St Robert's Catholic Primary School

St Robert's Catholic Primary School

Love, learn and grow in Christ

Ainsty Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG1 4AP

01423 504 730




Welcome to EYFS at St Roberts!

On this page you will find some useful information about the EYFS curriculum, our phonics learning and an update about the development of the EYFS Unit since our Ofsted inspection in 2023. 

"Children in the early years are happy. There is a lively atmosphere in Reception class, where children make friends and play well together." Ofsted November 2023

EYFS Curriculum

Children in EYFS learn through a variety of adult and child led learning opportunities. The EYFS environment is carefully planned to stimulate children's communication, interaction and independence.

Characteristics of effective learning in EYFS.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
• 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 curriculum is organised into three prime areas of learning and four specific areas.

Prime Areas

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

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


We use a specific phonics scheme called Little Wandle. Please visit the phonics page, under curriculum for more information. 

Ofsted Update April 2024

What Ofsted said

What we have done

What difference has it made

Provision in the early years requires improvement.

A new experienced EYFS Leader was employed for January 2024.

The learning environments inside and outside have been reorganised to provide a more natural, challenging and stimulating environment. New storage units and resources have enabled us to provide high quality continuous provision in all areas.

There is a consistent team in place throughout the week.

Children are more purposeful in their play in both environments. They are able to self-select and tidy resources effectively. This allows children to be more collaborative in their play and sustain their play and thinking for longer periods of time.

Children’s learning in the early years is not as strong as it could be.

All areas are carefully planned and enhanced each week to mirror learning in English, maths and KUW.

Weekly team meetings allow all adults to be involved in planning and develop a better understanding of how to develop children’s language during play.

Children are excited about learning and are keen to share their successes with adults. More children are choosing to write, draw and count. Children often ask to take a photograph of their models or creations.

Expectations of

what children are capable of are too low.

The school should ensure that the curriculum in the early years is ambitious and implemented in a consistent and effective way, so that more children reach the expected standard and are ready for their next stage in learning.

Staff meetings and shared planning are enabling all members of the EYFS team to have higher expectations of what the children can do. Meetings have focused on sharing the ELGs so staff members know what children need to be able to do at the end of the year and the importance of promoting independence.

Careful tracking to ensure the EYFS curriculum is covered and taught well, while ensuring links to our own and other cultures an communities are included as often as possible.

EAL and SEND learners have individual plans and are included in intervention group support.

All members of the EYFS team are aware of learning expectations in EYFS and are promoting independence e.g. coats, jumpers, cutlery etc.

Careful phonics grouping and interventions are ensuring as many children as possible are on track for the end of the year.

Opportunities for meaningful learning are not well planned, particularly for literacy, communication and language.

Deliberate, well-planned

opportunities for pupils to speak, listen and write are sporadic or do not challenge

children as well as they might.

The well planned learning environment is now allowing adults to model communication and children to practise and enjoy communicating with each other.

Drawing Club and Talk for Writing are being used effectively to develop children’s drawing and writing development which is closely linked their phonics learning.

Children are confident when talking to other children and to adults.

All children are making good progress in their writing development. Most children can write sounds and some tricky words with a growing number able to write Phase 3 phonemes.

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