Little Lions, as they are fondly known, make up the early years class at St. Mark’s. We recognise that all children are unique and they develop at different rates. We pride ourselves on nurturing the children in our care through warm, positive interactions coupled with secure routines for learning and play. 

Discrete, daily phonics sessions are taught using FFT Success for All Phonics. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme that has been validated by the Department for Education. The children also follow White Rose Maths. Religious Education is taught through The Way, The Truth and The Life series and Come and See scheme. 

At St Mark’s Catholic Primary, we follow the curriculum as outlined in the Statutory framework for the EYFS. The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are equally important and interconnected. However, three areas, known as the prime areas are highlighted as, “particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving.” (Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage DfE 2021). 

The seven areas of learning are delivered through a range of approaches, including adult directed teaching, child-initiated activities and continuous provision. Children are given opportunities to learn individually, in small groups and as a whole class. Later in the year, the organisation of learning becomes more structured, in preparation for the transition to Year 1.Continuous provision refers to the clearly defined areas, inside and outside, containing resources that have been planned to meet the objectives set out in The EYFS Statutory framework. These areas are in the provision throughout a child’s year in Reception; they are enhanced to reflect the interests of the pupils or themes covered.   

Our continuous provision empowers children to choose their own learning. Our enabling environment provides opportunities to demonstrate ‘The Characteristics of Effective Learning.’ These are: 

  • Playing and Exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go.’ 
  • Active Learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements. 
  • Creative and Critical Thinking  – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things. 


Teaching and learning is predominately based around core texts, thus aligning with our whole school approach to literacy. We enhance our continuous provision according to the text that we are covering. We take opportunities to stimulate children’s interests within our continuous provision and use additional texts to support this, if appropriate. Our continuous provision maps provide a snapshot of the experiences that children may enjoy whilst choosing their learning. Please note that the ‘learning’ section on these documents is not an exhaustive list and outlines some, but not all aspects of learning.