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The Hollybrook Schools

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Welcome to

The Hollybrook Schools

Early Years

We plan an exciting and ambitious curriculum based on our observations and interactions of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve.

Our curriculum encompasses seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas which are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships, and thriving are the Prime Areas.

These are split into:

• communication and language

 • physical development

• personal, social, and emotional development.

The Specific areas are:

• literacy

• mathematics

•understanding the world

 • expressive arts and design

Throughout their time in the Reception Year our children partake in an ambitious curriculum which is designed in a sequential way to ensure progress towards the end of reception goals. These goals are defined as Early Learning Goals (ELGs).

Our curriculum incorporates learning through play, learning by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching. It is also important to highlight that our plans are flexible to allow us to respond quickly to children’s new interests and/or needs.


Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum at Hollybrook are the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

  • 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

These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.

Children are provided with a range of rich, meaningful first-hand experiences in which they can explore, think creatively and be active. We aim to develop and foster positive attitudes towards learning, confidence, communication and physical development.

We create medium term plans based on a series of topics each of which offers experiences in all seven areas of learning.

At the beginning of each topic the children are encouraged to share their ideas for learning experiences; These ideas are then used to inform our weekly planning, alongside our observations which identify areas to focus on. 

We always remain flexible to allow for unplanned circumstances and children’s responses.  Our planning is continually evaluated by all staff to ensure that children’s individual ‘Next Steps in Learning’ and personalised learning needs are met. 

Children will engage in whole group and small group activities alongside their independent learning. There are also allocated times for whole class daily ‘carpet learning sessions’.

We plan a balance between children having time and space to engage in their own child-initiated activities and those which are planned by adults. During child initiated time the adults in class interact and play with the children and when appropriate stretch and challenge them further through their interests and themes of play and exploration.

In planning and guiding children's activities, we reflect as practitioners on the different ways that children learn and build these into our practice. We create a stimulating learning environment to encourage children to free flow between inside and outdoors as far as possible.