Return to Learning


 At St Mary’s Infants our early years curriculum comes from the children; their interests, strengths, what they need to make good progress and what we hope they will enjoy. 

 Our Curriculum principles are: 

  •  Starting from the child, we look at their needs, backgrounds, previous experiences and stages of development, we talk to them and their parents and observe them in play. 
  • Ensure all the children are included in all of the curriculum provision and are not denied opportunities because of gender, cultural background, social circumstances or special needs, but instead are provided with a curriculum that reflects, utilises and contributes to the rich and varied culture in our local community and beyond 
  • Recognise and value the importance of play; it is through child-led play that the children show the highest levels of involvement and motivation, leading to excellent progress.  Learning through play is most meaningful to young children and leads to deeper learning. 
  • Awareness that all children are unique and develop at different rates depending on their readiness to learn.  We therefore aim to support each unique child’s development as they have the right to ensure we optimise provision to positively impact on their life chances.   
  • It is morally incumbent on us to ensure that we understand the needs of all pupils, in order to deliver an enriching curriculum and accurate provision to meet these needs so that all pupils, including those from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds have the optimal provision to positively impact on their life chances. 
  • Provide a supportive and secure environment with quality resources and sensitive adult support responsive to children’s needs to become independent learners. 
  • Stimulate and encourage their development and enjoyment of learning through a variety of opportunities in secure indoor and outdoor situations. 
  • Provide systematic teaching of basic skills based on the children’s development readiness and next step learning needs. 


Our setting has been planned to ensure that it is an enabling environment that allows the children to have a deep level of involvement in the activities that they choose to access, both inside and out.

How we teach – Continuous Provision

Planning in the moment is all about seizing the moment for children to progress.  Based on what the children are already deeply involved in, this way of planning relies on skilled practitioners using quality interactions to draw out the children’s knowledge and build on it there and then (in the moment).  This means that the practitioner uses skills to observe what the child is doing and needs to do next, assesses the teachable moment from the child’s perspective and be skilled enough to know when to intervene and when to stand back and observe.

Planning in the moment is all about capturing the moment of engagement and running with it to make sure the children progress.

Grow time – Child-Initiated Learning

Child-initiated learning has an important role in children’s learning and development, because children explore and learn from their own thoughts and ideas through the freedom and creativity that child-initiated play enables.  We have named our child-initiated learning time ‘Grow Time’ as the children are developing, allowing them to flourish into growth mindset learners.


Click here for a booklet with pictures of our learning environment to share with your child

Please see our ‘Policy’ page for our EYFS policy.

Outdoor Learning

At St Mary’s our Early Years outside space has been designed to ensure the children are highly engaged in their learning.  It includes a mud kitchen, digging area, reading area, writing shed, investigation station, large construction area, vegetable patch, bikes and scooters, a sand pit, a water investigation station, a music and performance area and …