All Saints Church of England VA

Primary School

Aaron Battersby

Beaumont Road, Great Oakley, Harwich, Essex, CO12 5BA

01255 880315

Acorn Class

Class Teacher: Mr Farthing 

Class Learning Support Assistant: Mrs Avery & Mrs Pickersgill


What Acorn Class Seeks to provide

In Acorn class we try to encourage a fun, exciting environment that children thrive in. Children will be exposed to new interesting resources in an exciting inside and outside classroom. We will incorporate a combination of structured lessons along with free flow, independent learning time. During their independent learning time, your children will be able to explore a variety of learning areas; sand pit, mud pit (kitchen), water station, construction area, all activities of which will link back to the EYFS Early Learning Goals.

Our current teaching strategies use a range of structured learning based schemes in the mornings whilst enjoying the benefits of ‘In the Moment Planning’ throughout the afternoon.  The days learning is split into 2 categories; Inside Classroom and The Outside Classroom. By implementing two distinct areas, and keeping the learning and teaching styles separate help to ensure effective and holistic development of all children.

Inside classroom

Within the inside classroom we follow structured schemes which challenge, support and engage all levels of children. To help develop our phonics knowledge we follow the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ scheme, this scheme has been proven to develop the phonics and literacy understanding within EYFS. When planning our Numeracy lessons, we closely consider the ‘White Rose’ maths. This scheme incorporates a mastery based approach. White Rose implements and encourages the use of a variety of resources to support the development of number understanding.

Outside classroom

When we use the Outside Classroom, we follow an ‘In the moment Planning’ approach. This is where child independence and child led learning is accentuated. This time also allows practitioners to gage an understanding of the children’s knowledge, understanding and behaviors regarding the non-academic areas of the Early Years Curriculum.

The children’s understanding is challenged by using questioning, such as;

-What are you doing?, What is it?, What are you playing?

Their understanding is then pushed further by the use of deepening questions such as;

How do you know?, Can you show me?, What would happen if?

The level of development children should be expected to have attained by the end of the EYFS is defined by the early learning goals (ELGs). The ELGs should not be used as a curriculum or in any way to limit the wide variety of rich experiences that are crucial to child development, from being read to frequently to playing with friends. Instead, the ELGs should support teachers to make a holistic, best-fit judgement about a child’s development, and their readiness for year 1. When forming a judgement about whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, teachers should draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement. This is sufficient evidence to assess a child’s individual level of development in relation to each of the ELGs. Multiple sources of written or photographic evidence are not required, and teachers should not record unnecessary evidence. 

In Acorn Class we assess children in a range of collaborative ways. Fun, expressiveness and independence are key fundamentals for all child focussed assessments within Acorn Class. We use a combination of observational and tailored, structured assessments to make precise and targeted judgements upon the holistic developments of all children.

Communication and language

Communication and Language The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Personal, social and emotional development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as EYFS reforms early adopter framework 9 necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.





Physical Development

Physical Development Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practise of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.


Literacy It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).


Mathematics Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Understanding the world

Understanding the World Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Expressive arts and design

Expressive Arts and Design The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

Early Learning Goals

Communication and Language

- Listening, Attention and Understanding

- Speaking

Personal Social and Emotional Development

- Self Regulation

- Managing Self

- Building Relationships

Physical Development

- Gross Motor Skills-

- Fine Motor Skills


- Comprehension

- Word Reading

- Writing


- Number

- Numerical Pattern-

Understanding the World

- Past and Present

- People, culture and communities

- The Natural World

Expressive Art and Design

- Creating with Material

- Being imaginative and expressive

Communication and Language


Listening, Attention and Understanding

- Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions,

comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions

and small group interactions;

- Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their


- Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their

teacher and peers.



- Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their

own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;

- Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently

introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when


- Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of

conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.





Personal, Social and Emotional Development


- Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to

regulate their behaviour accordingly;

- Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and

control their immediate impulses when appropriate;

- Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately

even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions

involving several ideas or actions.


Managing Self

Children at the expected level of development will:

- Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and

perseverance in the face of challenge;

- Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave


- Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing,

going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.


Building Relationships

Children at the expected level of development will:

- Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;

- Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;

- Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

Physical Development


Gross Motor Skills

- Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;

- Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;

-Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.


Fine Motor Skills

- Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;

- Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;

- Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.














- Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;

- Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;

- Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about

stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.


Word Reading

- Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;

- Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;

- Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic

knowledge, including some common exception words.



- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;

- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a

letter or letters;

- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.







- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of

each number;

- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;

- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids)

number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to

10, including double facts.


Numerical Patterns

- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;

- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one

quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;

- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and

odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.









Understanding the World

Past and Present

- Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;

- Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now,

drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

- Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in

books read in class and storytelling.


People, Culture and Communities

- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation,

discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;

- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.


The Natural World


- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;

- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;

- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.




Expressive Arts and Design


Creating with Materials

- Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;

- Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;

- Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives

and stories.


Being Imaginative and Expressive

- Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;

- Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs; Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.


  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’


  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things 

The final and potentially most important consideration is the physical and mental wellbeing of all children within Acorn class. We pay close attention to the oral and physical health of all children, by participating in daily physical activities such as a walking/running a daily mile and having regular discussions and activities based around oral/personal hygiene and physical activity. To help promote positive mental wellbeing, we partake in a wellbeing afternoon. During this afternoon we conduct 3 sessions to help promote relaxation, calmness and mindfulness. These sessions include, yoga, mindfulness colouring/fine motor activities and mindfulness reading.  The children’s happiness and wellbeing is at the forefront of the Acorn Class’ Ethos.