Early Years Foundation Stage

In both the Nursery classes and the Reception class the curriculum follows the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

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The three prime areas are fundamental. They work together and move through to support development in all other areas.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour
  • Making relationships

Communication and Language

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

Physical Development

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and self-care

All of these areas are brought about through child-led and play-based activities. Some of these activities will be adult-led but more importantly they will be engaging and enjoyable.

Our practitioners understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress and plan for the unique child’s next steps. Assessments are made using Tapestry, and can be shared with parents in real time.

When all of these prime areas have been established, four specific areas, are introduced. These areas of learning and development include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.


  • Reading
  • Writing


  • Numbers
  • Shape, space and measures

Understanding the world

  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology

Expressive arts and design

  • Exploring and using media and materials
  • Being imaginative

Reception Class (Willows)

At Charters Ancaster, teaching for Reception takes the form of topic-based activities and play situations. Our topics are flexible covering a variety of areas interesting to the children, but they will also include from time to time topics that are particular to individual children. eg The Hospital, Titanic, Superheroes, Africa, but from which we can all benefit.

The curriculum is planned so that skills such as reading and writing are practised regularly in a play- based context but also when appropriate in a traditional manner. We teach phonics using the Government’s Letters and Sounds programme and using actions and songs etc from the Jolly Phonics materials. Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree but this is supplemented by other resources. We also plan to develop the children’s thinking and learning skills within their activities. eg persistence, imagination, problem-solving, leadership and teamwork.

We specialise in outdoor learning, using our grounds, and cross-curricular activities are devised to use the garden facilities, natural resources, nature trail and Forest School in a fun and physical manner. eg ‘treasure’ type hunts with a class, group or individual outcome, art- based activities, searches for shapes, patterns or small creatures, sound explorations of the environment, and games of all kinds etc.

Each term we have a trip to somewhere of interest exploring our local environment, eg. Bexhill Museum and Egerton Park, Battle Abbey, Bodiam Castle, Bentley Wildfowl Park, Seven Sisters Country Park, Michelham Priory etc and we welcome external visitors such as the Police,  Fire brigade, visitors from other countries etc. to add to the children’s experiences.

The children also benefit from specialist teaching in PE including swimming, gymnastics and general PE skills; French; Science; Forest School and Music.

“We have found a school where our child is truly valued, where his voice is heard and listened to.”
“We are confident that our son's educational and social needs are being met on an outstanding level.”
“When we compared the learning expectations here with other local schools, the choice was really clear...”
“We hadn't thought about private schooling until our boys were unhappy in their other school. We didn't realise how affordable Charters Ancaster was.”
“Sending our daughter to Charters Ancaster was the best decision we've made - we know that she has enjoyed her primary years so much...”
“A great, nurturing, caring school which gives children the best start.”
“Great little school , great staff, high level of teaching. My little boy is very happy here. Love the small classes.”
“We chose Charters Ancaster because of the family feel and the care taken over every child.”
“My child loves coming to school - sometimes we have tears on Saturday because he can't go!”
“We can't thank the staff enough for the care and support our children have been given. They are really thriving at Charters Ancaster.”
“We picked Charters Ancaster because the small class size means my daughter gets the attention she needs to learn at her own pace.”
“I love music. I get music lessons with my class and have learnt to play the piano too.
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