Quick Links

Useful Links

At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

Enter Site

Orchard Primary Academy


Early Years Foundation Stage 

At Orchard Primary Academy we provide Early Years provision for pupils aged 2 to 5 years old. Our Early Years Foundation Stage consists of three key phases which include Pre-School, Nursery and Reception. 

Please click the button below and complete the form to apply for an Early Years Place at Orchard Primary Academy .

Orchard EYFS Application Form   

At Orchard Primary Academy, we want to ensure that our youngest children get the best possible start to their education. 


At Orchard Primary Academy we endeavour to work collaboratively with parents to develop independent, ambitious and resilient pupils who are able to achieve their full potential in a stimulating and challenging environment.

We aim to support pupils learning and developmental needs by: 

  • Recognising the individuality of children and the various rates at which develop;
  • Providing a safe, secure and caring environment in which the interests of children are respected and valued.
  • Providing purposeful play based opportunities for learning supported through meaningful interactions across indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Providing experiences which build on children’s existing knowledge and understanding in order to challenge, stimulate and extend learning;
  • Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes and adapt to adversity;
  • Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions different from their own

 Orchard Primary EYFS Policy 




At Orchard Primary Academy we deliver our curriculum in accordance with the guidance outlined within the ’The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five’  (Effective 1st September 2021).

Compliance with this document ensures that children’s welfare, learning and developmental needs are met through a principled approach which is underpinned by four key themes. These include ‘A Unique Child’, ‘Positive Relationships’, ‘Enabling Environments’ and ‘Learning and Development.’    

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 


The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework is divided into seven interconnected areas of learning. This ensures the delivery of a holistic, child-centred curriculum which allows children to develop links between learning experiences. These consist of three Prime and four Specific Areas.

 EYFS Statutory Framework 2024 

Non- statutory documents including  Development Matters: Non-statutory curriculum guidance
for the early years foundation stage (July 2021)
Non-statutory guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage are used to support practitioners classroom practise and pedagogy

 EYFS Development Matters 

Prime Areas of Learning

The Prime Areas provide a firm foundation for pupils future learning and are focused upon during the initial stages of child development. These include:

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

Specific Areas of Learning 

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

In supporting pupils within the four Specific Areas, the three prime areas are also further strengthened and applied

Characteristics of Effective Learning               

 The Characteristics of Effective Learning are an essential element of the Early Years Foundation Stage and focus upon the processes of how children learn as opposed to an outcome. The three Characteristics of Effective Learning identified by the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework include:

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.

At Orchard Primary Academy we value pupils’ individuality and recognise that pupils demonstrate particular preferences in their approach to learning. This determines the way in which children respond to teaching experiences within the Early Years provision.

 Planning Approaches

The practitioners at Orchard Primary Academy provide planned learning experiences directly linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework using a balance of both adult led and child initiated approaches. Planning takes the individual needs of pupils into consideration with recognition given children’s prior knowledge and personal experiences. Discrete adult led inputs including Communication, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Phonics and PHSCE are delivered daily. Learners are given regular opportunities to work independently and collaboratively with their peers as well as practitioners.

Our Early Years curriculum recognises the importance of the wider experiences and life skills which are necessary to develop the ‘Whole Child’. Educational visits are therefore regularly planned as a stimulus to enliven teaching and provide pupils with first hand experiences.

Whilst, The Early Years Foundation Stage is the first phase of a child’s school journey, it is important to recognise the need for supportive transition arrangements throughout a child’s life. At Orchard Primary Academy, we provide a progressive curriculum based upon the acquisition of key skills ranging from the Early Years to Key Stage Two. This ensures that gaps in knowledge are addressed and pupils are successfully prepared for the next stage of their education.

EYFS Long Term Curriculum Plan   

Early Years Foundation Stage Topic Packs 

Within the Early Years at Orchard Primary Academy, practitioners use year group 'Topic Packs' in order to plan meaningful learning experiences across the indoor and outdoor learning environment. The 'Topic Packs' provide suggested  activities to enhance the continuous provision that are linked directly to the Development Matters Statements as well the academies subject skills progression documents. Pupils individual interests and next steps in learning identified through child observation are also  used to ensure the progression of knowledge and skills. 

Pre-School Topic Packs 

Autumn 1Autumn 2 

Spring 1Spring 2 

Summer 1Summer 2 

Nursery Topic Packs

Autumn 1Autumn 2 

Spring 1Spring 2 

Summer 1Summer 2 

Reception Topic Packs 

Autumn 1Autumn 2 

Spring 1Spring 2 

Summer 1Summer 2 

Active Learning through Play

At Orchard Primary Academy we promote an ethos in which active learning through play is valued. Play is an essential learning process which enables children to interact with objects and people in order to share ideas and experiences over a sustained period of time. This multifaceted approach successfully motivates pupils to develop creativity, problem solve and take risks within a secure environment. The flexibility of play allows pupils to apply, extend and consolidate key skills.


Practitioners therefore provide both structured and unstructured play opportunities across the indoor and outdoor learning environment. Skills based planning is utilised alongside meaningful interactions to enhance the continuous provision and provide differentiated learning opportunities which address pupils ‘Next Steps’ in learning. These activities engage pupils by recognising their own individual interests to enable them to explore, discover and investigate.



On-going assessment is an essential aspect of the effective management of the EYFS setting at Orchard Primary Academy. Regular, planned and focused assessments are made of children’s learning using a range of approaches.

Practitioners undertake daily observations of pupils which are linked directly to the Development Matters Statements as well as The Characteristics of Effective Learning. Targeted ‘Next Steps’ for learning are identified to ensure the progress of pupils. Through regular, purposeful interactions staff are able to develop relationships with key children and gain an understanding of individual pupils’ abilities, interests and needs.


Evidence of progress and attainment including work samples, photographs, direct speech and observations are collated to form pupil’s individual ‘Learning Journeys’.  Parental contributions are encouraged and valued to promote a positive relationships between home and school. ‘Focused Tasks’ are completed weekly across the phase and recorded in ways which are appropriate for each stage of development. Staff use this information to support their developing knowledge of individual pupils and inform planning. The practitioner’s ability to articulate their knowledge of pupils is used as a method in which to measure the impact of the Early Years Curriculum. ‘Learning Journeys’ are also monitored by senior members of staff upon a termly basis to ensure consistency and accuracy of judgements. Regular moderation also provide clarity on expectations.

The impact of the Early Years curriculum at Orchard Primary Academy can also be measured against internal assessment procedures. Formative assessment data is submitted via ‘O’ Track on a termly basis. Records of pupils attainment is recorded against the month bandings of the Development Matters Statements in relation to age related expectations. Regular pupil progress meetings ensure that Senior Leaders are able to identify pupils who are risk of under achievement and implement methods of developing the curriculum further to support progress.

Primarily, the impact of our Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum can be measured in relation to pupil’s engagement with learning and their ability to transition effectively in order to prepare for future life experiences. We strive for all pupils at Orchard Primary to embody the academy values, retaining taught knowledge and skills which will enable them to become ambitious and successful lifelong learners.