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There are two early years classes, Butterflies and Ladybirds. In these classes, children learn through play and develop the skills that they will rely on as they grow.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.  At Parnwell we believe in creating strong foundations of learning  for children to build upon.   In both the Ladybird and Butterfly class children learn through structured and free play, with planned purposeful activities, that provide opportunities for teaching and learning both indoors and outdoors. Over the year children cover 3 topics.

  • All about me

  • All creatures great and small

  • Land, sea and air


The children of Butterflies and Ladybirds have recorded some video and some photographs, which have been made into a short video. 



The curriculum in Reception is structured to take account of the different starting points of children and is inspired by their interests.  The environment in reception is  rich and stimulating and adults provide high quality interaction to encourage children's language and communication skills.   The planned provision focuses on utilising multi-sensory aspects of learning and activities are planned to acquire phonic knowledge and concepts of number. Children are actively encouraged to free flow between indoor and outdoor activities.

The curriculum is made up of three prime areas of learning (which include the essential foundations of learning) and four specific areas. The prime areas of learning include:

1) Personal, Social and Emotional Development - Children learn essential skills that help them to develop their self confidence and self awareness, manage their behaviour and feelings and form relationships with others.

2) Communication and Language - Children develop important listening and attention skills, improve their understanding of language and develop their speaking skills.

3)Physical Development - Children develop both their fine and gross motor skills and learn how to apply these. They also learn how to manage their own health and self care.

The specific areas of learning include:

4) Literacy - Children study phonics everyday to assist them with their early reading and writing skills. This area of learning promotes a love of reading and writing for enjoyment.

5) Mathematics - Children develop their number and shape, space and measuring skills through a variety of hands on, practical activities.

6) Understanding the World - Children learn about the world around them, people and communities and everyday technology.

7)  Expressive Arts and Design - Children develop their imagination and use this in a variety of ways from exploring media and materials to playing musical instruments, dancing and singing.

The Early Years Curriculum is underpinned by four overarching principles which guide the work of all early years practitioners:

1) A Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

2) Positive Relationships- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

3) 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 carers.

4)Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways.

The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years’ provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning and development.