In the Foundation Stage we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

Our topics are not decided in advance because our themes are chosen based on the interests of our children.

Children learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

Communication and language;

Physical development; and

Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for children’s healthy development and future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:



Understanding the world; and

Expressive arts and design.

These 7 areas are used to plan the children’s learning and activities. This approach follows children’s unique needs and interests.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

At the end of the Foundation Stage the children are assessed against seventeen Early Learning Goals:

Making Relationships:

Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others.

They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.

They show sensitivity to others’ needs & feelings, & form positive relationships with adults & other children.



Self Confidence & Self Awareness


Children are confident to try new activities, & say why they like some activities more than others.

They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, & will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.


Managing Feelings & Behaviour


Children talk about how they & others show feelings, talk about their own & others’ behaviour, & its consequences, & know that some behaviour is unacceptable.

They work as part of a group or class, & understand & follow the rules.

They adjust their behaviour to different situations, & take changes of routine in their stride.


Listening and Attention:


Children listen attentively in a range of situations.

They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events & respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions.

They give their attention to what others say & respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.


Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.




Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.

They use past, present & future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future.

They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.




Moving and Handling:


Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.

They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space.

They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


Health & Self Care


Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, & a healthy diet, & talk about ways to keep healthy & safe. They manage their own basic hygiene & personal needs successfully, including dressing & going to the toilet independently.




Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order& say which number is one more or one less than a given number.

Using quantities & objects, they add & subtract two single-digit numbers & count on or back to find the answer.

They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing


Shape, Space and Measures


Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time & money to compare quantities & objects and to solve problems.

They recognise, create and describe patterns.

They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.




Children read and understand simple sentences. 

They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words & read them aloud accurately.

They also read some common irregular words.

They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.






Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.

They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves & others.  Some words are spelt correctly, and others are phonetically plausible.


Exploring and using media and materials:


Children sing songs, make music & dance, & experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use & explore a variety of materials, tools & techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form & function.


Being Imaginative:


Children use what they have learnt about media & materials in original ways, thinking about uses & purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts & feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.


People and Communities:


Children talk about past & present events in their own lives & in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, & are sensitive to this.

They know about similarities & differences between themselves & others, & among families, communities & traditions.                                                                               


The World:


Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials & living things.

They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.

They make observations of animals & plants & explain why some things occur, & talk about changes.







Pupils recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.


A judgement is also provided at the end of the reception year on how children learn, informed by the characteristics of learning:

  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically
  • Playing and exploring


Staff use the following documents to aid planning:

  • EYFS Framework 2014
  • Early Years Outcomes
  • Letters and Sounds
  • Numbers and Patterns
  • Tameside Reading Ladder

Observations of the children are made regularly and recorded using 2 Build a Profile. These are shared with parents each half term.

Find out more about our learning by visiting the EYFS blog.

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