Early Years at Marlcliffe

The Early Years is the foundation of your child’s learning and is where they will learn the skills that will help them get the best start in life. We strive to create a nurturing, a safe and a happy place for our young learners to grow their skills, abilities and mindsets. We create an engaging and stimulating learning environment full of inspirational learning opportunities to make their learning journey a motivating and a unique experience. We are committed to building strong, positive relationships with our children and families as a base for a greater future for all of us.Picture1.png

Our aim is to provide a secure environment with consistent routine where our children can feel safe and explore rich and diverse learning and developmental opportunities. In partnership with our families, we aim to build on previous experiences and learning in order to respond to children's individual needs. We provide secure foundations for life-long learning, enabling the children to become independent, confident and active learners for life.  We aim to provide high quality teaching and learning experiences indoors and outdoors to help our children progress. Our vision is to find the perfect balance between open-ended, child-led learning and planned opportunities, which inspire, engage and motivate children through the use of high-quality diverse texts, stimulating vocab, resources and quality engagements with others.  

All children start at Marlcliffe with a variety of experiences and learning that we build upon. A broad and balanced curriculum provides opportunity for each child to develop personally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, creatively and intellectually to fulfil their potential. Each child is valued as an individual and teaching and learning is based on the understanding that children develop at different rates.  The EYFS team ensures that learning opportunities across the curriculum are meaningful and aim to provide rich learning experiences in all areas of learning. Children benefit from experiences such as visits to the Secret Garden, climbing wall (supervised)  the local park, the local shop, and to the Butterfly House. 

Children with additional educational needs are identified early and given support as appropriate to enable them to benefit from the curriculum. This includes children that are more able, and those with specific learning difficulties and disabilities. Additional adult support may be provided for children with SEND. We work closely with nurseries and external providers to ensure a smooth transition into school. We communicate with external agencies working with families of SEND children to support their entry into school. Approaches such as Cued articulation, LEAP and Attention Autism are also used.  

Staffing and Organisation

Picture5.pngAt Marlcliffe, we have a 3 FS2 classes that have the use of three classrooms and a dedicated outdoor area. The classrooms have a variety of free choice continuous provision and challenges for the children to access. The children will start the day in their classroom with their class teacher. Each morning starts with a welcome song and the registers following by a whole class phonics lesson. Children will move throughout the day to the different classrooms with their class teacher for a short whole class input. The doors are then opened so the children can choose freely from a range of activities. Staff are organised to support the children in a balance of adult-led and child-initiated experiences throughout the sessions and the EYFS children have free flow access to outdoor learning and provision. The experienced teams plan a variety of exciting learning opportunities each day as well as responding to unplanned themes or topics that interest the children.


Partnership with Parents

We value the contribution that our parents and carers make to their child’s learning and take every opportunity to work in collaboration with them. We provide an opportunity for parents to complete an ‘All about Me’ document as children start school and give parents online access to Tapestry. We encourage all parents to add observations from home so that we can gain a wider view of their child. In the Autumn and Spring terms we hold parents’ consultations and in the Summer term we send home detailed reports. Parents are invited in throughout the year to celebrate their children’s learning – these take place in the form of craft afternoons, showcases, plays and much more.


Preparing your child for school

Please encourage your child to do as many things for themselves as possible to develop their independent skills such as:Picture3.png

  • Eating, using a knife and fork
  • Dressing
  • Fastening coats and shoes
  • Putting away toys
  • Folding clothes and putting them away
  • Packing their school bag


EYFS Curriculum

Our EYFS curriculum has been built on the guidelines listed in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

We also use the documents below to support our curriculum development

Development Matters - Non statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Birth to 5 Matters - Non statutoy guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage


The Prime Areas

The prime areas of learning are divided into three sections, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children’s success in all other areas of learning and of life.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

In this area children develop confidence, self-esteem and self-regulation skills. They learn about relationships and how to express their feelings. Children learn about sharing, taking turns and negotiating with others. They begin to understand rules but also develop the sense of responsibly and respect, develop their independence skills and they will learn about the importance of hygiene, self-care and oral health. Picture4.png

Communication and Language

In this area children talk about what they want and feel, likes and dislikes. They have opportunities to express themselves through role-play and they can enjoy stories, songs, poems and rhymes. Children use language to describe past and present experiences, and sequence events. Children will learn to speak in small and large groups and listen and follow instructions, also listening carefully to others and demonstrate asking interesting and appropriate questions.

Physical Development

This area sees children playing and learning inside and outside. They become good at moving, climbing, controlling, catching, throwing and coordinating with more and more skill. They will get opportunities to chase, race, jump, balance and play with a partner and in teams. Children will find out about keeping healthy as well as learning to dress and undress themselves. They will use different types of tools for drawing, painting, cutting and sticking to develop fine motor skills.


The Specific Areas

The specific areas are divided into four sections - literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. The specific areas provide the range of experiences and opportunities for children to broaden their knowledge and skills.



In this area children handle and share books with others. Children will have chances to see letters and words written down, they will learn the sounds of the alphabet through phonic sessions and speaking and listening activities.  They will start to hear the different sounds that make up a word and apply this knowledge when looking at words in books and begin to read with comprehension and write captions and sentences. 


In this area the children sort and group objects and materials, explaining why they have done something. They will compare height, weight, size and texture. Children will begin to use positional language to tell where things are and to put things in order. Children have opportunities to make models with shapes and talk about them and what they look like. They will then notice and make patterns with them. Children will recognise numbers around them, they will begin to count, add objects together and take them away. They will start to put events in order and investigate how to solve practical problems. Picture2.png

Understanding the World

In this area the children have opportunities to explore and investigate the world around them. They will be able to look at and talk about objects, materials, living creatures and plant life, noticing details, similarities and difference. They will try things out and come to some conclusions and see reason. They will begin to know about different people and their cultures, past and present, traditions and places in the community.

Expressive Art and Design

In this area, children will express their own thoughts, ideas and feelings through drawing, painting and model making. They will have the chance to design and make their own creations using man-made and natural materials. They will explore colour, shape and texture using their senses. Children will be able to listen to and make their own music, dance, sing songs and take part in imaginative role play with others

Files to Download

Marcliffe Primary School
Marlcliffe Primary School
Marlcliffe Road
S6 4AJ
Main Contact:Steph Hanson, School Manager