Southmead Primary School

Southmead Primary School

Headteacher: Mr Nicholas Plumb

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Miss Aimée Otani is our EYFS Lead.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage at Southmead Primary School we develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skills through a mixture of adult-led and child initiated learning. Our continuous provision and thematic learning environments provide a place for our children to learn through discovery and play. We endeavour to develop their knowledge, skills and vocabulary, to become school ready, and start on a journey of lifelong learning. Our resources are carefully chosen to be supportive and meaningful, guiding our learners to step-by-step progress and understanding. We use the Development Matters documentation as a skeletal curriculum and base skills and knowledge on our cohort and cultural capital with the intent to encourage learners that encompass our school values.

R - Respect, E - Equality, S - Self - Confidence, P - Perseverance, E - Enjoyment, C - Curiosity, T - Trust

We provide a ladder of small achievable steps to reach their potential and readiness for Year One and the National Curriculum through observations, child initiated and adult led learning. The importance of the characteristics of effective learning is threaded into our ethos ensuring that the children have opportunities to be explorative, active learners and critical thinkers. With regular parent feedback and input, we work in partnership to keep home and school links active.



We recognise the importance of encouraging individual interests and independent learning within our continuous provision. Opportunities for both child-initiated and adult-led activities provide opportunities for introducing new knowledge, ideas and skills and language.

The children are taught a broad and inviting curriculum based around the seven areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Our thematic curriculum changes every half term. Our timetable contains both structured adult led activities and independent learning time. This encourages the children to apply the skills they have learnt with support for the continuous provision. The activities and skills change throughout the year, noticing and focussing on each cohort's changing needs and development. The teacher and support staff are able to work with small focussed groups and regularly check for understanding to address misunderstandings and to help develop next steps in learning.

With the guidance of Development Matters, we have created a curriculum that is specific to each cohort which develops skills, knowledge, understanding and vocabulary. The children learn through practical and play based activities that help to revisit and solidify learning. We use the following schemes throughout the school for a consistent approach and appropriate progression.

Maths: White Rose and NCTEM maths

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Jigsaw

Music: Charanga

Religious Education: Devon Syllabus

Physical Development: Jasmine Real PE

Phonics: Letters and Sounds (transitioning into Essential Letters and Sounds)

We encourage a holistic learning approach. We welcome visitors and arrange trips throughout the year with the aim of helping our children to gain first hand experiences and practical memories. We start off by welcoming visitors e.g. Shelly the tortoise, we go to Forest School, we walk to the local Church (St Brannocks), and following our topic, ‘Long, Long Ago’, we visit Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park.

We use observation to enable us to identify each child’s likes and dislikes and their responses to different situations. Through the use of Evidence Me, we collect observation, link photographs, scaffold learning and share key moments in learning with parents and carers. Through play based assessments we keep track of learning and progress.

Parental engagement has a large and positive effect on children’s learning. We keep our parents involved and up to date with what their children are learning in school each week. Weekly newsletters, half termly observations in picture and video form on the Evidence Me platform, Reading for Fun afternoons, trips, reader volunteers and targeted activity packs. Our staff are always on hand to meet and greet parents at the beginning and end of the day.


Assessment in the EYFS can take two forms, summative and formative. By using both types we are able to take observations, notice and focus on specific areas of learning and begin to fill in the gaps so that our children are able to take their next steps forward. The children participate in a Phonics assessment every half term to ensure that; correct sets of books are being sent home, the children are making progress and they are able to use their skills of segmenting and blending to write, read and understand. We use Evidence Me to collect photos and quotes of the children demonstrating an application of knowledge, this is an online platform that allows parental communication through technology. We send a half termly overview of learning and progression for parents to see. This year, we have initiated the NELI programme (Nuffield Early Language Intervention) and have assessed the cohort for their Speech and Language requirements.


We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. Progress is evident in learning journals, books and data. We strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be at least in line with National Expectations.


The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave reception, preparing them for their future.

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  • Farah 3112
  • Watson 2363
  • Hawking 2691
  • Malala 2282
  • Key Stage 1: 94.8%
  • Key Stage 2: 96.3%
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