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Early Years Foundation Stage

The Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning.

We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. The Foundation Stage is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and learning to work and co-operate with others. The early learning goals that make up the Foundation Stage curriculum are:-

  • The Prime Areas
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development.
  • The Specific Areas
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the Foundation Stage curriculum. As such, it is carefully planned for and available each day. The reception classes have their own specially equipped outdoor area.

The teaching to achieve these early learning goals will be through first hand experience and structured play. The areas of experience are linked to the Foundation Stage Curriculum.

The teacher will keep records on children’s experiences and attainments.

Assessment of development and learning needs are on going throughout the school year.

During term 1 the teacher will carry out a baseline assessment for every child. This will establish where they are in all aspects of their learning and development and help future planning. The results of this early assessment will be shared with parents at the parents evening in term 1. By the end of the year the teacher will have built up an accurate profile of the each child’s development.


All children will begin to learn their letter sounds during their first term in school. By Christmas most of our children will know most sounds and will start sounding out simple words.

There are some simple things that you can do with your child to help to prepare them for learning to read:

  • Find a quiet moment and read a story together. Talk about the pictures and share the story. Ask questions as you go along about what has happened and what might happen next?
  • Sing nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Tell repetitive stories and traditional tales.
  • Point out road signs, shop signs and symbols and read them to your child.
  • Visit your local library. Let your child become a member and encourage them to choose books to read together. Many libraries offer pre-school story times.
  • Help your child to recognise his/her own name.

Lots of encouragement and praise will mean that reading becomes a positive experience for your child.


Acceptable social behaviour is part of everyday life. As a parent you will have begun social training with your child. We continue this in school but your hard work in the pre-school years really helps your child to settle in quickly into school life. Your child will learn to consider other children and their needs. He/she will also need to adjust to being away from you for longer periods of time. Attending a playgroup or nursery will certainly help with this. Allowing them to spend time away from you with other people will also make a difference. Encourage visits from other children of the same age to help your child make friends and share in play activities, taking turns and being considerate towards others.

The First Few Days

Talk to your child cheerfully and calmly about coming to school. Tell him/her about the exciting and interesting things they will do and the new friends they will make. Try to be in good time so that you don’t have to rush on the first day. Reassure your child that you will be able to come into the classroom with them to help them find their peg and drawer and put things away.

It is quite natural to be worried about your child settling in at school and you are more than welcome to talk to the Reception staff about your concerns. The best time to do this is at the end of the day when you collect your child. Please let the class teacher know of any problems or fears your child might have which may affect his/her behaviour at school.


Children enter school at different stages of development. Some may be good at colouring and may be able to trace or copy their first name, while others may still be learning how to hold a crayon.

You can help your child to have good pencil control by allowing him/her to:

  • Scribble freely with crayons, chalks and paints.
  • Trace around shapes and colour in.
  • Follow a line with a pencil.
  • Cut out pictures from comic books or magazines to improve dexterity using child scissors.
  • Use playdough to help develop manipulation and motor skills.

Speaking and Listening

It really helps if your child can speak well. You can help by telling stories where he/she can join in and repeat lines. Teach nursery rhymes and look and talk about picture books together. Enjoy sharing experiences and encourage your child to talk about them.

There will be many times during the school day when your child will need to listen to instructions and stories and will have to be quiet. You can help to prepare them for this by teaching them not to interrupt when you are speaking and giving lots of praise to encourage this. Try to give them opportunities to be quiet, perhaps when listening to a story or to someone talking.

Getting dressed

One of the most useful things you can do is teach your child to get dressed and undressed by themselves. Our children take part in PE each week and it is much easier if they are able to dress themselves. Similarly getting ready for home time is much easier if they are able to put on their own coats and do up zips and buttons.

Please make sure that your child’s name is clearly marked in all items of clothing. Children can get very distressed if they cannot identify their own clothes.

Using the toilet

It would be very helpful if your child is confident using the toilet before starting school. In Reception we make sure that children are reminded regularly about going to the toilet and we understand that accidents will occasionally happen. We do have a supply of replacement clothing should it be necessary although you can always send some spare clothes in with your child if you wish. If you have any concerns about this please speak to your child’s teacher as soon as possible.