Early Years

Early Years Leader:

  • Mrs M. Mifflin

Subject Vision:

“Expect the best from the beginning”

Our aim is to ensure that your child is settled and happy. We believe that a happy and settled child will be open to new learning opportunities.  We play alongside the children and encourage them to put words to the learning that they are living.

Our main ethos is to plan our curriculum with the interests of the children in mind-the unique child. Your children help us to plan their learning! We believe that we can achieve a high level of engagement, learning outcomes and mind- set towards learning through adapting our styles of teaching to suit your child’s passions.

The Overarching Principles of Our Early Years

There are four overarching principles of the Early Years curriculum at Milton Primary Academy. These have been devised based on the new statutory 2021 EYFS curriculum.

Principle 1: Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Principle 2: Children learn to be strong and independent through building positive relationships with each other and our Early Years practitioners.

Principle 3: Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

Principle 4: The importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates. The statutory framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Early Years Subject Leader

Hello everybody. My name is Mrs Mifflin and I am the Early Years lead at Milton Primary Academy. I have been at Milton Primary for over 21 years, beginning my career in the Early Years. I have taught different age groups in the school however my heart has always remained in the Early Years. I am passionate about the Early Years and the Early Years curriculum.

My role, alongside my amazing Early Years team, is to ensure that every child in our Early Years feels safe at school and is happy and settled. I also believe that it is our role to support you as parents/carers; you put your trust in us to nurture your children from a very early age. Early years’ experience is often a child’s first adventure alone into the larger world outside the family and home. With this in mind, our Early Years’ motto is ‘Expect the best from the beginning’. You, as parents/carers, must expect the best from us to take care of, nurture and build the foundations for your child. We expect the best from the children in our care, always nurturing and challenging them to want to achieve their very best, challenging themselves.

We believe in the ‘unique child’. We have created an Early Years curriculum at Milton that challenges children no matter what age or stage they are at in their development. I believe that children should play the main part in their learning so children plan their learning, alongside practitioners; the learning experiences they take part in are based on their interests and passions. Our children learn through play, exploring, investigating, co-operating, problem solving, reasoning, risk taking communicating, imagining and making mistakes both indoors and outdoors.

One of my passions is ensuring that children have a wide vocabulary and can put their own words to their learning. We learn lots of new words and children are encouraged to use these when they are talking to each other and in their learning so the words are fully embedded.

We believe in children engaging in real-life experiences so that they are prepared for the world around us. Children learn about their own culture and family as well as different cultures, ‘experiencing’ these. Children make and taste different foods. We take children out to gain real life experience of their learning. We invite you into school to be our ‘Secret Storyteller’ and to join your children in workshops; sometimes the children become the teachers and they teach you the skills that they have learned.

We set the strong foundation that children can then build on during their lives. 

Early Years / Foundation Stage Curriculum

At Milton Primary Academy, we aim to provide an English curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfil their potential. In all English lessons, we develop our knowledge in reading, writing, spellings, phonics, handwriting and speaking and listening. There are seven areas of the Early Years Curriculum and these are either in the Prime Areas or Specific Areas. Each of the seven areas are split and together there are seventeen strands.

The Prime Areas:

Communication and Language:

This involves giving children opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves. It contains two areas; Listening, Attention & Understanding and Speaking

Physical Development:

This involves providing opportunities for children to be active and interactive, and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. It contains two areas; Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

This involves helping children to:

  • develop a positive sense of themselves and others
  • form positive relationships and develop respect for others
  • develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings
  • understand appropriate behaviour in groups
  • have confidence in their own abilities

It contains three areas; Self-regulation, Managing Self and Building Relationships.

The Specific Areas


This involves encouraging children to comprehend, read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials such as books, poems, and other written materials to ignite their interest.


There are two areas; Numbers and Numerical Patterns which includes Shape, Space & Measure.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to:

  • practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, subitising (just knowing a number of items by their pattern), knowing all about numbers to 10 and what numbers make them-their composition.
  • describe patterns, shapes, spaces, and measures

Understanding of the world:

This involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment. There are three areas; Past & Present, People, Cultures & Communities and The Natural World.

Expressive arts and design:

This involves supporting children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. It involves providing children with opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology. There are two areas; Creating with Materials & Being Imaginative & Expressive

The Characteristics of Learning

In Early Years we also observe and take into account how your child learns. This is broken down into three strands:

Playing and Exploring; finding out and exploring, using what they know in their play, being willing to have a go.

Active Learning; motivation, keep on trying and enjoying achieving what they set out to do.

Creating and Thinking Critically; having their own ideas, using what they already know, choosing ways to do things and new ways.


Early Reading and Writing

Daily phonics is taught from when your child enters our Nursery.

Children begin their journey be learning to hear and identify environment sounds and hear the sounds in simple words. Children enjoy on listening walks, using musical instruments, hearing the first sound in our name etc.

Our phonics sounds and the rhymes then help children to begin to recognise and write these sounds.

Next, children are taught the sounds. We think about words that include these sounds and we begin to blend three sounds together (c-a-t, cat) with the help of Freddie Frog. We also learn to segment sounds to write, “Go and put that in the b-i-n please.” Children are also taught to recognise some tricky words that can’t be blended. We play lots of fun games to help us to learn our sounds.

We ask for your support at home and children are given a letter/sound key-ring, blending card and set of tricky words to practise at home with you. They have a reading record that both school and home complete.

Children have a picture book to begin with as it is not only important for children to be able to read words but to be able to talk about, understand and tell a story.

When children know all their single sounds and can blend many three letter sound words together by themselves, children will be then given a book to read with you at home. Some children achieve this in Nursery but many achieve this in Reception.


At Milton Primary Academy we all agree that the effective assessment of children’s learning helps us to ensure that each child makes good or better progress so that ‘Together We Achieve Our Best.’ This section therefore outlines the various assessment methods and practices that we use to monitor pupil progress and attainment in science at Milton Primary, and also ensure that the activities that we plan for our children are suitably matched to their ability and level of development.

Formative Assessment (AfL): When children enter Nursery, we observe them playing and learning for the first few weeks so that we can establish a ‘baseline’ for each child; what age and stage they have entered Nursery at in each of the seven learning areas (seventeen strands). This then enables us to plan for the unique child. Reception children are also observed by practitioners for the first two weeks as part of the teacher assessment that helps form their baseline.

  • Nursery and Reception children at Milton Primary complete ‘Communication Screenings’ at the beginning and end of the year.
  • Phonics assessment takes place the week before each holiday begins. This helps us to assess the sounds that children have learned and retained and those that we need to teach either to the phonics group or individually. This also assesses children’s reading skills. We use this assessment to inform phonic/reading intervention groups.

Educational Visits and Enrichment

In our Early Years/Foundation Stage at Milton Primary Academy, we provide varied activities and WOW activities to enrich children’s learning and to help them make sense of the world. We excite them into their learning.

In our Foundation Stage, we always have a WOW activity/day before we begin each of our learning challenge topics.  We go on bear hunts for our teddy bears in our Forest Area, have a dinosaur on our playground and have to go and find it, making the accessories to help us, have objects frozen in ice. Children get to watch the changes from a caterpillar to a butterfly in our caterpillar garden.

We have visitors into school such as the theatre to perform fairytales to us and also enjoy joining in with main school during science week and book week when we have workshops in our classroom/the hall.

Each year, Reception go to The Snowdome/Chill Factore to experience cold during our ‘cold’ topic.  The Monkey Forest is another educational visit that children enjoy, seeing monkeys and watching their habits in the wild.

Children enjoy ‘teaching’ their grown-ups the skills that they have learned when we have ‘Learn with Me’ and craft mornings and afternoons in school-children get to showcase their learning. We also work with Opportunity Me (part of the local authority, based around Communication and Language) to provide Communication Workshops that you can take part in with your child – these always prove a great success.

We have Forest Area afternoon each week. Children get to explore, work together and learn whilst being in the fresh air. We teach children skills like den building, playing outdoor games, making fires and toasting marshmallows-life building skills.

One of our most favourite times(practitioners and children) in our Early Years/Foundation Stage at Milton is our ‘Secret Storyteller’ when you come into your child’s class and read the children, your child’s favourite story from home.

Children in our Early Years have access to many of our wide range of after school clubs such as Forest Area, Construction, Arts and Crafts, etc.


In our Early Years/Foundation Stage at Milton Primary Academy, we believe that it is very important to transition children into our Nursery and build positive relationships with both you and your child. We want children to feel happy and safe in their school environment.

Whether children join us in Nursery in September or January, we provide a two-week transition or a bespoke transition if we feel a child needs this. First, we come to see you and your child at home. It is so important to us that your child feels safe around us and them seeing you let us into your home, helps this. We also want to see your child in an environment that is familiar to them, where they are comfortable and will talk and play. We get to meet you also and you can tell us more about your child and any important information. During the second week, children begin the transition process into our nursery.

Our New Outdoor Area…. COME OUTSIDE!

In our Early Years/Foundation Stage at Milton Primary Academy, we believe that the rich experiences and knowledge that children access indoors, should also be accessed outdoors. In July 2021, our outdoor area was redesigned and rebuilt to enrich our learning even more and give our children access to an enriched outdoor environment.

Pupil Voice

At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible.  Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2021/22 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the science education that we provide.

Blake said.. “I like our new playground. I like playing on the trim trail because I like to pretend that the floor is lava.”

Amelia said… “We made African musical instruments; shakers and drums. We did African dancing to them.”

Ava said… “I like learning new things like about Handa, Bonfire Night, Funnybones and poppies.”


Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of English teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Miss K. Erskine, via the academy office (milton@learningvillage.org.uk).