Skip to content ↓

Early Years

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)? 

From September 2021 the reforms to the Early Years Foundation Stage are statutory. They help  to improve outcomes for all children, especially disadvantaged children. They put early language at the heart of a broad curriculum.  This is a child centered approach where children's skills are developed and enhanced through language- rich provision and opportunities for practitioners to model these skills. 

These skills are governed by the Characteristics of Effective Learning which are divided into three categories: 

  • Playing and Exploring
  • Active Learning
  • Creating and Thinking Critically

The Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework sets standards to enable early years providers to reflect the rich and personalised experience that many parents give their children at home. Staff deliver individualised learning and care that enhances the development of the children in their care and gives the children the best possible start in life. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is made up of seven areas of learning; 3 prime areas and 4 specifics.

The prime areas of learning are:

Communication and Language

  • Listening, attention and understanding
  • Speaking

- Physical Development

  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Self regulation
  • Building relationships
  • Managing self

The specific areas of learning are:

- Literacy

  • Comprehension
  • Word reading
  • Writing

- Mathematics

  • Number
  • Numerical patterns

- Understanding of the World

  • Past and Present
  • People, Culture and Communities
  • The Natural World

- Expressive Arts and Design

  • Creating with materials
  • Being imaginative and expressive

Early Years Foundation Stage at Thorpe Lea Primary

From September 2021, in Nursery and Reception we follow the new Development Matters 2021 which consists of these observation checkpoints:

  • Birth to 3
  • 3-4 years
  • Reception child
  • Early Learning Goals

At Thorpe Lea, we are lucky enough to 3 sessions for Nursery (session A, session B and 30 hours) and one Reception class. 

Half termly topics and themed weeks are used in both our Early Years classes as a creative vehicle in delivering the EYFS curriculum. As we are working towards an 'Early Years Unit'', all Early Years classes will focus on the same topic, allowing for topic-based, collaborative learning in our shared outdoor environment. 

Both our Nursery and Reception classrooms have been designed and organised to promote positive, engaging environments for the children to learn in. Both classes have designated areas of learning to support different areas of the EYFS curriculum. At Thorpe Lea Nursery and Primary school, we believe in the importance of outdoor learning and use our newly refurbished outdoor area regularly every day for our continuous provision and for adult-directed activities.

At the heart of good EYFS practice is on-going observation and assessment, enabling our staff to plan effectively for each child’s next steps for learning. At Thorpe Lea Primary this is incorporated in several aspects of our practice:

  • Key Person system (only Nursery)
  • Timed Observation notes
  • Electronic Observations that are emailed to parents via Tapestry
  • Parental Observations that can be emailed to the teacher.
  • Focused assessment notes
  • Individual Profiles
  • Proud Clouds
  • Golden tickets

As a school, we continually seek open and active two-way communication with parents. Below are some examples of how endeavour to achieve this within the Early Years:

  • Newsletters
  • Daily opportunities for informal chats with staff
  • Reports once annually
  • Parent’s evenings
  • Meet the teacher sessions
  • Stay and Play sessions (WoW days)
  • Electronic observations for both parents and teachers.
  • Golden tickets
  • Class noticeboards
  • Regularly updated class pages

For more information regarding the Early Years Provision outlined by the Department of Education, please click here.

If you wish to enquire about availability for Nursery, please contact the School Office.