Early Years Foundation Stage

Intent (What we do)

Our Curriculum

In early years (Nursery and Reception) we provide great learning opportunities for the children in a variety of ways and each opportunity allows the children to embark on a creative journey and find their talent.

As the Early Years Foundation Stage is a unique curriculum we plan activities for children based on the interests of the child as much as possible as we believe this keeps them motivated and interested as well as learning through adult planned topics.

We do this by encouraging children to take considered and controlled risks, experiment and make discoveries, enable their unique creativeness to flow and enable them to explore their own fears and worries through play and activities, whilst understanding the need to stay safe.

Planning activities of interest will enable children to take their own ideas and develop them further through the guidance and encouragement of us, the practitioners.

We believe that teaching and learning is about creating an enjoyable environment where children want to learn and imagine the possibilities. One thing we have found with our children is, that with the right tools and guidance where they can do what they enjoy they will in turn enjoy what they do.

The EYFS framework

Link to the EYFS framework.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning

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

  • ‍**Playing and exploring** – children investigate and experience things, and build the resilience to ‘have a go’.
  • ‍**Active learning** – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achieving.
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The areas of learning and development

There are four specific areas through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The Prime Areas

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

The Specific areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Learning to Read and Write at Swillington Primary

Children who read or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds!

More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become an independent, life-long learner.

We develop early readers by:

  • Using Read Write Inc, a programme to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home

At Swillington Primary School, we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their English development, It is taught in Reception and KS1.

Nursery phonics concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills through their ability to respond to sounds, play with sounds, songs and rhymes. These are all important skills for listening to others, understanding questions and developing concepts of things and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts at the beginning of Reception. This early stage of phonics, supports children in getting attuned to sounds, preparing them for hearing sounds in words (segmenting). It also prepares children with putting these sounds together (oral blending).

Please visit the Phonics page of our website for more information.

Implementation (How we do what we do)


At Swillington Primary School we have two Early Years classes:

  • Polar Bears (Nursery)
  • Snow Leopards (Reception)

Our Learning Environment

At Swillington Primary School our environment is meticulously planned so that it promotes a calm environment, where children feel a sense of belonging and promotes communication. This ensures our children feel safe and secure. Carefully planned progression of routines and behavioural expectations ensures that our children develop high levels of respect and care.

Our outdoor area enables our children to explore, be curious and develop important gross motor skills. Our wide range of learning activities engage and inspire and provide challenge, both mentally and physically. At Swillington we offer our children first-hand experiences and opportunities to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world through visits and visitors.

Our Adults

At Swillington Primary school we have a dedicated and skilled team of adults who have the upmost commitment to ensuring that children feel.

Our Parents and Families

We communicate with our parents in a variety of ways, first and foremost in person. Our Early Years staff are on the door to greet children each morning and to say goodbye each afternoon. Our staff are committed to developing and sustaining positive relationships with our families. We use an online tool called Tapestry through which we share photographs and information about children with parents who can also contribute through the app. We also use DOJO which is updated regularly to let you know what events are happening in school and any other important information you may need to know and our half-termly newsletter shares information about the knowledge and skills the children will be learning each term, the key books, rhymes and poems we are focussing on and visits and visitors planned. We hold a variety of meetings and workshops for and with our parents about starting school, teaching and learning phonics and mathematics and stay and play sessions.


Term dates 2023-24

Holiday Dates

Term Dates

Autumn Term 1

Monday 4 September to Friday 27 October

Autumn Term 2

Spring Term 1

Monday 19 February to Thursday 28th March

Monday 8 January to Friday 9 February

Monday 6 November to Friday 22 December

Monday 15 April to Friday 24 May

Spring Term 2

Christmas Holidays

Monday 25 December to Friday 5 January

Half Term

Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November

Half Term

Monday 12 February to Friday 16 February

Summer Term 1

Easter Holidays

Friday 29th March to Friday 12 April

Summer Term 2

Half Term

Monday 27 May to Friday 31 May

Summer Holidays

Monday 22 July to Friday 30 August

Monday 3 June to Friday 19 July

Our Aims & Values

Success and Respect for All.

We exist to provide a cradle-to-career education that allows our children to enjoy lives of choice and opportunity.

Our pupils uphold our values by:

Stay Safe

  • Follow school rules
  • Wash our hands regularly
  • Helping others in need
  • Crossing roads carefully
  • Reporting things online we do not like
  • Don't talk to strangers

Respect our environment

  • Keeping our classrooms/ work spaces tidy
  • We don't ignore it, e.g. untidy lockers
  • Using the correct bins for recycling
  • Looking after our school chickens
  • Helping our parents at home to keep the house tidy

Imagine the possibilities

  • Ask questions
  • Think about what job/career I want when I am older
  • Take part in a range of school clubs
  • If we work hard... anything is possible
  • Taking part in visits


  • Be kind to others
  • Positive language
  • Equality for all
  • Understand change may happen
  • Welcome new friends to our school
  • Positive mindset
  • Being kind to our siblings at home

Application timetable

The below timetable applies to applications made to Leeds City Council. If you apply to another local authority, they may have different dates

Admissions Timetable (2024 start)
Applications Open
1 November 2023
Deadline date for applications for Reception places in September 2024
15 January 2024
Late applications
12 February 2024
National Offers Day
16 April 2024
Deadline date for parents wishing to lodge an appeal (please return appeal forms to the academy)
14 May 2024
Date on which Year Reception appeal hearings will be held
June – July 2024
Appeal decision letters to be sent
Within 5 working days from date of hearing wherever possible

We would love to hear from you.

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