress, we present them with activities that will help them to do so.

Each half term is based around a story and a theme and incorporates a wide range of activities. The children in Reception also attend Forest School every other week when they take their learning outside into Bradenham Woods.

Reading in Foundation Stage

At Naphill and Walters Ash School we want our children to become enthusiastic and engaged readers who develop a life-long love of books and reading.

In Reception we encourage all children to develop a love of books and then reading. The children can chose a library book each week to take home and share with their parents. It is so important that parents foster an interest in books and reading from an early age and we believe that this is one of the most important things anyone can do with their child.

When the children are judged to be ready they will be sent home with a school reading book. At Naphill we use Book Bands to level the books and you child will be given an appropriate text to read.

Sharing books with your child is one of the most important things that you can do as a parent; you are a key role model when it comes to reading.

Phonics in Year R Foundation Stage

Phonics in Year R Foundation Stage

In Reception we teach phonics using a blend of Ruth Miskin’s scheme called ‘Read Write Inc’ and ‘Letters and Sounds’ It is a synthetic reading scheme which teaches the 44 sounds and their corresponding letter groups using simple picture prompts. It teaches the blending of these sounds to make words. Phonics is taught four days a week in Reception.


The sounds are presented with an attractive visual clue and a simple rhyme to help children remember i.e.

a – around the apple and down the leaf.


This helps the child to remember the visual shape and how to write it.


Children work though the sounds and we talk about them being bouncy or stretchy sounds.

a a a a or b b b b          bounce

sssssss or fffffffff        stretch

Once the children have some sound knowledge, we blend these sounds together to read with the help of ‘Fred Frog’


c-a-t         cat

s-a-m        sam

sh-u-t       shut

In this way children learn to read simple and then more complex words. Along with the phonics we also teach children the ‘red’ words which often cannot be decoded but are common such as the, I, to, he.


Children learn to sound out words to write in this way too and by the end of the Reception year the Early Learning Goal aims to have children reading and writing simple sentences.


For more information about phonics, please click here.


If you are interested in joining our Reception class, want to visit the school or need more information please contact the school office.