What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

Here at Grove Road our EYFS department consists of one Nursery Class (for children aged 3 to 4 years) and one Reception Class (for children aged 4 to 5 years). The Early Years provide the children with the fundamental building blocks of learning by teaching them important skills, attitudes and routines whilst exploring an exciting and rich environment which will help to prepare them for the rest of their educational journey by stimulating their curiosity, developing their problem-solving skills and cultivating a lifelong love of learning.

The Characteristics of the Foundation Stage Curriculum

The characteristics of effective learning are a key element within the Early Years Curriculum. Here at Grove Road Primary School, all our practitioners reflect upon the different ways in which our children learn whilst carefully planning activities for them to succeed. Care is taken to ensure all areas of the Early Years Curriculum is covered whilst still allowing for the children to have the flexibility and freedom to have ownership of their learning through self-initiated activities. Our staff pride themselves in getting to know our children and their interests in order to planning highly motivating and engaging activities based upon the children’s interests.

The Early Years Curriculum is divided in two key areas:

Prime Areas:

• Communication and Language

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

• Physical Development

These are areas that the children develop quickly in response to relationships and experience. They run through and support the children’s learning in all other areas. These are also the areas that shape the children’s play and stem from their experiences.

Specific Areas:

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

These are areas that include developing specific skills and knowledge.

Both the Prime and Specific areas will be taught through a range of differentiated activities within the environment which allows them to:

• play and explore

• actively engage with their learning

• think creatively and critically

What will my child be doing at school?

Much of the work is organised into topics. During their time in school some of the children’s learning will be structured play. There will also be periods of teacher directed learning. The time spent on this more formal learning will increase through the year so by the end of their time spent in Reception they will be used to more formal whole class learning and be prepared for Key Stage 1.

Whole Group Time:

The children come together as a whole group to share a story or another stimulus which could be used to introduce the next learning opportunity. Here they gain a sense of whole group identity, enjoyment of stories and singing games together. This helps them to develop a level of concentration for a short period of time.

Small Group Time:

Children are split into smaller groups for specific planned activities. These are based on observations made by the staff and are normally planned to meet specific skills or needs and are planned with previous knowledge of the children’s abilities and interests.

Child Initiated Learning:

This is the time of the day where the children choose what activities/resources they want to explore. It is during this time that the staff observe and take time to extend the child’s skills and knowledge based on the child’s interests. All our practitioners used high quality questions to assess and monitor the children’s understanding as well as to extend the children’s learning in these situations.

Tapestry: Online Learning Journal

Tapestry is a secure online learning journal used to record photographs, observations, and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, to build up a record of your child’s experiences during their time with us. This system allows us to work with parents and carers to share information and record the children’s play and learning in and outside of the classroom.

Tapestry provides each individual child with their own learning journal held securely online. Parents and carers are given their own log-in using their email and password (which is pre-set by us but can be changed by you to make it more secure). All our staff are given a secure log-in. They can then upload observations, photographs, or videos, recording children’s achievements and assessing their learning in reference to the EYFS curriculum.

We send home a paper copy of the curriculum newsletter each half term to keep you informed about your child’s learning. These are available on the website each half term. 

Key Websites:

Statutory Framework for EYFS

Development Matters – Non-Statutory Guidance for EYFS

Birth to Five Matters

What to Expect When?