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Curriculum - The Early Years Foundation Stage

Curriculum - The Early Years Foundation Stage


"There are effective arrangements to ensure that when children join the Reception class, they settle quickly into their new routines.  They behave well and enjoy school life and all the new experiences they encounter."
 (Ofsted Report, March 2015)

The Early Years Foundation Stage



The Early Years Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs.

There are four guiding principles which shape children's development in the early years. These are:


1. every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;

2. children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;

3. children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and

4. children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

There are seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:

• communication and language;

• physical development; and

• personal, social and emotional development. 

We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:


• literacy;

• mathematics;

• understanding the world; and

• expressive arts and design


The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The Reception classroom has its own specially equipped outdoor play area which is used on a daily basis. 


Children come to us with a wide range of experiences. During the first half of the autumn term the teacher will carry out an on-entry assessment for every child. Together with the information provided by their pre-school, this will establish where they are in their learning and development and will help with future planning. The results of this early assessment will be shared with parents at the parents evening in the autumn term. Assessments of development and learning will be ongoing throughout the year. By the end of the year the teacher will have built up an accurate profile of each child’s development.


We encourage children's reading, communication and mathematical skills from the very beginning. Much of this earlier learning is achieved through carefully structured play. Young children who cannot read or write often express their ideas and feelings through play. It is an important way of developing new skills and building up relationships with other children both individually and in groups.


Reading is taught through a variety of different structured reading schemes supplemented with a wide range of other books. Books are organised in a structured, graded way to allow children many opportunities for consolidation of key vocabulary. We encourage parents to work with their child at home by hearing them read on a daily basis.


A meeting is held in the autumn term to explain to parents how phonics, reading and writing is taught at Crockenhill Primary.