Back To School

For more details on how we are beginning our safe, orderly and effective transition back to school from 1 June, please see our Back To School page for more information and guides for each site.

Little Downsend Teaching (age 2 - 6)

Little Downsend Teaching (age 2 - 6)

The learning starts straight away both indoors and outdoors. Within a nurturing environment, at their own pace, children are encouraged to explore and be curious, independently solving the challenges of an enriched curriculum.

Each Little Downsend follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework in First Steps, Rising Reception and Reception. We provide imaginative ways of acquiring numeracy and literacy skills; we grow turnips, hatch chickens, create slippery slopes…stimulating curiosity and imagination. During these precious formative years, we embed the foundations for learning; young brains grow at a phenomenal rate – everything we do, from French to fast feet, from bubbling cauldrons to yoganory, they soak up like a sponge.

Children in Year One follow Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum. As confidence grows their eagerness for learning is satisfied by an exciting and varied curriculum and a more structured approach. They become readers, writers, thinkers and innovators; it inspires us to see them well prepared for the next stage of their educational journey at Downsend.

There is a feeling of being part of a family at each school; class sizes are kept small which means we are able to offer a personalised learning programme for each child.

First Steps

from age 2

Through ‘play’, children develop their concentration, language (speaking and listening), hand-eye co-ordination, manipulative skills and physical co-ordination. They gain pre-reading, pre-writing and pre-number skills and an early understanding of basic concepts, such as colour, number, shape, size and time.

We also teach French, Music, Art, Technology, Dance and P.E.


Rising Reception

3-4 years

Although the curriculum continues to be ‘play’ based, the daily routine and the teaching of early literacy and numeracy become gradually more structured.

From learning the alphabet sounds, children move on to simple word building activities. Some will be ready to start reading during this year. Practical activities to develop pre-writing and pre-number skills continue, and creativity is developed through art and craft activities and imaginary play.

We also teach French, Music, Art, Technology, Dance and P.E.


4-5 years

In Reception, children work towards completing their learning journeys within the Early Years Foundation Stage. A structured learning programme enriches each child’s individuality, giving them a sense of independence and responsibility and includes:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World – History, Geography and Science
  • Expressive Arts and Design – Music, Art, Craft and Design, Drama
  • Physical Development – Dance, Games, Gym and Swimming
  • French

Year One

5-6 years

Year One sees the beginning of Key Stage One of the National Curriculum. Learning becomes more structured and is divided into the following subjects:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Religious Education
  • Personal, Social and Health Education
  • Computing
  • Geography
  • History
  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Music (including Recorder)
  • Physical Education
  • Dance and Drama
  • French

Our aim is that all the children learn to be responsible and work independently, increasing their skills in all areas of the curriculum before they transition to the Junior School.

01372 372197