The Lower School – Swallows, Kingfishers and Owls

Our lower school offers a nurturing, varied and fun-filled experience. The children feel safe and loved as they begin their educational journey. The focus of the curriculum is to instil a love of learning, curiosity and independence. The sessions include stories, poetry, song, art and craft, practical activities and messy play.

During the Foundation Stage, our children develop confidence and independence in a supportive and caring environment. The focus of the curriculum is on language, to enable our children to think, enquire, anticipate, process and understand the world around them. Lessons are enriched with stories, poetry, song, circle-time and structured play, with a balance of practical activities and directed learning.

Emberhurst provides a diverse, innovative and inspiring curriculum, which incorporates the six areas of learning:

  • Educates the whole child
  • Caters for individual needs
  • Builds self-confidence
  • Provides children with the vital building blocks of reading, literacy and numeracy.


At Emberhurst we offer a broad and balanced Foundation Stage curriculum using the Early Learning Goals as our starting point. This is based on six areas of learning:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Problem solving, reasoning and numeracy
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

We aim to embellish and enhance this curriculum, offering children as many learning opportunities as possible whilst continuing to place a strong emphasis on the acquisition of basic skills vital to their further education. We understand that children learn the same thing in different ways and that progression in their learning happens at different times and at different rates. Some will learn more readily looking at books and talking about things they see, others will learn more through being outdoors or through music and dance. We cater for children's individual needs within each area of the curriculum, building on from their existing understanding and experiences.

Early Years curriculum

Children learn most effectively through a mixture of self-initiated experiences and adult-planned instruction. In play, young children learn much about themselves and the world around them. The children are, therefore, given daily opportunities to explore and investigate in free play situations alongside their more formal teaching.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

We value each and every child as an individual, and provide a supportive environment where they learn to trust others, co-operate and develop self-confidence. Independence and responsibility for their own belongings are encouraged. Children learn what behavior is appropriate, how to share and to respect and appreciate other people and have fun.

Communication, Language and Literacy

We encourage the development of communication skills through a wide range of teaching methods, resources and experiences providing children with excellent foundations for learning.

All children are introduced to a cursive style of handwriting and encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work.

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy

In numeracy children will experience a variety of activities that will teach them to count, sort objects, make and copy patterns, write numbers and recognise shapes. Every opportunity is taken to use mathematical language in other activities. They begin to develop mathematical knowledge and lifelong learning.

Knowledge and Understanding of the world

Children are taught through topics to help them appreciate the world around them. They go on visits to our local fire stations and we invite vets, nurses, musicians and more to the school. They enjoy role-play activities and the vast range of resources that support these areas of learning.

Creative Development

The children have the opportunity to explore a variety of media and materials. Painting, modeling, collage, drawing and mosaic making are just some of the activities. Please make sure that you have plenty of wall space ready!

Physical Development

The children learn the importance of keeping safe, being healthy and are supported to develop both gross and fine motor skills. They take part in lessons both in and outdoors.


It is essential that we seek to work with parents and value the contribution they make to their child’s education. We have a strong and very important Parent Partnership at Emberhurst and we acknowledge that Parnet/Carers hold key information and have a critical role to play in their children’s education.

We aim to:

  • Create trust and co-operation
  • Improve children’s achievement and self-confidence
  • Support parents learning with their child at home
  • Help parents make the correct choices for future schools

Year One and Two

Children enter Year One when they are rising six. Learning is clearly defined into subject-based areas:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Science
  • French
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art
  • Music
  • Physical education, including swimming

We follow the requirements of the national Curriculum and we prepare pupils for entry to their next school.


Our pupils develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, enabling them to express themselves imaginatively and creatively and to communicate effectively with others. Our aim is that pupils will become enthusiastic readers of stories, poems and dramas as well as non-fiction texts. In studying literacy pupils will begin to understand how language works and gain confidence to create their own free writing.


We develop a child’s ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. We help children understand and appreciate relationships and patterns in both number and space. Our carefully planned mathematical experiences challenge and develop knowledge, skills and application of number systems.


Science is taught throughout the school.

Science promotes an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happens in the way they do.


We aim to provide a positive introduction to another language and encourage confidence and enjoyment in listening to and speaking French.

Design and Technology (ICT)

The children are taught in our computer room, from Year One onwards to Touch Type.


History at Emberhurst is an exciting, sparkling adventure into the past, our pupils enjoy the time spent discovering about the past and how this impacts on the world today.


Geography develops children’s understanding of physical and human landscapes and introduces them to different societies and cultures, enhancing awareness of global interdependence. It provides excellent opportunities for language development, supports the numeracy policy and also encourages the use of ICT.


Emberhurst boys and girls enjoy all art activities. This is because they are supported and encouraged to experiment with a variety of tools, textures, materials and techniques. The school is a colourful and bright learning environment.


Our aim in teaching music is to provide each child with an extra dimension that music can bring as a means of expression and communication. Music enhances their creative development.

Physical Education

The close connection between good physical health and fitness, and the highest levels of intellectual attainment are now well known. Even more important is the increased confidence that so many pupils gain from achieving success on the games field, with this confidence permeating all they do.

Our swimming, football lessons, annual Sports Day and Swimming Gala are all held at Imber Court

Additional Learning

We broaden the children’s experience through lots of interesting events and competitions throughout the academic year.

The Poetry Competition

Each year the children are encouraged individually to learn a poem or section of prose and to then present this to the school. The top three from Reception, Classes 1 & 2 go on to present their piece to the whole school, friends and family at our annual Prize Day.

Chinese New Year

Our annual Chinese New Year celebrations provide an opportunity for the entire school to dress up and have fun whilst learning about another culture.

World Book Day

World Book Day was designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is marked in over 100 countries around the globe. The origins of the day we now celebrate in the UK and Ireland come from Catalonia, where roses and books were given as gifts to loved ones on St. George’s Day – a tradition started over 80 years ago.

The initiative is so well established in schools here that we want to make sure that the Day happens in term time to really make the most of this opportunity to celebrate books and reading.

Learning Through Action

We broaden the children’s experience through lots of interesting events and competitions throughout the academic year.

© 2013