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The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust

Early Years

We are an inclusive Trust and welcome children of all nationalities and all faiths. Our provision for children with SEND is exceptional and no child is left behind. We strive to ensure that adaptations are appropriate and effective for all our children, not just those who have special educational needs. As a Trust we are working on ensuring Assistive Technology is used widely across our schools.

Our staff strive to create happy, caring schools which will offer each child an education of the highest quality and where pupils, teachers, parents, and the community work together in partnership. We offer each pupil an equal opportunity to develop to their full capability within a framework that encourages self-confidence and independence, social competence, positive moral values, creativity and an ever-widening base of knowledge, skills and understanding.

We pride ourselves on the provision for our youngest children within our family of schools. Early Years is a crucial time in children’s lives. We strive to ensure that the statutory framework for Early Years is followed in an imaginative, fun, and engaging way. Across all our schools, Early Years settings are exciting places for our children to learn, thrive and grow.

We teach in accordance with the Early Years Framework. The learning and development requirements cover three prime areas, which are particularly important for stimulating children’s interest in learning, and in building relationships:



1. Communication and Language

Giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment, develop their confidence and skill in expressing themselves, and speak and listen in a range of situations.



2. Physical Development

Providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive, develop their co-ordination, control, and movement, understand the importance of physical activity, and make healthy choices about food.



3. Personal, social and emotional development

Helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, form positive relationships and respect others, develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings, understand appropriate behaviour in groups and to have confidence in their own abilities.

The three prime areas are strengthened by four specific areas of learning: literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world, and expressive arts and design. These areas are connected, with learning in one area supporting learning in the others.



Early Reading is a priority in our schools. Phonics is taught from the time our children enter Reception class. We use a variety of systematic synthetic phonics schemes across our Trust such as Little Wandle and Bug Club. These schemes have all been accredited by the Department for Education. We ensure that all children remember the sound for letters, digraphs and trigraphs: blend the sounds into words; read exception words; learn correct letter formation; and learn to spell. We promote a love of reading in all schools through daily, engaging story times. As well as listening to individual pupils reading books that they read in school and take home. All teachers and adults have been trained in teaching reading.