Early Years Foundation Stage


The Early Years Foundation Stage is a statutory framework for children from birth to the age of five. The overall aim of the Early Years Foundation Stage is to help each child achieve their full potential within four overarching principles which are:

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

St Pius 10 IR 09.11.16Children 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 / carers.

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

The EYFS consists of seven areas of learning and development that are all inter-connected.  All early years settings are required to base their educational programmes on the seven areas of learning.St Pius 04 IR 09.11.16

Prime areas:  are crucial for igniting children’s enthusiasm for learning.

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

Specific areas: strengthen the learning and development in the prime areas

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the ‘world
  • Expressive arts and design

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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.

Oak House Nursery delivers a play 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.

‘Teaching in the EYFS is enthusiastic, creative and energetic, so cultivating highly positive attitudes to learning and contributing to high levels of achievement.’ ISI Inspection 2016