Early Years Foundation Stage

TheĀ Early Years Foundation Stage is a distinct phase of education for children aged 3-5. It has its own Curriculum Guidance which sets out seven basic areas of learning, which are:

  • personal, social and emotional development
  • communication and language
  • literacy development
  • mathematical development
  • knowledge and understanding of the world
  • physical development
  • creative development

Each area has a set of related early learning goals which the children are expected to work towards by the age of five. Some children may achieve beyond the early learning goals; when they do this they access the Key Stage 1 phase where relevant.

Nursery (children aged 3-4 years)

The Nursery provides part-time education for children and they join the Nursery when they are three to four years old.

The children:

  • are taught to listen and express themselves
  • are taught to mix and work with others
  • take part in activities that give children a variety of learning activities

The emphasis is on learning through play to develop all the key skills in the six areas of learning for the Foundation Stage.

Reception (children aged 4-5 years)

Children join the Reception classes in the September after the child’s fourth birthday. Once in Reception the children will have a short induction period of part-time attendance to help them adjust to full-time education. After this they are expected to attend school for the whole day. The Reception Classes follow the latter part of the Foundation Stage guidance, where the play activities become increasingly more focussed and structured.

Assessment in the Foundation Stage

A Foundation Stage Assessment Profile is created when your child enters the Foundation Stage. The profile contains your child’s attainment according to the early learning goals above – their attainment is based on evidence gathered from children’s play activities, through their talk, their written work, drawings and a whole range of other situations.

Parents are very much part of the assessment process and teachers will invite you to attend consultation meetings to complete the profile. A written report on your child’s development will be sent home at the end of the school year.