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St Richard's

Church of England First School

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year.

The Early Years Foundation Stage is based upon four themes:

  • A Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning and Development


Parents as Partners

We recognise that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value being partners with them in their child’s education through:


Transition on entry to school

  • Nursery liaison and visits - Good liaison between feeder nurseries and school ensure that class teachers know relevant information from previous settings. Where there are meetings set up to support a child’s individual needs or transition into school, the class teacher will attend to meet the parents and introduce themselves before the transitional events arranged at school.
  • Stay and Play sessions - Children are invited along with their adult, for an informal play session in the Early Years setting.
  • Induction day - Induction day is another opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teacher and listen to an informative presentation about their child beginning school. For the duration of the talk, the children are invited into classrooms to explore and play in their new learning environment before parents come down to meet the teachers and collect their child. All parents are invited on induction day to sign up for a home visit from the child’s class teacher and teaching assistant. At this informal meeting parents have the opportunity to ask questions and chat to their child’s teacher about any concerns or information regarding their child beginning school.
  • Both parents and children offered the opportunity to spend time in the Foundation Stage before starting school.
  • Operating an open door policy for parents with any queries.
  • Sharing regularly the children’s ‘Learning Journal’ books and valuing the on-going contributions to these from parents.
  • Offering two parent/teacher consultation evenings per year.
  • Sending a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of the school year.



The Learning Environment

The Foundation Stage classrooms are organised to allow children to explore and learn securely and safely. There are areas where the children can be active, quiet, creative etc. Each classroom has defined learning areas, where children are able to find and locate equipment and resources independently. The Foundation Stage has enclosed outdoor areas, and children are able to free-flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Being outdoors offers the children opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. They are able to explore, use their senses, develop their language skills and be physically active. We plan activities and resources both inside and outside enabling the children to develop in all the areas of learning.


Learning and Development

At St Richard’s School we recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and have their own learning styles. There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational provision in Early Years settings. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand that they are often inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.


Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development


Staff will also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.


Specific Areas:

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



Three characteristics of effective learning


Play and exploring

Through play our children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. They practise and build up ideas, and learn how to control themselves and understand the need for rules. They have the opportunity to think creatively alongside other children as well as on their own. They communicate with others as they investigate and solve problems. They have the opportunity to express fears or re-live anxious experiences in controlled and safe situations. We deliver learning for all of the areas through, purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Active Learning

Active learning occurs when children are motivated and interested. Children need to have some independence and control over their learning. As children develop their confidence they learn to make decisions. It provides children with a sense of satisfactions as they take ownership of their learning.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

Children should be given an opportunity to be creative through all areas of learning, not just through the arts. Adults can support children’s thinking and help them to make connections by showing genuine interest, offering encouragement, clarifying ideas and asking open questions. Children can access resources freely and are allowed to move them around the classroom to extend their learning.

EYFS Policy