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Quick Links

Merryhills Primary School

Early Years 

At Merryhills, we believe that childhood should be a time of magic, awe and excitement.

We aim to provide children with the best start to their education by providing a nurturing, stimulating but challenging learning environment. Both our inside and outside learning environments provide children with the scope to explore and investigate as well as reinforce teacher-led learning. We offer a vast range of experiences which help to embed teaching through kinesthetic and memory-building learning opportunities.

The statutory Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage states:

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential.

Our teaching and learning is based upon a balance of adult scaffolding and children’s interests.  We use ‘Development Matters’ as well as the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ to improve outcomes for all children.

Our teaching and learning is based across seven areas of learning, which are:

The Prime Areas
Communication and Language Personal, Social and Emotional Development Physical Development
The Specific Areas
Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Art and Design

The Characteristics of 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.

Statutory Framework for the EYFS:

 Communication and Language:

Children’s language skills form the basis for all the other areas of learning. We provide a language-rich environment and equip children with the opportunities to explore language and learn new words. 

We teach a daily word and incorporate this into our conversations throughout the day so that children can hear it spoken in context. We also learn a new poem each week which helps children to develop an ear for poetry and increase their understanding of rhythm and beat. This supports early reading and develops vital reading skills such as rhyming and an awareness of syllables.  

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

Social and emotional development is at the forefront of our practice. As well as being a major contributor to children’s cognition, understanding children’s emotions and feelings enables us to form strong and warm relationships with them. This helps us to support children’s mental health and help them manage their own emotions.

This area of our curriculum is strongly linked to our values at Merryhills and reinforces the ethos behind our behaviour policy which is ‘Ready, Respectful and Safe’. 

Physical Development:

We support children’s physical development by encouraging them to lead healthy and active lives. We teach them the importance of looking after our bodies, including healthy eating, good oral hygiene and how to keep active. Children engage in daily gross motor activities which develop core strength, balance and also build up muscle control. Children are encouraged to engage in daily finer motor activities which support pencil control for writing as well as developing hand-eye coordination for small and precise finger movements e.g. fastening a button or zip.


A love of reading is crucial for children to develop at a young age which is why at Merryhills, children in Reception are encouraged to build positive relationships with books and begin reading right from the start. Synthetic phonics lessons are taught from the third week of Reception and children are given boundless opportunities to apply their skills through continuous provision, story sessions, visits to the school library and through structured reading sessions three times a week. Children learn in a language rich environment and hands-on opportunities which develop vocabulary are provided daily.

Please click on the link to find additional information about the Little Wandle Scheme used.

Little Wandle Information for Parents


A strong grounding in mathematical skills, especially in an awareness of number and numerical patterns provided children with the necessary grounding needed for excelling in all areas of mathematics.

Children engage in practical lessons and are given opportunities to apply their learning through continuous practice. Open-ended activities are part of everyday learning which allow children to build upon previously learnt concepts and embed their learning.

Understanding the World:

It is vital for children to explore the world around them and make sense of their surroundings through a variety of experiences which builds upon their knowledge and enriches their vocabulary. At Merryhills, learning experiences are enhanced through visitors, outings, the use of technology and through the learning opportunities which are built in as part of curriculum. We are passionate about the power and importance of outdoor learning so Forest School is a regular part of our learning experiences. Children are taught how to behave around the fire pit safely and develop an understanding of how to use tools appropriately within the school’s purpose-built Forest School area.

Expressive Art and Design:

Creativity and imagination are a huge part of the drive behind learning at Merryhills. Children are encouraged to explore the arts and engage in self expression through their experiences. Children have frequent opportunities to engage in imaginative play and use the first hand experiences which are linked to teaching and learning as a basis for their learning. 

Home-school Links

Communication between home and school are a huge part of the ethos at Merryhills. Teachers are readily available at the door before and after school and have a sharing page linked on Google Classroom. Google Classrooms are used to create a strong link from home to school and provide parents with an abundance of information to support their children’s learning at home.

Evidence Me

Children’s learning is observed, recorded and evaluated on Evidence Me. This provides teachers and Early Years Practitioners with a strong understanding of children’s development and attainment, allowing them to move children’s learning forward through their interests. Observations are shared with parents and carers at the end of each half term.

Learning conversations

Learning conversations take a hybrid approach, whereby parents are offered the opportunity to come in and meet the teacher in person or virtually via School Cloud each term. In these conversations, parents and teachers have the opportunity to discuss children’s learning and progress. Parents will be invited into the classrooms termly to see their child's learning so they can and have a greater insight which will contribute to questions asked in these conversations.  

Curriculum Overviews 

Please find links below that help provide an insight into the curriculum at Merryhills.

Reception Autumn Curriculum Information 2023

Reception Knowledge and Skills Progression 2023-24

Receptions Overview 2023-2024