Bridge Street, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1BZ

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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The curriculum from birth to 5 from when they enter a pre-school/nursery/childminder until they finish their first year at school in a reception class.

William Barnes Primary School is situated in an attractive Edwardian red brick building in the conservation area of this small, friendly yet growing market town.  The school has provided a high standard of education for the children of Sturminster Newton for many years, with the school celebrating twenty years of successful OFSTED inspections in 2017.  Our ethos is summed up by the motto or mission statement “Where every child counts.”

Staff believe that every child can achieve their potential if they work hard and are provided with consistently high-quality teaching and a fun, nurturing, caring and friendly environment.  The curriculum focuses on combining academic success with exciting and enjoyable daily experiences so that the children look forward to coming to school and realise their potential.  At William Barnes, parents are welcomed into the school and encouraged to volunteer and get involved in their child’s journey through his or her primary years.

This framework is based on four important principles:

  • A Unique Child– Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • A Unique Child– Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Learning and Development— Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.

At William Barnes School our children are given the opportunity to learn through rich experiences; opportunities to explore and take risks, and first hand experiences. We have high ambitions for all our children and recognise that all children have different starting points to their learning. We plan according to the children’s level of development so that they can develop and learn through play and in open ended activities guided by their teachers. Learning is fun and teachers plan to pursue the interests of the children through activities that develop the whole child through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which are

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically

The three prime areas of learning are fundamental and work together to support development in all other areas. These are:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development

Other specific areas of learning include essential skills and knowledge and are:

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

This does not mean that your child’s learning is split into specific areas. A single experience will provide many learning opportunities cross several areas of learning.

Phonic teaching and learning are a key part of the EYFS and help to develop early reading and writing skills. At school we are using the Oxford Reading Tree series to take your child through the early stages of learning to read. We are using the Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters teaching programme, which is a step-by-step phonics programme, to introduce children to the letters and sounds (the alphabetic code) that are the foundation of all reading and writing.

At William Barnes the pre-school staff and our reception teachers Mrs Naomi Lewis and Mrs Hannah Dyke work closely together to make sure that the experiences that children receive in the EYFS are enjoyable and stimulating.

Stepping Stones and the school have worked together over many years to make the transition for the “little ones” to school as smooth as possible. Please download the school prospectus for more information about admissions (see home page) or alternatively give the school office a ring on 01258 472257 to find out more.