Home Page

StamfordhamPrimary School

‘Learning, Caring and Achieving Together’
‘Learning, Caring and Achieving Together’

Early Years


At Stamfordham Primary School, we aim to offer an exciting and engaging Early Years curriculum that enables children to immerse themselves in real-life opportunities that encourage their curiosity about the world. Our dedicated and highly trained staff team support every child with the knowledge, skills, and lifelong characteristics of effective learning they need to achieve their full potential.



We recognise that every child is unique and that their learning needs to be experiential and active to enable them to become motivated and confident learners, who explore and test their ideas and solve problems. We use the EYFS Framework and a range of exciting topics as a basis for our activities and closely follow children’s interests to enhance their learning and ensure that their motivation to engage is strong. We incorporate all the EYFS areas of development within our provision, whilst promoting the characteristics of effective teaching and learning through a stimulating, safe and nurturing environment for play and learning.


The children have access to a stimulating curriculum both indoors and outdoors on a daily basis. At Stamfordham, we provide opportunities for children to explore all areas of the curriculum in our outdoor environment as we believe this encourages active learning, promotes a sense of confidence and well-being and enables children to extend and broaden their knowledge. Our Early Years outdoor environment and additional whole school outdoor areas, including the playing field, woods, playground, MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) and pond provide a range of learning opportunities, such as a variety of equipment for physical play, large-scale construction, reading areas, sand and water exploration, planting areas, wildlife and nature. We have a strong focus on communication, language and learning to read as we believe that success in these areas are the gateway to success throughout school and in life.


Prime Areas

Communication and Language

At Stamfordham, we believe that strong communication and language skills are fundamental to children being able to successfully access the school curriculum and reach their potential in life. Timetabled ‘Drop Everything And Read’ (DEAR time) sessions, along with poetry and song time activities help to develop new vocabulary and speaking and listening skills. We encourage children to communicate and respond in a variety of contexts, express their own thoughts and ideas and value the thoughts and ideas of others. All children have opportunities to explore, enjoy, learn about and use words and text in a broad range of contexts, including through stories, role play and drama.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Our aim is for children to become valued members of the class and shape their own identity through an increasing awareness of their own needs and the needs of others. We do this through daily class discussions, cooperative group work and providing positive examples of social skills through role modelling. We consistently promote our school values (Resilient, Ambitious and Nurturing) as well as introducing children to the British Values, which helps to develop an understanding of the importance of respect, tolerance, rules, routines and boundaries.


Physical Development

We create opportunities for children to develop the control they have over their own bodies through fine and gross motor activities, as well as understand how their bodies work and what they need to be healthy and safe. We believe it is important for children to work on developing their fine motor skills which involves the ability to control one-handed tools and equipment, every day. This is achieved through a variety of fun ‘Funky Fingers’ activities, Squiggle When You Wiggle sessions and PE lessons. Outdoor activities provide opportunities for children to further develop their confidence and gross motor skills, including crossing their midline and co-ordination to support skills such as running, jumping, climbing, handling equipment, spatial awareness, balancing and dance. This is achieved through progressive planning that builds on skills and technique.


Specific Areas


At Stamfordham, we believe that children need to make rapid progress in reading so that they can access the school curriculum successfully and become independent readers who develop a life-long love of reading. Our literacy curriculum begins as soon as children start preschool at the age of 2 or 3 years. Daily Read, Write, Inc. sessions initially focus on listening skills and include activities such as rhyming, listening walks and listening for the initial sounds in words. DEAR time encourages a love of books and stories and an understanding that print carries meaning. We actively promote the importance of reading and writing through stories, songs, poems, games and mark making in a variety of different contexts and for different purposes using a wide range of media. We progressively incorporate daily teaching of discrete phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. programme, handwriting practice and writing tasks linked to core books.  Our Reception classroom, preschool and outdoor areas all have reading corners which provide spaces for children to access a range of high quality books independently.  Mark making and early writing are also encouraged through the use of the many different resources and activities on offer. The delivery of our literacy programme is flexible and depending on the activity, can be offered to the whole class, a small group or individual teaching as required.



At Stamfordham, we follow the White Rose scheme of learning which incorporates the use of concrete objects and resources in the learning of maths in early years, as well as introducing pictorial and abstract concepts. We consistently provide opportunities for children to develop their mathematical knowledge and understanding through games, interactive resources and applying their skills to other areas of the curriculum. We provide opportunities for children to develop their understanding of number, shape, measure and spatial thinking by providing a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about the different areas of mathematics. We encourage children to talk and think mathematically, using key vocabulary and explaining their answers in full sentences.


Understanding the World

We believe in the importance of creating opportunities for children to question why things happen, have their own ideas and test them, use their senses, look at similarities and differences, use equipment carefully and talk about plants, animals and objects found in nature. Our curriculum allows children to engage with the world around them in order to learn more about people and communities and the world in which they live, including their immediate environment. Children also explore the impact of information and communication technology on their everyday lives via i-pads, interactive whiteboards and code-a-pillars.


Expressive Arts and Design

We offer opportunities for children to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, design, technology, movement, song, dance and role-play activities. Our ‘Art Studio’ and the creative area in the Reception Classroom is dedicated to art and other creative tasks, where the children are encouraged to use materials safely and independently to explore texture, colour and design. We provide opportunities for children to read books and use their imagination to create their own stories in our reading area and our small world provision.


Characteristics of Effective Teaching and 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


The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning are woven through everything we do as these skills are essential if children are to be successful. In order to learn well they need to be encouraged to approach new opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm.



In Early Years, we use the Northumberland School Readiness Passport to assess children, including baseline assessments, 2 year old checks and additional key points during their time in preschool and reception. In addition to this, reception children are assessed through the Reception Baseline Assessment and half termly Read, Write, Inc. phonics assessments, termly tracking of progress in each area of the curriculum and informal teacher assessment. This enables our continuous provision to develop and change in response to assessments, which in turn raises levels of engagement and attainment. In 2022-23, 85% of Reception children achieved a Good Level of Development (65% achieved this nationally (2021/22).



All children are assessed within the first few weeks of joining Stamfordham which enables any areas where they are not making the expected progress for their age to be quickly identified. Individual targets are agreed and shared with our SENCO, the child’s parents and Early Years staff and support is given through small steps and focused activities. This process is reviewed regularly to ensure rapid progress is being made. Referrals to external agencies may be made with consent from parents, if more specialist support is needed.


Cultural Capital

By introducing cultural capital at the very beginning of school life, we aim to provide pupils with the opportunities and support they need to achieve not only in Early Years, but throughout their lives. By getting to know our children well, we help them to thrive and develop their knowledge and skills through high quality books and active learning opportunities, such as baking and planting. We also visit the local community through seasonal walks around our village and a Baptism role play at St Mary's Church. We have enjoyed trips to Shipley Art Gallery and The Angel of the North as well as to The Sage, Gateshead to take part in The Big Sing and  Whitehouse Farm to learn about our farming community. We welcome visitors into school, such as Captain Chemistry, the author Adam Bushnell and parents/carers with skills to share and stories to read. These opportunities help to extend the children's understanding of our current topic, our community and different celebrations, such as Christmas, Diwali and Chinese New Year.