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Bishop Henderson

Church of England VA Primary School

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Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

We provide a positive, caring environment where all children can flourish and develop a love of learning.  Working within the Christian values and foundation of the school, we create an environment where every child is celebrated as an individual and where learning is exciting and vibrant. 

When planning for children in the EYFS,  there is a new framework that all schools and settings are following from September 2021. These national changes have been made to better support all young children’s learning and development. It is also the aim that the new framework will better prepare children for the transition into Key Stage 1.

The EYFS is based on four overarching principles:

  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  • 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
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates

Aims and Principles

  • Reception practitioners should ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued
  • To provide a relevant curriculum with tasks that make sense to the children and are both practical and purposeful
  • To provide opportunities for children to engage in activities planned by adults and those that children plan or initiate themselves. Practitioners must consider the individual needs and interests of each child and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience in all areas of learning and development
  • Practitioners acknowledge the holistic nature of young children’s learning and natural links will be made between different areas of the curriculum. There will be an emphasis on learning through play and the importance of developing speaking and listening skills
  • Practitioners must create a learning environment that develops children’s imagination and encourages children to explore and express their ideas and feelings
  • Practitioners must respond to each child emerging needs and interests, guiding development through positive interaction
  • Involve parents and carers

There are seven areas of learning and development that must provide a framework for planning, teaching and assessing in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are inter-connected.

The three prime areas are:

• Communication and Language – children will be given lots of opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; to speak and listen in a range of situations
• Physical Development – children will be provided with opportunities to be active and interactive; to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children will be taught the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food
• Personal, Social, and Emotional Development – help children develop a positive sense of themselves and others; forming positive relationships and develop respect for others; develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and have confidence in their own abilities


There are also four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy – children will be taught to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest
  • Mathematics – children will be provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures
  • Understanding the World – Children will make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment
  • Expressive Arts and Design – Children will explore and play with a range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology

The curriculum is planned through a series of themes that reflect and respond to the children’s interests, offering experiences in all areas of the curriculum and which carry equal importance to provide a broad and balanced curriculum with opportunities for play and child- initiated activities.

Medium term planning takes the form of a theme based upon the children’s interests. It is evaluated weekly to respond to other emerging interests that the children may have. These plans are used by the EYFS team as a guide for weekly planning. However, we may alter these in response to the needs of the children. This fostering of the children’s interests develops a high level of motivation for the children’s learning.

Planning should provide a clear balance between challenging the most able children whilst recognising that an attempt to implement the more formal work before a child is ready could damage a child’s disposition to learn.

Involving Parents

Parents/carers are the child’s first and most enduring educators. When Parents/carers and practitioners work together in early years settings, the results have a positive impact on the child’s development. A successful partnership needs to be a two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise. We aim to develop this by:

  • Outlining how the EYFS is being delivered to parents/carers during the new parents meeting, to enable them to understand the value of supporting their child’s learning at home and how they can access more information
  • Using an online learning journal tool called ‘Tapestry’ to share observations of your child’s learning
  • In the Autumn term, there will be an evening meeting for parents to further explain the curriculum, with a particular focus on phonics and reading, and to share ideas on how parents can be involved
  • Discussing individual next steps and progress with parents/carers at parents’ evening in Autumn and Spring terms
  • Providing an annual written report to parents/carers in July summarising the child’s progress against the early learning goals and EYFS assessment scales
  • Any concerns over special needs will be discussed with parents and the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) for the school.

Further information about the EYFS can be found by following the link below to the class page.