Structure of EYFS

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a statutory framework for children from birth to the age of five. 

The overall aim of the EYFS is to help each child achieve their full potential. The EYFS sets the standards that all early years’ providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

The EYFS seeks to provide:

  • Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A secure foundation through planning for the learning and development of each individual child, and assessing and reviewing what they have learned regularly.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.

Overarching principles

Four guiding principles should shape practice in early years’ settings.

These are:

  • 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 with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.
  • Importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn 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 (SEND).

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The three characteristics of effective learning underpin learning and development across all areas and support children in becoming effective and motivated learners:

  • Playing and exploring (engagement) – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning (motivation) – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements.
  • Creating and thinking critically (thinking) – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Our EYFS provision delivers an exploration-based curriculum, with opportunities to learn indoors and outdoors.  Children are supported in developing and extending their interests through a variety of stimulating and challenging spontaneous and pre-planned activities.  The stages children will progress through are called ‘development matters’ and they identify the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that the children will need if they are to achieve the ‘Early Learning Goals’ by the end of their Reception year.

Our EYFS rooms are equipped with a huge variety of learning resources – places to explore, investigate and be creative – as well as cosy areas to relax and snuggle in.  Outdoor environments provide natural settings with challenges and opportunities for children to think critically on a larger scale, free from the restrictions of indoors.  Playgrounds have soft surfaces where children can learn to move with confidence, imagination and safety, with an awareness of space, themselves and others.

Healthy, balanced meals are prepared daily in-house, and particular dietary requirements are catered for.  Our lunchtimes foster independence, encourage children to make healthy choices and develop communication and social skills.

Being an intrinsic part of the School, the EYFS department also benefits from having additional facilities and specialist teachers on site.  Children also have opportunities to take part in Library Sessions, ICT, PE, and Music Lessons all delivered by fully qualified and experienced personnel.  Pre-school children join in whole school Acts of Worship, and all nursery children participate in daily Phonics sessions, aiding a very smooth transition from Nursery to Main School.


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