As of 01/04/23, Rainbow Preschool is under the leadership of Great and Little Shelford CE (A) Primary School. Existing policies for each respective establishment remain in place.


Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
At Great and Little Shelford we adhere to the Statutory Framework of the EYFS and the four guiding principles that shape practice within Early Years settings. We understand that:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable,   confident and self-assured;
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers;
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.
Termly topics are planned which provide a starting point for activities and experiences for children in all 7 areas of learning i.e. the 3 Prime Areas of Learning and the 4 Specific Areas of Learning. 
Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations
Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food
Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities
Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure
Understanding The World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment
Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

As part of our practice we:

  • Provide opportunities for children to engage in activities which are adult-initiated and child-initiated, supported by the adult. For a large part of the day, we observe the children carefully and enhance the learning whenever we spot a ‘teachable moment’. Our observations, interactions and the outcomes are then recorded. Play is used widely as a vehicle for learning. 
  • Encourage high levels of well-being and  involvement in activities;
  • Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support;
  • Work in partnership with parents and within the wider context;
  • Provide an enabling, secure and safe learning environment indoors and out (both physical and emotional). Children are then able to use their natural desire to explore and learn, supported by the practitioners.
  • Encourage the development of the Characteristics of Effective Learning
Please see the link below for a Curriculum Overview of the EYFS.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
At the heart of our practice in Reception is the importance we place on helping children to develop how they learn i.e. their 'Characteristics of Effective Learning' (CoEL). At Great and Little Shelford we believe that 'adults who help children to play are adults who help children to learn'. 

The shape of our day reflects the importance we place on the children learning through planned and purposeful play.

For examples of how the children at have the opportunity to play and explore, take part in active learning and create and think critically, please see the video and associated PowerPoint below.

A copy of some example questions which we may use to support the interpretation of the Characteristics of Effective Learning can also be found in the document below. 

A Day in the Life of Reception

At Great and Little Shelford CofE School we offer a flexible approach to the learning day and seize opportunities where they arise, but also follow a basic structure aimed at providing the children with opportunities to interleave their learning by regularly practising known skills e.g. phonics and maths, introducing new ones e.g. phonemes and numbers, and applying them independently. 

A video demonstrating what a 'Typical Day in the Life of Reception' looks like, can be found below.

Morning Carousel

The carousel of activities which take place at the beginning of each day, enable all children to develop the skills necessary to be successful in writing. 

  • Gross motor activities, develop core strength, which in turn develops fine motor control. 
  • Craft and art activities develop fine motor skills, which help to develop an effective pencil grip and pencil control. 
  • Reading with an adult, includes phonics tracking and sight word recognition, all effective for writing. 
The timing of the walk or run is such that all children have fresh air and exercise, following focused activities. It is designed to be 'down time' for the brain, necessary for the assimilation of skills learned.
It is deliberately a time when they can chat, but with a focus, as this is an excellent opportunity to make the most of our exploring through our senses in the school grounds and therefore contributing to 'Understanding the World'. 
Please refer to the Early Years Foundation Stage Policy Here in our Policies Section for further details.