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Early Years

Our aim in Reception Year is to provide a happy, caring and safe environment that stimulates children’s natural curiosity and allows them to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.

Our children lead our choice of topic for each half-term.  Our current topic can be found in the latest Early Years Newsletter, see the link below.  Past topics have included; Space, Pirates and Mermaids, Ready Steady Cook and Animals.  We follow the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and use the Letters and Sounds program in our teaching of phonics.

The EYFS has seven areas of learning:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

We make sure our children have a range of experiences covering all areas of learning by providing a well-planned, balanced, adult-led and child-initiated curriculum.

We believe that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development.  These are often the most memorable learning experiences which can be remembered for a lifetime; helping them make sense of and explore the world around them.  Our child-led topics are carefully planned to enhance learning across a wide variety of environments and provide a multitude of experiences and play, that is key to skills transference, problem-solving and a lifelong love of learning.  At St Swithun’s as well as fantastic facilities indoors like our Apollo Suite, music room, library and the hall we have some fantastic outdoor spaces: an outdoor role play hut, play trail, writing shed, mud kitchen, squirrel hide, sand and water areas, painting easels, climbing equipment, bikes, trikes, scooters, and a flower and vegetable garden!

Please click on the link below to see our curriculum maps


10 Top tips for starting school

With over 2,000 children due to start school in Portsmouth in September, local teachers and pre-school staff have developed ’10 top tips for starting school’ for parents and carers to help their children to develop key skills over the summer, ready for their Reception year in September.

  • I am independent
  • I can go to the toilet, wash my hands and blow my nose all on my own.
  • I can eat my packed lunch by myself, even undoing the wrappers!
  • I can put on my own coat and do it up
  • I can run, jump, climb and move around confidently
  • I can confidently communicate and make my needs known to other people
  • I can join in with activities and sing rhymes and songs
  • I can listen and take turns in a conversation
  • I can share books and talk about the pictures and storylines
  • I can draw and make marks with pencils, crayons and pens and use scissors safely
  • I can concentrate on something that interests me and carry out an activity
  • I can take turns and share with other people
  • I am excited, curious and enthusiastic about learning in my new school!

Information for parents and carers about how to help their child with each skill can be found at

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