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Applebee Wood Community Specialist School

Respect, Belonging, Trust, Resilience, Aspiration


Early Years Foundation Stage at Applebee Wood School

At Applebee Wood School we take children from reception age and they are taught in a mixed age and ability classroom, with a maximum class size of between 10-12 pupils. We currently have two classes following the EYFS model, Donaldson and Rosen. 


In Donaldson and Rosen, we focus on embedding independence and life skills linking to EYFS model including the three prime areas "Personal, social and emotional development", "Communication and Language" and "Physical Development". These three areas are crucial to a child's education. We support pupils to sit together for group activities, such as singing, baking and social opportunities including, snack and dinner time. In communication and language this is a skill that is used daily within the classroom, through makaton signing, PEC's and verbal communication. We teach our pupils Makaton signs such as, please, thank you, more and help me so this enables all learners a way to communicate with their peers and teachers. We have individual communication support in place for pupils including, individual timetables, now and next boards and sensory diet to develop pupils communication on a 1:1 level. For physical development we focus on 'gross and fine motor skills' by enabling our pupils to have various opportunities to practice these skills everyday. We provide these through continous provision activities such as threading objects and early mark making using various medias and mark making materials to develop large arm movements which will then enable hand and finger movements. In PE lessons we have embedded particular skills such as balancing, dance, and appartus. We have looked at key factors including risk taking and keeping safe. 



  • To create a partnership with parents that ensures children are happy and can thrive in school reaching their full potential from their various starting points.
  • To provide a safe environment where children feel they can develop as individuals.
  • To offer an exploratory, creative and play based curriculum that develops a love of learning.
  • To explore the wider curriculum with sensory approaches to meet the children’s individual needs.  
  • To guide children in becoming independent learners.
  • To use our indoor and outdoor spaces to provide rich learning experiences for all children.


  • We have regular contact with parents through home school diaries, stay and play sessions, face to face discussions and phone calls to talk about children’s progress and how we can help with and provide advice for any concerns they may have.
  • We have a curriculum that explores all 7 areas of the EYFS; Personal, Social and Emotional development, Physical Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. It is broad balanced and follows a thematic approach. We value children's interests and are flexible in accommodating child led learning alongside our overall topic. We also carefully conduct our indoor and outdoor areas to provide the children with sensory experiences which suit their preferred learning styles.
  • We provide children with hands on learning opportunities using concrete and real life resources that they can explore and investigate. Learning through high quality play experiences are fundamental to our curriculum. We also include regular adult led sessions to guide children with specific aspects of their learning.
  • We consider each child as an individual and provide them with support towards their own special, educational needs. We also work with outside agencies to develop strategies, when needed and use this information to inform provision maps, IEPs and EHCPs that are individualised to each child.
  • We promote life and independence skills throughout our day to day activities. The children have specific self-help targets that we work towards and these may also be included within a child’s IEP.  
  • We are outdoors in all weathers! We encourage children to explore nature, jump in puddles and get muddy. Our outdoor environment covers a range of areas, similar to those indoor. We also use other outdoor spaces within the school to enhance learning, these include; forest school and big equipment on the primary yard.
  • Each child’s learning is celebrated through their personal learning journeys. These include pictures and progress statements, as well as written observations. We build upon these to formulate relevant next steps for each child.


  • All pupils have had exposure to a wide range of activities within the 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum.
  • Children are enthusiastic and have a passion for learning. They develop exciting memories of the learning experiences they have had in the early years. They feel like they are valued and cherished as individual learners.
  • Children make a good level of development across all areas of the curriculum from their various starting points and are ready to transition to using the assessment programmes in keeping with the rest of school.
  • Children are confident, resilient learners and are eager to continue exploring and engaging with their learning.