Matchborough First School Academy

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Matchborough First School Academy

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Foundation Stage

Welcome to Early Years

The leader for Early Years  is Mrs Farr.


At Matchborough First School Academy we have an exciting, vibrant, nurturing Foundation Stage which is made up of a Nursery class and three Reception classes.

Mrs Hines teaches in Nursery and we have three classes in Reception, Turtles, Seahorses and Starfish.

Mrs Farr is the class teacher for Turtles. Mrs Snape and Miss Smart are Seahorses class teacher. Miss Pelling teaches Starfish class. 

We believe that the first year of school is such an important stage of a child's education. We want the children to enjoy their schooling experience from day one to ensure they develop a life-long love of learning. We aim for the children in Early Years to be:

  • Happy, secure and to feel safe.
  • Independent, self-assured risk takers.
  • Confident and Resilient.
  • Excited and Motivated to learn.
  • Socially strong and able to form positive relationships.

We follow the Early Years curriculum which is divided into seven areas of learning;


Prime areas of learning
    PSED - Personal, social and emotional development

PD - Physical development

C&L - Communication and Language


Specific areas



Understanding the World

Expressive Arts and Design


We teach the Early Years Curriculum through a range of strategies to support learning including whole class teaching, child-led and adult-led teaching opportunities. Maths, Phonics and Topic are taught using a whole class method and the other areas of the curriculum are addressed through our 'COOL time'. (Continuing on our learning). During this time the children learn through play where they are exposed to continuous provision resources and enhanced provision opportunities. The adults in the room support them in extending their learning through questioning and providing further challenges. 



We have a daily Phonics lesson delivering Phonics through the Floppy's Phonics systematic programme. The Floppy’s Phonics programme teaches the letter/s-sound correspondences of the English alphabetic code explicitly and comprehensively for reading, spelling and handwriting.

The children quickly become familiar with the repetitive teaching style of the scheme which we feel then enables them to focus on the phonics teaching rather than the way it is being delivered. 

Uniformed teaching resources are used throughout the teaching of Phonics with flash cards, grapheme frieze frames, recording resources all being the same for each child being taught Phonics. 


Early Reading

In Early Years we understand how important to instill a love of reading from a young age to ensure children have a love of books and enjoy reading for pleasure. 

We promote reading in a number of ways.... 


Shared reading

We read as a class each day at the end of the day. We have introduced a voting system so the children have a choice of two books. They are encouraged to look at the front cover, look at the pictures inside and vote for the book they would like to hear at the end of the day.


Reading for Curriculum

We use a book as a vehicle for our learning, this can be changed weekly or we may use it for longer. Using this book we answer ‘Who? What? Where? When?’ questions and answer comprehension questions. We also pick up new vocabulary that we can use throughout the week. Any new vocabulary that we find we note down to use throughout the week. 


Cool time reading

‘Dive into Reading’ area – this is based in our mezzanine, it is used daily in COOL time for children to access fiction and non-fiction books to read for pleasure. We have a selection of puppets and a puppet theatre for the children to retell or create their own stories. 

We also a cosy reading area in the main COOL area where there are books on offer for the children to read at their leisure. 

In each area there are fiction books, non-fiction books, topic related books, phonic sounds linked books so the children have a wide variety of books to choose to read. 


Starbooks Cafe

We have our very own mini Starbooks Cafe outside where the children are able to choose a book to enjoy. The children enjoy snuggling up in a large beanbag on a cold day or on taking shade and reading under a tree on a sunny day. 


Welcome Wednesday

Every Wednesday we open our doors at 8.30am for parents and children to come in and read together. We offer this as a time for the parents and children to relax and share a book together in a calming environment where the children have no distractions.


Home reading

In September we send wordless books home. We explain to the parents how this supports the children’s reading development and as we teach phonics sounds and assess the children we begin, when the children are ready, to send word books home.

We asses the children on the phonics knowledge each half term and ensure reading books that are sent home are pitched at the correct phonics sounds that the children are confident with. 


1:1 reading in school

The children read with an adult at least once a week. This time is dedicated 1:1 time between the child and adult where word reading and comprehension are the focus. 

Those children who we assess as needing more support in their reading will have the opportunity to read with an adult twice a week. 


Friday Favourite

This is a school initiative that we also follow. One child is selected each week to share their favourite book from home with the class. This is a valuable opportunity for children to share their opinions and ideas about books and encourage others to enjoy books. 


Our Author

Each year group has been assigned an author. We will share books written by this author to help the children gain an understanding of the style in which the author writes, characters they use and any similarities between stories.

Early Years author is Jill Murphy. 





We teach Maths in a class teaching session everyday following the White Rose Hub scheme of learning. We also offer Maths learning opportunities and continuous provision during COOL time where the children have an opportunity to develop what they have learned in the teacher lead learning experience. 

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