St Paul's C of E Primary School

St Pauls Church of England Gloucester

Phase 1 


Phase One at St Paul’s Primary School is a unique model tailored specifically for the needs and learning styles of our children. We have incorporated Reception and Y1 children into one phase.

All children are allocated a Key Worker who provides both children and parents with continuity from the start of school until the end of Year One.


What happens in Key Worker time and why is it so important?

During Key Worker time, the children have increased opportunity for oracy development. Language is promoted through discussion around stories and circle time activities. There is also an increased focus on the Early Years Foundation Stage ‘Prime Areas of Learning’ which leads to pupils having greater self-confidence, being able to manage their emotions and develop meaningful relationships. We believe that these strong foundations in the Prime Areas and in Communication skills are the foundations for future learning.


What are the benefits of the phased model?

A phased approach ensures a smooth transition for all children from EYFS to Year 1 by meeting the needs of all learners efficiently. This model of teaching and learning enables us to target pupils’ individual learning and social needs according to their stage, not by their determined age. Every child is unique and therefore, we believe that their educational provision should reflect each child, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach. Children are more prepared for their next step of learning; any ‘gaps’ in their key skills or childhood development are closed at an earlier stage and we ensure that each child is able to THRIVE with personalised challenge and support that leads to a deeper understanding of the curriculum.


How is Phase 1 staffed to give each child targeted support?

As this approach is central to the development of our children, we invest heavily in staffing, utilising a “double staffing” model with ratios of adults to children that would usually be found in a Primary School.  The staff in Phase One include:

  • Phase One Lead Teacher, a member of SLT, who is responsible for the strategic overview of Phase One and assumes overall responsibility for transition into St Paul’s EYFS until the end of Year one.
  • Two full time teachers
  • A Phase One Higher Level Teaching Partner
  • Two full time Teaching Partners


How is the physical space organised to give children a variety of opportunities?

In Phase One, there are three different areas of learning; a Communication, Language and Literacy zone (Lilypad Classroom), a Mathematical zone (The Beehive) and a Wider World zone (The Nest). Pupils rotate around these zones during each school day and each zone has a different purpose. Provision in each zone includes activities and equipment to promote key skills and the learning room concepts being taught. The children take part in a variety of activities throughout the week including role play, art and creative tasks and play based activities.

Free-flow outdoor provision can be accessed during pupils’ time in either the Lilypad or Nest.


What is the approach to the curriculum in Phase 1?

Confident, articulate and resilient children are able to communicate their learning with others. Our pupils are taught through planned and purposeful play, with a balance of adult led and independent continuous provision activities to cover the Prime and Specific areas of learning. Pupils are placed in learning groups that carousel around the three learning zones throughout each day to ensure they have direct teaching time for English, Maths and the wider curriculum.

The curriculum is underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage principles and by the content of the National Curriculum for Y1.


What is the approach to the teaching of Early Reading?

Reading is a focus for Phase One, occurring daily in the form of shared or guided sessions within Key Worker time. Phonics lessons are taught discretely every day in small groups. Individual children are heard read regularly by teachers and TPs, with key children identified as priority readers.


The teaching of phonics begins straight away. Further information about phonics can be found here.  We use a highly structured, synthetic phonics programme called Soundswrite. This is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme. It teaches all key elements of conceptual understanding, factual knowledge, and the three essential skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation necessary for learning to read and spell. Phase One children are grouped by ability, these groups are fluid according to need.

Consistent use of the Soundswrite language by all staff is reflected in all areas of Phase one for the teaching of reading and writing. Writing is taught through many different methods, such as:

  • Story telling
  • Teacher modelling
  • Talk for write model - children learn a teacher written text off by heart with actions
  • Independent writing


What is the approach to the teaching of Early Mathematics?

We believe that it is fundemental that children gain a secure grasp of number, shape and problem solving from an early age. All children in Phase One take part in daily Maths learning following the Mathematics Mastery approach. During these lessons, the children will take part in a variety of learning methods, such as teacher lead activities, independent activities and learning through play involving maths, for example a shop role play.


How are the children assessed in Phase 1?

Throughout the day staff members are making regular assessments of how the children are learning and developing. Some of these assessments are recorded through photographs using Tapestry, which all parents have a log in to, so they can enjoy seeing their child’s achievements too.