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Learning in the Early Years



Early years learning concentrates on 7 areas split between prime and specific areas of learning.


The prime areas of learning are:

  • communication and language;
  • physical development;
  • personal, social and emotional development.


The specific areas of learning are:

  • literacy;
  • mathematics;
  • understanding the world;
  • expressive arts and design.


Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • playing and exploring;
  • active learning;
  • creating and thinking critically.



At Menheniot Primary School we aim to provide practical activities which are interesting, enjoyable, challenging and based on first hand experiences. We encourage our children to explore, experiment, question, take risks and engage in purposeful play. We also aim to establish a firm foundation in reading, writing and maths understanding in preparation for Key Stage 1.

We do this through a balance of child initiated play and adult led learning. The adult led activities include the direct teaching of reading, writing and maths daily. We teach phonics, reading and writing through implementing the Read, Write, Inc programme and Maths through White Rose - which is a scheme which fosters children's deeper understanding of number. Alongside this, there are daily opportunities for children to explore their environment and to follow their interests through high quality provision which encourages and promotes child initiated learning.Throughout, we place an emphasis on caring for themselves, others and the environment.

By the end of the Reception year, our children tend to be confident, independent and creative.They are usually ready to start a more formal approach to education in Key Stage 1 and are well on the way to becoming well-rounded individuals. 



Wellie Wednesday

Wednesdays are a firm favourite with both staff and children! They spend the day outside in our Forest Schools and Environmental Area, exploring and learning about the nature around them. These areas contain a fire pit, a mud kitchen, a polytunnel, a willow tunnel, a large pond and seating areas. Wellie Wednesday is a carefully planned day so that it embraces all the areas and characteristics of learning listed above. Wellie Wednesday takes place in sun, rain and snow!