Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage at Bede Academy
To all families, and especially if your child is the first in your family to join us, we offer you a warm welcome and look forward to a happy and successful relationship with you and your child. You are the most important people in your children’s lives and we are committed to working closer with you to support your child throughout their journey in EYFS.
We are made up of a 50 place nursery class, and three 30 place reception classes. We offer a range of both 15hour and 30hour nursery places.
Our redeveloped learning environments, both inside and out, mean that we can offer a range of high quality learning experiences across our EYFS department. At Bede Academy we believe every child is infinitely precious, gifted for a purpose and morally responsible.
From September 2022, we have created a curriculum for your children which is bespoke to the children at Bede academy and reflects the locality. Our curriculum intent ensures every child receives a knowledge rich, empowering, responsive, inspiring and transformative curriculum.
To support our curriculum development we have used the Birth to 5 matters document, the Development Matters document alongside other curriculum programs such as Launchpad for Literacy and Read Write Inc
At Bede Academy, we believe that the early years foundation stage is crucial to lay strong foundations for children’s future learning. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that all children develop the skills they need to move onto the next phase of their education.
Early Years Foundation Stage taken from ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’:
Our guidance is split into 7 areas of learning.
Please click on the 7 sections to find out more information:
The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive 9 relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives7. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.
We believe that children need to be equipped with the right knowledge and skills to enable them to access future learning through the academy. We have developed this curriculum overview to show how we plan this:
EYFS curriculum overview
For further information, please see our half termly parent information:
We believe that teaching children to learn to read is at the heart of what we do, and allows children to become independent and active learners. In nursery, we start this journey by tuning into sounds around us, through instrumental and environmental sounds, body percussion and rhythm and rhyme. Later, we move on to initial sounds (as found in our names and on picture cards for example), alliteration, oral blending and segmenting, compound words and syllables. In the summer term we begin to introduce the Read Write Inc rhymes for their names so that it is familiar for starting Reception. We also have fun exploring lots of songs and stories and enjoy many books throughout the year.
Read Write Inc.
Once the children start in Reception class, they begin their Read Write Inc journey. Read Write Inc is a government validated, comprehensive systematic synthetic phonics scheme designed to support children to learn to read independently. We use the Read Write Inc scheme across Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. We offer parent workshops all about RWI once your child has started school with us.
Click here for more information about Read Write Inc
Welcome time- Register and fruit and milk.
Whole class group activity.
Child initiated play inside and outside within the continuous provision.
Group work and 1:1 activity.
Whole class group activity.
Story and singing time.
Home time for 15hour children
Lunchtime for 30hour children
Whole class group activity
Child initiated play inside within the continuous provision.
Group work and 1:1 activity.
Story/ singing time.
First home time
Second home time
During the Reception year, children will also become more involved in daily school life, having their lunch in the hall and joining in with whole-school assemblies.
A typical day in Reception looks like this:
- Arrival and registration, days of the week, weather, counting skills
- Read Write Inc phonics
- Outdoor Learning
- Literacy followed by group work and accessing continuous provision
- Lunch time
- Numeracy followed by group work and accessing continuous provision
- Additional carpet session, such as Expressive Arts, Understanding the World
- Milk and fruit time
- Home time
Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage (both nursery and reception) is very much based upon observation of children. Staff are highly trained and engage in daily, informal assessment activities. This could be a conversation with a child or an observation of them during their play, alongside working 1:1 and with small groups of children. We regularly collate our information to ensure that we can plan the next steps for children, and offer additional support for those who need it.
We use Seesaw App as a way of gathering and collating evidence of children’s learning and achievements. This app allows families to contribute photos, anecdotes and other relevant information about their child, alongside allowing families to see the school contributions of children learning and work. We offer parent workshops all about using Seesaw once your child has started school with us.
Reception Baseline Assessment
On entry to Reception, all children are assessed, using the ‘Reception Baseline Assessment’. This is a statutory assessment for all children as they enter their Reception year. Data from this is send directly to DfE, and a summary is produced for parents. This should be available to parents approximately 7-8 weeks after your child has started.
For more information about the Reception Baseline Assessment, please see:
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Assessment
At the end of Reception, all children will be assessed against the Early Leaning Goals. These are 17 statements across all seven areas of learning, which show age related expectations. Children are assessed and scored as either
‘emerging’, which means they have not yet met the early learning goal, or
‘expected’, which means they have met the early learning goal.
Parents will receive a summary of their child’s assessment with the end of year school report.
There are termly opportunities for parents to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher, and the class teacher will provide next steps for individual children. There will be some ideas of the kind of things you can do at home to support your child’s learning.
During these meetings, parents and teachers can discuss any strengths or areas of concern. Where it is appropriate to consider additional interventions or referrals to specialist professionals, additional conversations and meetings will be offered. We are a fully inclusive academy, and are committed to working closely with families, and outside agencies, to ensure that all children have their needs met.
Bede Academy Nursery has a minimum of 50 places and offers a mixture of 15 hour and 30 hour places.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can my child start Nursery?
At present Bede academy has two, fixed Nursery intakes in each academic year, in September and January. A child can be considered for a place in the academy’s Nursery provided they are already three years old and born on/between 1 January to 31 August to be considered for the September intake or three years’ old and born on/between 1 September to 31 December to be considered for the January intake. Very occasionally, following a January intake, the academy may still have a small number of places available. In this situation children from the list for September of the same year, and born between 1 January and the start of the Easter holidays, will be considered, in accordance with our allocation criteria.
A Nursery place will normally be for the three terms prior to entry into Reception (pure Nursery). However, subject to available places, children born between September and December may benefit from up to five terms prior to entry into Reception (Rising 3s).
15 hours Universal Nursery provision
Children who access the universal 15 hours Nursery provision in the three terms before they enter Reception class, will attend for five mornings. (Please note for universal 15 hours Nursery provision, applications can only be considered for children wanting to attend all five mornings. We do not offer universal 15 hours Nursery provision over 2.5 days)
Morning sessions are from 8.45am until 11.45am.
We have 2 points of intake throughout the year – September and January. Places will be offered based on availability.
Those children who start Nursery in January (rising 3s) will attend afternoon sessions – 12.15pm until 3.15pm, and then will move into the morning session the following September (pure Nursery).
Universal 15 hours Nursery provision is available from the term following your child’s third birthday.
30 hours Nursery provision (15 universal nursery hours + 15 additional childcare hours)
Eligibility rules for 30 hours free childcare:
Your child will be aged 3 or 4
Both parents must be working – or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family
Each parent earns, on average, a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage
Each parent must have an annual income of less than £100,000
You live in England
Families are required to use the government 30 hours eligibility checker to apply for their unique code.
30 hours provision is available for children the term following their third birthday.
If families are eligible, they can request to access 30 hours Nursery provision at Bede Academy. However, this is based upon availability and can not be guaranteed.
The 30 hour Nursery session runs from 8.45-2.45pm, Monday-Friday. As this is slightly shorter than the full school day, you have the option to pay for the additional half hour (2.45-3.15pm). The cost for this is £2.22 per day, £11.10 per week.
Families are responsible for re-applying for their eligibility code EACH TERM, and providing this code to the Academy each term. Failure to do so will result in you being charged for the additional 15 hours Nursery provision at £13.35 per day. (We have built in a ‘grace’ period of the first 5 school days of the term, should there be a delay in receiving your code).
Families must provide packed lunch every day for children who attend 30 hours Nursery provision. We do not offer school dinners for 30 hours Nursery children.
If you currently access 30 hours provision, but split this between providers, Bede Academy must be named as the universal 15 hours provider.
Purchasing additional Nursery hours
If you are not eligible for 30 hours provision, you can opt to pay for additional sessions. This will be based on availability of places and at the Head of Primary Years discretion. We can not guarantee this service. The cost of additional sessions will be £13.35 per day, and families must provide a packed lunch for their child.
All of our Nursery provision is available during term time ONLY.
How do I apply for a place at Bede Nursery?
If you wish your child to attend Bede Academy Nursery you should complete a Nursery application form and return it to the Admissions Officer, Bede Academy, Sixth Avenue, Blyth, NE24 2SY. The application will be acknowledged to you and placed on the holding list.
(Link to online application form )
How are places allocated?
All applications are considered together in accordance with the academy’s equal preference scheme. The applications are ranked in accordance with the admissions criteria. Once the applications are prioritised and compared to the number of places available, the offer of places will be determined.
The Head of Primary Years Principal (Primary) will consider all applications in accordance with the following criteria, set out in priority order, length of time on any holding list will not be considered:
Children with a statement of educational need or an educational health care plan
Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children
Children who are in the care of the local authority, or have ceased to be so because they have been adopted, become subject to a child arrangement order or is subject to a special guardianship order.
Children with exceptional medical or social need
Children on whose behalf written evidence is supplied by a professionally involved third party, setting out the particular reasons why the academy is the most suitable Nursery) will have priority given to their application.
Children of staff where the member of staff is filling a post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.
Siblings in the Academy
Preference is given to those children who have a sibling(s) who will be in Reception to Year 6 on the academy roll at the time of admission. Siblings are recognized as brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, step-brothers and step-sisters who reside permanently in the same household.
Children who live in the published catchment area for the Academy
Preference is given to those children who live within the Bede Academy Primary Years catchment area, which is a smaller catchment than that of the Secondary Years. Where a child lives at more than one address, the main address will be deemed to be that of the parent receiving the Child Benefit payment.
Children of Armed Forces personnel
Children who have one or more parents serving in the regular armed forces, or whose parent has died whilst serving in the armed forces and receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme/War Pensions Scheme or has a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full-time reserve service.
Children in Catchment and Walking distance to the Academy (Bede South Site)
Walking distance is measured from the closeness of the child’s home front door to the front gate of Bede Academy South on Curlew Way, measured by walking the shortest possible line, along a safe walking, public route, which does not include private short cuts or walk across open ground where there are no public rights of way. A safe walking route is defined as being paved/tarmacked and lit at regular intervals.
Morning or afternoon preference
Applications may state a preference for a morning or afternoon place. Where a preference has been stated the criteria will be applied allocating a preference wherever possible; the alternative session may be offered if the first choice is not available.
Age and gender spread
The academy also considers how the number of children can be properly balanced across the two sessions of the day and whether the number of boys and girls, and age spread, is properly balanced across the two sessions.
The final decision on whether a child is admitted, the number of hours a child is able to attend and his or her pattern of attendance rests with the Head of Primary Years
How will I know if I have a place for my child?
In the term before the requested admission date the Academy will write to you and ask you to re-confirm your interest. Upon confirmation your application will be considered alongside all others. Approximately three weeks later the academy will write to you again and inform you of the decision to either offer or refuse your child a place in the Nursery.
If your child is offered a place, you must confirm your acceptance to the academy in writing within the time frame stated on the offer letter (usually 10 working days from the date of the offer) otherwise the academy may have to refuse places for other children unnecessarily. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the acceptance is received by the academy. If the academy does not receive an acceptance within the stated time frame, the academy reserves the right to release the place and award it to another child.
On receipt of your acceptance the academy will write to you a final time to invite you to attend a Nursery Induction meeting, at which important information will be given to you. The academy will also detail arrangements for your child to make a familiarisation visit shortly before their official start date.
If you have any questions at all, please contact Mrs Gendler-Watson in the first instance, 01670 545111
How do I apply I apply for a place in Reception?
Please see the Northumberland County Council Website for more information about applying for a Reception place