Here at Unity Academy, Blackpool we provide a safe environment in which children can experiment, explore and progress in their own creative ways. 



The intent of our EYFS curriculum is to ensure our children develop the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude to achieve fulfilling lives. The EYFS is the start of our children’s school journey towards achieving this important purpose.

Our Curriculum is based on the Development Matters framework but has been added to and therefore personalised to meet the needs of our Unity children. It is an ambitious curriculum that provides the children with language-rich experiences. We also have an Entitlement Curriculum that supports our educational curriculum in providing memorable experiences for our children.

Our experienced team converses with, observes and supports the children with their learning through a mix of child-initiated, adult-initiated and adult led activities. The classroom provision is used to support learning and is carefully planned for and resourced to meet the emerging needs of the children.

The EYFS team meet regularly to discuss the children and their progress. A variety of age appropriate assessments are carried out to enable the team to have a good understanding of the children’s learning and progress. Assessments, observations and responses to daily teaching are used to provide informal and formal information to parents and carers three times per year.



We aim to achieve our curriculum intent by providing high quality teaching and learning in a language rich environment. We value, respect and care for all of our children here at Unity Academy, Blackpool. Each child is unique and brings an irreplaceable value to our classrooms. We provide a curriculum which is based upon their interests, accessible to them and links to the world around them which they know and understand. 

The principles that guide the work in the EYFS are grouped into 4 themes:

  • A unique child

  • Positive relationships

  • Enabling Environments

  • Learning and Development

The EYFS Curriculum consists of the seven areas of Learning and Development; three core and four specific areas.

Core Areas

The three prime areas of learning are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

Specific areas: 

  • Mathematics

  • Literacy

  • Understanding of the World

  • Expressive Arts and Design

We teach a wide range of foundation subjects across the EYFS. Curiosity is developed through our ‘Understanding the World’ themes. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, including studying British Values is incorporated into circle times alongside both ‘Understanding the World’ and ‘PSED’. In Nursery our younger children learn about their own cultures and local community including our homes. Through EYFS, they progress to learning about our home town of Blackpool and how that fits into the United Kingdom and wider world. We will then go on to learn about different cultures and places in the world many times throughout the year including Chinese New Year, Christmas and Diwali celebrations. We find our family's country of origin on Google Maps and love working out where we live on Google Earth! 

We loosely plan overarching themes for each half term but do use our children’s interests and curiosities to develop our topics every year. Each year, several set topics will be covered to enable us to immerse the children in something they wouldn’t necessarily experience or understand otherwise e.g. Diwali, Chinese New Year, Changes etc and others will be completely based on what the children would like to learn about…keeping us on our toes! This ensures the curriculum here at Unity Academy, Blackpool is broad, diverse, balanced and stimulating for the children in our care. 

Having continuous provision in our environment allows both staff and children to have resources they need at their fingertips. Pre-planned activities which link to topic and carpet time learning opportunities are given in addition to continuous provision for those children unsure of where their curiosity will take them next. Each child is unique and their learning needs and next steps will therefore reflect the child’s age, developmental readiness and individual interests.

We plan based upon children’s interests and will follow these as we know that if children are excited about what they are learning about they are more likely to engage. We use information from previous observations, adult knowledge of the children and also use tried and tested topics such as ‘Transport’ ‘Dinosaurs’ ‘Spooky’ and ‘People Who Help Us’.

Each week, staff get together to discuss ideas for the upcoming topics (decided sometimes on children’s interest and sometimes on topics we historically have known to work well. All staff suggest activities that link to the adult led and enhancement opportunities. 

Using a combination of effective questioning and narrative commentaries we assess in the moment the child’s level of understanding. We then support them with new vocabulary or ideas to develop their understanding or address misconceptions. This ensures each child progresses at the time, instead of playing catch up. We understand and appreciate that sometimes an adult unintentionally interferes instead of interacting. Adults in our classroom will use their experience and knowledge of the cohort to decide whether to observe from afar, interact or comment on a child’s learning. 


Notice and Focus:

Our staff judge when to jump in and when to observe from a distance. We use a combination of commentary and effective questioning to find information that children know and ask them about it. This gives opportunities for staff to assess a child’s understanding in context and make links to other curriculum areas. 

The children experience free-flow independent learning every morning and afternoon. During this time, they have access to all resources, being able to use and move anything they need if they are safe and put it back away again when they are finished. Children are supported and encouraged to use objects in new ways, using their imagination and investigative skills.

We regularly discuss children who, we feel, are not on track and will then specifically target them with new games, activities and ideas designed for them to progress and be observed doing so. This allows children to develop in a variety of different areas through activities they feel comfortable doing.

At Unity Academy we have a SENCO which is the person who will work in partnership with parents, classroom staff and a range of other agencies to enable children with additional needs to make progress.


Assessment/Data collection
In Reception, we use a combination of floorbooks, workbooks (for adult led English and Maths) and handwriting books and folders to store evidence. We have a ‘Busy Bee’ wall which is designed for children’s work they are proud of and want to share with the class. This is then taken down when more work is done and stored in their folders.

Phonics and Maths assessments are completed frequently to keep a close eye on common misconceptions and progress across the whole class. Small booster groups and changing phonics groups then take place to fill these gaps.

Daily conversations take place within the Reception team to discuss which children we have noticed need further focussed input on a specific task and then a more adult led activity will be put into place to support their learning.

In Nursery, we use a combination of assessments to identify children's baseline and progress within their maths, concept of print, pre- writing, core strength, fine motor and wellcomm/ speech and language development. Children's next steps are then identified and 1:1 intervention or small group work is offered on a daily basis. 

We have a WOW Wall to showcase children's work and achievements evidence is also stored within their folders. 

Daily conversations will take place regarding focus children and all practitioners will feed into checkpoint summaries.



Our next steps are thought about in the moment following an interaction with the child and then shared with the team during the ‘Learning and Progress’ team time. When an adult is interacting with a child during independent learning, they talk to the children using effective questioning to ask what that child knows, identify an area for development (understanding, misconception, vocabulary, sentence structure etc.) and then fill that gap in learning through running commentary. This enables the child to fill that gap in learning and to progress to understanding. An adult then helps that child to share their newfound understanding to check progress has been made. 

  • E.g. Child A is struggling to take their jumper off. An adult says (Show me how you take your jumper off). The child replies “I don’t know how to do that” (OK, let me show you. First you could bend your elbow and pull at your sleeve. It works best if you raise your arms in the air). The child tries this. (Well done, I can see you are working really hard to push your elbow down low). “I did it” (Well done, you can now take your own jumper off, fantastic learning!)



Parents are encouraged to share Wow! moments from home and are given Wow! stars to share this with us.

Reception hold an annual curriculum and reading evening to discuss the curriculum, phonics, vocabulary and teaching alongside how we assess their children throughout the year. 


Behaviour Management

Our behaviour management policy is based on a positive reinforcement strategy. Children are rewarded for their kind and helpful efforts; having a go and trying hard; and trying new learning opportunities. Children are moved up a leaf on the beanstalk for these things and for working as a team. If they are ‘on the castle’ by Friday, they get a little treat. We all work together as a team to create great friendships and a caring environment. 

If children make a choice which is not following our class/ school rules, then they are given a warning and asked to stop. This is followed by being moved down a leaf and a 1-minute ‘Time Out’ where a child sits in the classroom with an adult to think about what went wrong, how they can fix it and how we can stop it from happening again. This is based on a restorative justice strategy. 

An exception to this is if a child makes a choice which is unsafe or physically injures another child. In this case, their name is moved straight to the giant and a time out is given on the corridor before discussing their behaviour with an adult in a bid to recognise their unsafe behaviour. If the event is serious or happens for a substantial amount of times, parents are informed. All incidents of behaviour are recorded on Class Charts as per the whole academy behaviour policy.



We use the RWI scheme for Phonics. In Nursery, we concentrate on developing children's speaking and listening skills and laying the foundations for the phonic work which starts when they are ready. The emphasis during this early phonics phase is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.

In Reception, we teach a 20 minute session each day, covering at least three new sounds per week, with some review weeks in between. Informal assessments are completed half termly with more formal assessments completed termly and children are re-grouped accordingly.


At the start of the year, we use Wellcomm to screen children for speech and language ability, often identifying problems before they become more serious, and then provide activities to address them. Any more serious issues are supported by our in-school SALT champion in conjunction with Communicate - the SALT specialist advisory service that is bought into within the Academy.


We believe that maths in the EYFS should be relevant and accessible. We teach the children about everyday maths and how exciting maths can be. We use a variety of concrete resources. Children are shown where these resources are kept and are encouraged to use the resources that they think are appropriate for whatever they are doing. We follow the White Rose Maths scheme and teach using the CPA approach, using a combination of concrete, pictorial and abstract techniques where possible. 


We follow the whole school safeguarding policy and have procedures in place to ensure that all children are dropped off and picked up by safe adults. We have an agreed pickup list which parents can add to if needed. 


Children are reminded and encouraged to go to the toilet independently. If toileting advice or cleaning is required, the child is encouraged and coached through how to wipe if appropriate. Occasionally, where an accident is substantial, two adults may work together for safeguarding reasons to clean the child. No adult should go into the cubicle or clean a child unsupervised. Another adult in school may be called upon where staffing numbers are too low to encompass this. Soiled clothing is sent home. Children with consistent accidents are asked to bring in spare clothing. Parents are ultimately responsible for toilet training their children, yet staff will assist when needed.