Early Years Foundation Stage

There are seven areas of learning and development, all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.  Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:


Communication and Language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.


We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:


Literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write.   Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials including books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.


Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.


Understanding The World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment


Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


Assessment during EYFS

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children's progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process. It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations. In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children's progress, and observations that parents and carers share.  To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child's achievements, interests and learning styles.  We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.


Key Stage 1 and 2

The national curriculum for England is taught in all maintained schools. We teach the national curriculum Key Stage 1 subjects in years 1 and 2 and the national curriculum for Key Stage 2 subjects in years 3, 4, 5, and 6.


An overview of topics for each year group is below. We also send home a termly newsletter from each year group providing more information about aspects of subjects taught during each topic which can be viewed by clicking on the topic headings.

Year Group





In EYFS and Key Stage 1 phonics is taught using the 'Letters and Sounds' programme. Phonics is also taught in Year 3 for those children still needing to develop and apply their skills. Children are taught in ability groups for 20 minutes every day. A variety of approaches are used so that children can hear, identify and use sounds in their reading and writing.



Every child at Olive Hill has an individual reading book that is shared both at school and at home. A range of schemes are used to support the individual reading needs of each child. Schemes include Oxford Reading Tree, Project X, Songbirds Phonics, Pearson Phonics Scheme, Wolf Hill, Ransom-Goal!, Rising Stars - Dockside and Thornes Sound Start. All books are banded and a selection of 'real' books are also available. As children progress in Key Stage 2 we use a banded 'real' book approach to continue the development of skills, enjoyment and enthusiasm for reading.


All year groups receive guided reading sessions where children are grouped according to their ability and share a book selected to meet their reading needs. Within these sessions, children often work closely with an adult to develop specific skills. Children have the opportunity to apply the skills taught during guided reading groups and express their thoughts and opinions about the texts they are sharing.


Reading for pleasure is promoted through the use of the school library, class visits to the local library and attending author events.




Olive Hill Primary Academy, Springfield Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8JZ  -  Tel: 01384 818855 | Fax: 01384 818859 | Email:

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