Early Years

Phase Leader: Mrs James

Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.’

Matthew 13 vs.31-32

Our entire curriculum, is underpinned by the ‘Parable of the Mustard Seed’ and summarised by our motto:

Together may we give our children: roots to grow and wings to fly. 

Preschool and Reception are both taught at our Eppleby Forcett setting.


At our Early Years setting in Eppleby, our intention is to help the children FLOURISH.

Children are:










“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn.”

(Maria Montessori)

We believe that early childhood education provides the essential foundation for all future learning. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their lifelong outcomes, health and happiness.  Preschool and Reception class attend our Eppleby setting.  Our experienced Early Years team help future generations to have the best support for what they need today and to make progress for success tomorrow.

All children deserve an education rich in awe, wonder and memorable experiences in a nurturing, happy, safe and inclusive environment where each child is valued for their own unique qualities and achievements.

Our intent is to introduce children to a love of learning and build firm foundations to become well-rounded, confident and self-motivated individuals who respect and show kindness to others.

We will help and support children to:

  • be curious and excited about their learning
  • be creative, independent thinkers who can express and explore their own ideas
  • develop the core skills of social play, physical development, rich language, literacy skills, mathematical thinking, an understanding of the world around them and an enjoyment of the creative arts through the EYFS curriculum
  • prepare children for their next stage of learning, building on what they already know and can already do
  • develop their moral compass, to understand spirituality in themselves and others, to help them engage in their local community and the wider world.

We will help and support parents to:

  • develop strong partnerships and ongoing communication with school
  • be involved in their child’s learning and progress to support their child’s learning at home


 “Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”

(Friedrich Froebel)

Research finds that children learn most effectively through play. High level involvement is most frequent when children are able to pursue their own interests in an enabling environment supported by skilled staff. Specific areas of learning and skills such as phonics, handwriting and maths are introduced through short, whole class teaching sessions. Learning is then applied and consolidated with individuals or groups of children within their play and in continuous provision.

Our broad and balanced Early Years curriculum, our well-resourced learning provision and experienced practitioners give all children in both Preschool and Reception class:


  • experiences and activities to support learning across the seven areas of the EYFS
  • free choice and the opportunity to follow and explore their own interests by experimenting, taking risks and collaborating with their friends and adults
  • an opportunity to communicate with their friends, to problem solve and use critical thinking
  • an indoor and outdoor open-ended provision, enabling children to interpret the environment in their own way with high levels of engagement and enjoyment
  • daily story times to share and enjoy books and develop a love of reading
  • support with progress by identifying next steps through observational assessments and by modelling and scaffolding learning
  • effective support with identifying, planning and arrangements for children with Special Educational Needs by adapting provision and enabling environments when required

In Reception class:

  • daily phonics learning following the Sounds-Write programme
  • daily maths learning following NCETM Mastering Number and White Rose maths
  • daily collective worship to discuss Christian Values and develop their moral compass by excellent links with our local churches who visit and perform ‘Open the Book’
  • weekly Religious Education learning to the values, beliefs and communities of others
  • weekly PSHE learning and discussion following the Jigsaw programme for mindfulness and well-being
  • weekly music learning using resources for different genres, singing, pulse and rhythm

For our parent partnerships:

  • we share children’s learning through our online learning portfolio and encourage parents to share children’s activities from outside of school such as swimming, dancing, gymnastics and martial arts
  • we communicate with a weekly class newsletter about current learning and how to support learning at home
  • we invite parents to attend school events to find out how we teach phonics, maths and writing in school. For example, ‘bedtime stories’ helps parents to support their children with phonics learning and to encourage a love of reading.


“By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child; body, mind and spirit.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Children enjoy their time in our Early Years setting at Eppleby.  They develop friendships and personal qualities, as well as acquiring the skills to learn and the knowledge to prepare them for the future and the next part of their learning journey at Middleton Tyas. This results in children who:

  • are curious, enthusiastic and engaged in their learning
  • can sustain levels of concentration and can think for themselves
  • can understand why they are learning and can explain what they already know
  • understand that learning can be challenging and if we ‘can’t do it yet’, we can learn how to do it together in the future
  • are prepared academically, physically and socially for the next stage of their learning
  • make at least good progress from their starting points
  • are motivated to follow our Christian values and demonstrate friendship, perseverance and respect for others along with kindness, forgiveness, truthfulness, courage and thankfulness
  • know and understand our school rules and the reasons for them and are able to decide what is right and what is wrong
  • are good citizens within the local community

Relationships between parents, staff and children are excellent. Parents know that their children feel safe, secure and respected. There is a shared understanding and trust between home and school. Home and school work together to encourage children to value their individual identity and to be the very best that they can be in whatever they choose to do.


We are able to offer places for all children from 2 years old and upwards.  We currently have spaces in our Preschool for this academic year.  You can use all or part of your 15/30 hours funding, along with any 2-year-old funding you are in receipt of.  A range of Childcare Vouchers and CGP Grant Payments are also accepted.  If you are considering Trinity Academy Eppleby Forcett & Middleton Tyas for your child, please get in touch and arrange a visit.

If you are unsure of the funding you are able to receive, please visit Childcare Choices for the most up to date information.  Funding is changing from April 2024 onwards so please do find out what you are eligible for.  If you are unsure, please contact the school for more information.


Useful Documents

Preschool Overview

Reception Overview

Reception Curriculum Map Autumn 1

Reception Curriculum Map Autumn 2

Useful Links

Preschool Welcome Video

Free milk for children under the age of 5

Free School Meals

Data Collection Form for New Starters