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Sneinton St Stephen's CofE Primary School

Early Years Foundation Stage

The early years is the starting point to our school's curriculum. Please reference each curriculum knowledge progression plan for the specificity of knowledge taught.


In our Early Years classes, children progress within a language rich environment which provides every available opportunity to use language, interact, take turns, share and talk.


The EYFS curriculum comprises seven areas of learning and development.
All areas of learning and development are important and 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. These three prime areas are:


Communication and Language  - giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.


Physical Development - providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their coordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.


Personal, social and emotional development - helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.


We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:


Literacy - encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write


Mathematics - opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures


Understanding the World - guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment


Expressive Arts and Design - enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology


Our staff ensure there is a balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Learning takes place indoors and outdoors, through play, exploration and creative thinking. As children grow older, and as their development allows, there is a gradual shift towards more activities led by adults. This will help children prepare for more formal learning in Key Stage 1.


In planning and guiding the children’s activities, our staff reflect on the different ways that children learn. These characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:


Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;


Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;


Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


The curriculum we provide meets the requirements set out in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage and focuses on developing the children’s skills in line with the Early Learning Goals.

Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play and by engaging in well-planned, structured activities.


Teaching in F2 builds on the prior experiences of the children in F1.
During the EYFS, the adults within the setting continually make observations of the children’s progress in order to inform future planning and “next steps” for each child. We continually seek to engage parents in their children's learning by sharing and celebrating learning each week and by sharing strategies for parents to support their child's learning at home.

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