young student on a computer


The Reception environment at Holy Cross Prep fosters a love of learning using a cross-curricular, topic-based approach to education. Pupils’ curiosity is celebrated and their independence is encouraged. In 2013, The Department for Education recognised that Holy Cross Prep provides a unique learning experience beyond governmental expectations and the school was awarded with exemption from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS), this was reassessed in 2021 when the exemption was again awarded.

In reality, there is little change to the way in which we deliver the EYFS curriculum, however, the school has the freedom to exercise its professional judgement in implementing a variety of teaching strategies that are best suited to the pupils in our school. Teaching in reception is tailored to the needs of each individual and pupils relish all the exciting challenges that Holy Cross has to offer, including computer coding, ‘mighty writers’, STEM investigations and the accelerated maths programme.

The exemption also enables us to enrich the reception curriculum with additional, specialist teaching in a range of subjects including computing, music, PE, French and an RE programme that reflects our Catholic ethos and respect of world faiths. There is no change to the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements with which the school must comply to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our pupils.

In addition, we continue to follow the three prime, and four specific areas of the EYFS curriculum detailed below:

Prime Areas

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Specific Areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design