Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Our Early Years Foundation Stage classes may be your child’s first experience of learning with adults and children outside of your close family and circle of friends. We hope to make the transition from home to school a positive and happy experience for children and their parents. We work really closely across all three of our Early Years classes to support transition between each one, and run taster sessions before children start in Butterflies to support parents and children.

The three Early Years classes, Butterflies (Pre-school), Fox Cubs (Nursery) and Hedgehogs (Reception) are open plan, calm and beautiful with activities arranged across all rooms and the shared outdoor area. We are also very lucky to have an additional shared space, ‘The Den’, which we use for quiet group times and small group work when the children need a more distraction-free environment. Children are encouraged to make choices and decisions in their learning and develop a sense of independence in preparation for work in the coming years. Adults help young children to learn during purposefully planned activities and child-initiated play: communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling, talking, facilitating and setting challenges. We provide a high quality learning environment both inside and out to support this, as well as access to our Forest Schools area, and opportunities to broaden the children’s experiences through visitors and visits.

We use ipads to observe and record with an app called Tapestry. This has two uses in the EYFS:

  1. as a way for practitioners to record what the children can do to inform assessments
  2. to share with parents what the children have been learning at school and what they need to work on next.

We encourage parents to share their observations of children at home and we can then assign an area of development and age band to this. This is such a useful insight to how the children play and interact at home as it could be very different to that at school!

The Early Years team plan the learning opportunities through topics and themes, usually with a seasonal thread running through them but also are flexible to follow the children’s interests when appropriate. Our learning activities are planned in both the outdoor and the indoor classroom environments. You will receive regular information about these so you can support your child’s learning.

The national framework sets out:

  • Welfare requirements that everyone must follow to keep your child safe
  • The 7 areas of learning and development
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS.
  • Expected levels that your child should reach by the end of their Reception year (the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage).

Areas of Learning and Development

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first:

  • Communication and Language : Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking
  • Physical Development: Moving and Handling and Health & Self Care
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self-confidence and Self-awareness, Managing Feelings & Behaviour and Making Relationships

There are four specific teaching areas:

  • Literacy: Reading and Writing
  • Mathematics: Numbers and Shape, Space & Measure
  • Understanding the world: People and Communities, The World and Technology
  • Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using Media and Materials and Being Imaginative

In Reception, children start to learn phonics which provides the building blocks to later success in reading and writing. At Burton Green, we learn phonics daily in Early Years and Key Stage 1. We use Read Write Inc as part of our approach to phonics. As a new parent, you will be invited to parent workshops in EYFS where we demonstrate how your child will learn phonics. There is more information on the phonics section of our website. If you have any questions, just ask your child’s class teacher.

We have a number of resources to help get the most for your child whilst in EYFS at Burton Green Primary School.