Early Years and Foundation Stage

At New City we aim to provide a happy, caring and stimulating environment where all children are encouraged to reach their full potential. Every child is at the heart of our curriculum, which has been built to ensure that no child is left behind. We believe that children learn best through hands on experiences that are provided both indoors and outdoors. Children will develop positive attitudes towards learning if they are provided with a curriculum that meets their developmental needs. We allow the children to make choices about the activities they want to participate in. At New City time is given each day to the direct teaching of reading, phonics, writing and mathematics. This ensures that our children are challenged and prepared for the Year 1 Curriculum and beyond. 

As you walk around the Foundation Stage you will observe the children engaging in adult–led focused or child initiated learning activities.

We value the learning that has already happened in the home environment and aim to build on this by developing close relationships with parents and carers.
Together we are able to build on the child's previous learning experiences and provide a personalised learning journey.

They need to:

  • Use the skills we are teaching them in a calm and purposeful environment
  • Emerge themselves in the processes
  • Experiment and reinforce
  • Explore
  • Play
  • Investigate
  • Challenge themselves
  • Use high quality books that engage the children and spark excitement and enjoyment in learning about the world around them

During their time in Nursery and Reception, the children will experience the areas of learning that are laid out in the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. The areas of learning are as follows:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We place great emphasis on children's social skills. We encourage the children to develop positive relationships with other children and adults, to share, to negotiate, to be independent and confident.

Communication, Language Literacy- Reading and Writing

Children will learn a wide range of vocabulary through talking with the adults and their peers or singing nursery rhymes. They will encounter many mark making activities, where children can begin to draw and write. They can use clipboards in the role-play area or paint on the ground outside. They will be introduced to many different stories, poems, writing from personal experiences and genres.

Children are expected to

  • Use phonic knowledge to write words
  • Write some uncommon words
  • Write simple sentences
  • Children read and understand simple sentences
  • They can demonstrate understanding of what they have read


We involve the children in mathematical learning through many of the activities. For example, we may talk about how many buttons they have on their coat or how heavy a bucket of wet sand is. Maths resources for counting, sorting, matching, weighing and recognising shapes are available for the children to self-select.

Children are expected to

  • Count 1-20
  • One more one less
  • Add
  • Subtract
  • Doubling
  • Halving
  • Sharing
  • Shapes- size,proportion,pattern,money

Understanding of the World

This area of learning encompasses Science, History, Religious Education, Geography and Computing. The children will explore their immediate environment through investigating their surroundings. They will look at natural and man-made materials. They will be encouraged to ask questions about what is happening and why. Children will also discuss how we are part of a far more global society, discussing similarities and differences.


We have a computer and interactive whiteboard in every classroom with some very exciting programs for the children to discover. The children will also discover the wonders of new technology. We also use digital cameras and tape recorders with the children.

Physical Development

Children are active learners and are encouraged to develop their fine and gross motor skills. They love to be outdoors come rain, snow, sun or wind. We provide a range of opportunities for children to develop their physical skills. We have a range of climbing equipment in the spacious garden that is set up to provide different opportunities for learning each day.

Expressive Art and Design

Expressive Art and Design includes Music and Design Technology . The children are able to create many scenarios in the role-play area. They are able to act out many different roles and explore the world of fantasy. The children will be given the chance to become familiar with different painting techniques and malleable materials. The music area allows children to become familiar with a range of different instruments.


Parents Guide to Early Reading with your child

At New City we aim to encourage a love of learning from an early age.

Why Sharing a book with your child is so important:

  • It encourages good language and dialogue. Children learn new words and what they mean which builds up their vocabulary.
  • It prepares children to become good readers, they learn that words carry meaning and begin to recognise words, letters and sounds.
  • It helps them to listen and concentrate and it builds a longer and better attention span. Reading with your child also increases their memory skills which helps them in all areas of their learning. 
  • Reading to your child builds their imagination and their understanding of the world.
  • Reading prepares children to become good writers as this increases their vocab and helps them create their own stories from their own imagination.
  • Children begin to understand that stories have a beginning , middle and end.
  • Reading with your child is a great opportunity for you to bond with your child as its quality time just focused on them.
  • Helps to relax your child and addresses any feelings of anxiety around reading. 
  • This is a great opportunity to model handling a book correctly, turning the pages with care, reading from left to right and turning the book round the correct way.

Top Tips for reading with your child.

  • Find a quiet and comfortable area to read, avoiding any distractions such as music, a tablet/phone or the television. 
  • Remember that reading with your child is not just for bedtime (often children are too tired to read). Reading can and should take place throughout the day when your child is willing to read. 
  • You can share a book anytime and any place, for example on a bus journey, in a waiting room. 
  • Allow your child to choose a book that they are interested in and allow them to turn the pages as this will keep them involved.
  • Keep it short at first, they might only be able to listen for 5-10 minutes (then extend this time gradually when ready).
  • Ask your children questions about the book, asking questions such as ‘What Happens next?’ helps with their understanding, as does asking them about the story after you have read it to check their understanding.
  • Children love to read the same book over and over again. Although this can be boring for us adults it very helpful for the children as they learn  the pattern of the words. 
  • Pointing to the words as you read them helps them learn that there is a difference between words and pictures and that words carry meaning. Using your finger as a guide also models reading from left to right.
  • Rhyming books are great for young children as they quickly learn what words are coming next.
  • Let children repeat the words after you as copying you makes them feel like they are reading and increases confidence.
  • Keep it Fun, using a variety of different voices when reading aloud always helps!
  • Children do not just have to read with mum and dad, why not involve the whole family, brothers, uncles, cousins, grandparents should all read alongside the children. The more people the children read with, the more confident they become. 
  • If you are not a confident reader yourself or English isn’t your first language it does not matter. Talking about the pictures in a book is just as important. Pointing at objects in books and saying the names (in your language) helps them associate words with pictures and learn the importance of language. 
  • Dual language books are now available in many book shops (see Newham Bookshop, Barking Roads).

Reading aloud to children helps create a lifetime interest in reading which is one of the biggest factors of success in school and further education. 


Curriculum Maps

Please click on the link to view the curriculum map of your choice. They will open in a new window.

Nursery curriculum map

Reception curriculum map