The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.


In our Nursery and Reception classes children enjoy a wide range of play-based activities, which enable them to develop across the seven areas of learning within the EYFS:

  • Personal social and emotional development
  • Physical development
  • Communication and language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


These secure foundations then lead them on to the National Curriculum in Key stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) which consists of the following subject areas:

  • Information Communication Technology (ICT)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • Music
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Design and Technology (DT)
  • Art and Design

In addition we follow non-statutory guidance for the teaching of:

  • Religious Education (RE)
  • Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

Please visit the National curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4 - GOV.UK for more information.

Wherever possible our curriculum is taught through themes encapsulated within overarching ‘big questions’. There is a strong emphasis on teaching and learning through first hand experience and cross-curricular links. Subject areas or specific subject content which cannot be integrated into topic work are taught discretely.

Our curriculum provides a rewarding and engaging experience in which children can explore, investigate, discover, create, consolidate and reflect on their developing knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, enabling them to develop academically, physically and socially. They are guided and encouraged to think for themselves and to become responsible and independent learners. The education they receive offers both support and challenge, with enjoyment and success, preparing them for their future life and learning.

We meet the need of each child by assessing their present achievements, setting appropriate targets, and providing them with class, group and individual work which takes them forward to the next stage of learning.

EYFS planning is primarily led by the children’s interests but driven by the skills the children need to move their learning on. Our learning environment is well resourced and exciting. Children have access to inside and outside areas throughout the day.


In Key Stage 1 the children are given the opportunity to self-select from activities that support and extend their learning, appeal to their personal interests and/or link to our theme. We operate an Explore and Learn approach to delivering the creative curriculum. The Explore and Learn model builds upon the solid foundations of the EYFS and shares the same principles whilst adding further rigour to ensure it meets the needs of the children. This approach dovetails seamlessly with our approach to learning dispositions and growth mindset. Teachers provide a balanced learning experience and encourage children to develop their independent learning. Children are provided with a wide range of resources and are encouraged to demonstrate imaginative new ways to use them and solve problems, practising skills that have been taught during teaching inputs. The children are also free to use the shared area and the outdoors where they can mix with friends across the year group. They are extended and challenged through regular teaching focuses and teacher-led activities based on the term’s topic. When they are ready children begin to record their learning more formally and reflect on their own progress.

During the year we organise different visits and visitors for each year group to enhance learning and every Learning Journey has a super start, marvellous middle and fabulous finish.

For each new Learning Journey (usually every half term or term) we send home a topic overview. Copies of these are available through the link to your child’s year group page on this website.

We view homework as an extension of learning in the classroom and it is designed to develop independence and a love of learning. We encourage parents to read with their children every day. We give advice about how to support children’s learning at home via workshops, parent meetings and information we publish about how to help. In Key Stage 1 children choose from a range of optional homework tasks.

The Wider Curriculum

The education of the children extends well beyond the classroom. Forest school is a feature across the whole school - every class experiences outdoor learning for 2 half terms each year.We offer an excellent range of extra-curricular clubs including dance, drama, violin, multi-sports, Tennis and football. Teachers organise regular educational visits for their children to support their learning. We compete in partnership  sports’ competitions and offer enrichment and cultural events within the city.

Special Weeks

The year is enriched by many focus weeks and days where children have the opportunity to be immersed in a particular curriculum area. These include Black History Week,  Book, Theatre and Film Week, Gypsy Roma Traveller Week , World Book Day


Talking does not just involve speaking. At Patcham Infant School and Nursery Class we also use gestures and signs which promote and stimulate speech development and give extra information which can be seen.

Peer Massage and Mindfulness

Peer Massage is proving to be an enormously beneficial programme within the school. The children take part in regular 15 minute massage sessions. They are seated in chairs and wear their normal clothes. Massage is given to each other on the back, head, arms and hands. A protocol of mutual respect lies at the core of Peer Massage. Peer Massage encourages calm behaviour, enhances self-confidence, and develops concentration and well-being; respect for themselves and for other children grows. Children also take part in short Relax-a-Kids meditation stories to prepare them for learning.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education

At Patcham Infant School and Nursery Class we take a whole school approach to the promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education as we recognise that it plays a significant role in children’s ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:

  • their own values and beliefs; their own spiritual awareness;
  • their own high standards of personal behaviour;
  • a positive, caring attitude towards other people;
  • an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and;
  • an appreciation of the diversity and richness of their cultures.
  • Development of SMSC is supported through our school ethos, our behaviour policy and through all areas of the national curriculum. A significant contribution is made by Religious Education and through assemblies.

Click here to see the Kakatsitsi Dancers and Drummers from Ghana

British Values at Patcham Infant School

At Patcham Infant School, we teach pupils about British values which are defined as:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Acceptance of those of different faiths and beliefs (as published in June 2014 by the Department of Education)

These values are taught through the curriculum and experienced explicitly through our school relationships and our celebration of diversity and inclusion. The school takes opportunities to actively promote British values through our whole school systems and structures, such as electing school leaders, council members and running a successful School Council. The children also have an active voice in many initiatives and school improvement matters from helping designing the playground, promoting healthy living to canvassing safe parking in the local area.

At Patcham Infant School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Democracy is an important aspect of our school values. Our pupils have the opportunity to express their views through the school council (where children are selected by a class vote), pupil conferencing and active pupil voice through such roles as Sports Leaders and the Eco Council. 

The Rule of law:

Our Golden Rules and Playground Rights and Responsibilities provide the moral and social framework in which children learn how to contribute in a positive manner to the safety and well-being of all members of the community. They are encouraged to reflect on the impact of possible choices on other individuals and they learn to develop a respect for all in their behaviour and attitudes.

Individual liberty:

Our school ethos and personal and social education emphasize our freedom to be who we want to be and to be proud of who we are as long as our actions or thoughts do not infringe the freedoms of others. Our school environment is safe and supportive and encourages children to express themselves. Our Explore and Learn model allows children to often lead their own learning through choice of challenge and lines of enquiry. 

Mutual respect:

‘Respect each other’ is a value at the centre of our school ethos. As a multicultural and inclusive school, we nurture understanding and appreciation of our diversity through our curriculum and children’s voice.

Through projects and presentations, we work closely:

With parents/carers and pupils to share their knowledge and understanding of their heritage

With Albion in the Community we develop an understanding of physical and learning disabilities

With our Resident Expert - children develop an understanding of individual interests 


Acceptance of those of different faiths and beliefs:

As a multicultural and multi-faith school, it is part of our school ethos to respect and understand other pupils’ faiths and beliefs. This is achieved through teaching children about world faiths throughout the curriculum and through celebrating special days and festivals from our children’s religious backgrounds and others. Our assemblies celebrate and explain festivals from all religious backgrounds: Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism.

Get In Touch

Highview Avenue South, Patcham,
Brighton & Hove BN1 8WW

01273 509 766

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