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Early Years

Children make an outstanding start to their school career in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We want our children to have the best start in our Nursery and Reception Classes.


Ofsted November 2019

Provision for children in the early years is strong. Teachers understand the needs of young children so that they are well prepared for key stage 1. They provide a wide range of activities that children enjoy, both inside and outdoors. Children have fun while they are challenged to develop their skills in mathematics. For example, during imaginary telephone calls to famous television characters, one child read out a telephone number and another child had to identify and press the numbers on a 3 telephone. Staff promote speaking and listening especially well. Children show sustained concentration and behave well.

We will work with you as parents and carers. We will work together.

We believe that all they learn here will impact on their future life here at Queensbridge and more importantly on their life chances.

Our children need to feel happy, secure and safe. 

We understand that our children come in from differing starting points. 

We aim to get them ‘ready’ for the next stage of their learning in Y1 and beyond. It all starts here!

Queensbridge aims in our Early Years setting, to provide:

  • Quality and Consistency.

  • A Secure Foundation (We assess, plan, review and individualise learning) 

  • Partnership Working (Teachers with Parents/Carers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Family Support Workers and Educational Psychologists if necessary).

  • Equality of Opportunity - EVERYONE is included and supported. We take pride in our Inclusion. We have an ARP (Autistic Resource Provision) and although this is a separate application to us, many children join us with additional needs whilst in Nursery and Reception.


There are seven areas of learning and development within the early years, which are extremely important to ensure our children get the best possible start at school. These seven areas are made up of three prime areas and four specific areas.


The prime areas of learning and development include; communication and language, personal, social and emotional development and physical development. These are vital to ensure our children feel safe, form a range of positive relationships, develop a love of learning through curiosity and as a result are then ready to take on the challenges of the wider curriculum.


The specific areas of learning and development include; literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. These areas help to further strengthen the prime areas.


The characteristics of effective teaching and learning describe the behaviours children use in order to learn. The three behaviours are:

1. Playing and Exploring – Having high levels of engagement and being willing to ‘have a go’.

2. Active Learning – Being motivated and demonstrating resilience.

3. Creating and Thinking Critically – Developing own ideas, strategies and making connections.

Effective learning must be meaningful to our children so that they can use what they have learned and apply it to a range of situations. This will allow for our children to make good progress across all seven areas of learning and development.

EYFS areas of learning are:


Communication and Language

This area is comprised of listening, attention, understanding and speaking. The development of children’s spoken language is pivotal in enabling them to flourish in all other areas of learning. It is vital that children have ample opportunities to engage in conversations with adults and peers within an environment that is language rich in order to ensure children’s language is built upon and developed effectively. At Queensbridge vocabulary is a huge focus for us. We pride ourselves on the quality of interactions our children have. We read to our children daily and we engage with a wide range of texts (fiction, non-fiction, poems and rhymes). We take time to ensure our children comprehend what has been read to them and they are actively encouraged to role-play, re-tell familiar stories and ask questions about what they have heard to further support their comprehension.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area is comprised of self-regulation, managing self and building relationships. The development of strong, compassionate and supportive relationships with adult’s supports children’s understanding of not only their emotions but the emotions of others. It gives children the safe, secure base from which to develop a positive sense of self and then have the confidence in themselves to achieve set goals. At Queensbridge we want our children to lead happy and healthy lives in Hackney and beyond. We want them to understand their own feelings and those of others and find ways to self-regulate if needed. Healthy eating has been an issue after the pandemic and it is so important that we continue to support our children in being active and making healthy food choices. Making friends, building a range of relationships throughout our school community, being kind and cooperating with others is key for us. Resolving conflicts starts here as we lead on Restorative Justice as a school.


Physical Development

This area is comprised of fine motor skills and gross motor skills. This area is crucial for children’s all round development and to ensure they lead happy, healthy and active lives both in school and at home. At Queensbridge what we mean by this is ensuring our children are as active as they can be. Exploring, getting stronger with good coordination, developing a strong core strength, balancing, being spatially aware and aiming for agility at own level. Healthier bodies and healthier minds will hopefully will develop better social and emotional well-being. Fine motor development helps with control and precision which in turn helps with hand to eye coordination. This in turn may lead to increased development of for example; literacy skills. We repeat and vary the opportunities our children have in all areas (puzzles, physical literacy, arts and crafts and using a range of tools) which then develops confidence.



This area is comprised of comprehension, word reading and writing. It is crucial children develop a life-long love of reading. The ability to read and comprehend what has been read will ensure children are ready for the challenges within writing. At Queensbridge we develop a love of reading, comprehension, word reading and writing very early on. Our adults talk to the children about the world and are continually reading stories to them as well as singing songs and learning rhymes. We instigate word reading from the moment they set foot in class for example; reading your name for self-registration or on your coat peg. Decoding skills start here with speedy recognition of familiar vocabulary within our phonics sessions and whole class sessions. Writing starts here – we use a spelling and handwriting scheme linked to the rest of the school. All adults are trained to assist with articulating ideas and structure for the challenge of writing them down.



This area is comprised of number and numerical patterns. Developing a solid grounding in number ensures children’s development mathematically in the years beyond the foundation stage. At Queensbridge we develop a strong sense of number early on. There are daily opportunities to count and understand numbers to 10 and beyond through singing number songs and rhymes. Within our free-flow provision we ensure children have continued exposure to numbers and number patterns through a wide range of activities (number hunts, hopscotch, building with Numicon, matching small world objects to numbers, creating patterns with peg boards and sorting a range of objects into different categories). These support our children to develop the mathematical language needed to discuss numbers and patterns. Adults work tirelessly to provide opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills through activities linked to shape, space and measures. We ensure our children understand the real life link of maths within their everyday lives through well thought out and structured role-play. Our children are encouraged to role-play for example; going to the shops, setting the dinner table for tea and getting on and off a bus. This in turn supports our children to get excited about numbers and demonstrate a ‘have a go’ attitude as well as not be afraid to make mistakes.


Understanding the World

This area is comprised of past and present, people, culture and communities and the natural world. It is important to guide our children to make sense of the world around them as well as their communities. At Queensbridge we take every opportunity to ensure our children are exposed to a wealth of opportunities through class trips out to the local library, local markets, local places of worship, parks as well as museums, galleries and visits to a places of interest across London (The London Eye, London Zoo and Boat trips across the Thames). This support our children to become culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically aware. We organise visits from important people within our society such as; doctors, police officers, firefighters and scientists. We pride ourselves on the enrichment opportunities we provide which help to build and extend the vocabulary of our children which later on continues to support our children with reading comprehension. 


Expressive Arts and Design

This area is comprised of creating with materials and being imaginative and expressive. Nurturing children’s artistic and cultural awareness will help support the development of their imaginations and spark creativity. At Queensbridge we have a wealth of opportunities for children to engage with arts and music. Children are encouraged to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as a form of self-expression and communication. We undertake many exciting art projects across the year with various festivals or significant artists at the heart of our learning. For example; Creating fruit self-portraits based on the work by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Bonfire Night paintings in the style of Jackson Pollock, Large doves to signify peace and to remember those lost to war and Sea creatures collaged in plastic bottle tops to highlight the waste entering our oceans and the importance of recycling. We have two music specialists who have extensive knowledge and expertise. They provide a wonderful array of singing and musical opportunities for our children through music projects such as; The Christmas Nativity and the end of year Music Festival.

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