The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. You can read more about the EYFS Framework here: EYFS Statutory Framework (DfE, 2021)
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Welcome to the wonderful world of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Brompton-on-Swale CofE Primary School.
EYFS follows a different framework to the rest of the school, and our children learn in different ways that reflect their age, needs and interests. Vocabulary connected to EYFS can be confusing, so we hope this page helps to demystify EYFS as well as describe what makes EYFS at our school unique.
To find out more click on each headline.
What is EYFS
What does EYFS consist of at Brompton-on-Swale Cof E Primary School?
- Busy Bees Pre-School for children aged 2-4 years old
- FS Class for Reception aged children between 4-5 years old
Who works in EYFS?
We are lucky to have a dedicated, experienced, and enthusiastic EYFS team, who work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our children. Our passionate team believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and work hard to support each child to fulfil their potential. We meet regularly to invest in our professional development and share ideas about how we can improve our provision and practice – to us, Early Years is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle!
Our EYFS Team at Brompton-on-Swale CofE Primary School
Advanced Teaching Assistant
Mrs K Richardson
General Teaching Assistant
Miss C Squire
General Teaching Assistant
Miss C Girvan
General Teaching Assistant
|Miss Turner||Miss A Fudali||Mrs Dixon|
|FS Class Teacher||Higher Level Teaching Assistant||General Teaching Assistant|
What are the principles of EYFS?
In Early Years Foundation Stage, there are four overarching principles:
Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environments = Learning and Development
How do children learn in EYFS?
At Brompton-on-Swale CofE Primary School, we recognise that all children develop at different rates and learn in different ways. The three characteristics of effective 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 their achievements
Creating and thinking critically: Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things
In Busy Bees, free-flow or independent learning is punctuated with short ‘group times’ where children come to the carpet to listen to a story and take part in an activity such as yoga or singing nursery rhymes. During free-flow, the children can explore the indoor and outdoor classroom and choose their own learning whether that be role play, construction or an art activity. There is always an adult-led activity on offer which the children can also elect to do, often linked to our ‘book of the week’ – Gruffalo crumble anybody?!
In FS, our day is a little more structured with daily teaching inputs in SSP (phonics) and Maths. In September, whilst the children are settling into their new routines these inputs are short and snappy and we spend longer in free-flow. As the year progresses, our inputs become longer and more frequent to enable the children to be school-ready and prepared for the challenges of Year 1. Beyond the classroom, we also enjoy our visits to the ‘Wild Wood’ where we engage in outdoor learning and on Fridays we do PE – everyone’s favourite part of the week!
Which 'subjects' do children learn in EYFS?
In EYFS, children do not learn traditional subjects such as history and geography, which are part of the National Curriculum for Years 1-6. Instead, there are seven areas of learning and development that shape learning in EYFS. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.
The three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, these are:
The Prime areas
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
To ensure our children make good progress in these prime areas, each child is assigned three next steps by their Key worker for them to work towards. Progress is discussed in our weekly team meetings and staff share ideas on how we can enable children to meet their goals by supporting them with questioning (based on Bloom’s taxonomy), modelling language and with resources within the provision.
The Specific areas
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
You can read more about what children will be learning in each of these areas and how they can be supported here: Development Matters
How are children assessed in EYFS?
Assessment is a continuous process in EYFS and takes place both informally and formally. Effective assessment helps us to take an accurate snapshot of the whole child, celebrate their successes and put into place any additional support which they may require. Our parental partnerships are an important part of the assessment process, and we love hearing from our EYFS families about children’s experiences at home through conversations and our online learning journal, Tapestry.
- Informal Assessment: Blooms questioning, observing, supporting and stretching play during free-flow, Team meeting discussions
- Formal Assessment: Reception Baseline Assessment, half termly phonics assessments (FS only), Tapestry observations, Early Learning Goals
Towards the end of children’s time in FS, children are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals and are evaluated as meeting expected levels of development (expected) or not yet reaching expected levels of development (emerging). You can read more about the Early Learning Goals below:
What makes EYFS at Brompton-on-Swale CofE Primary School unique?
As an EYFS team, we asked ourselves; ‘What do we want our children to know?’ and ‘What do we want our children to be?’ . Our collective answers to these questions formed our vision for EYFS, which is that our children are: Happy, Educated, Articulate, Respectful, Team-players and Safe.
We explain this to the children, as learning with our HEARTS.
What do you intend your children to be?
In EYFS, it is our intention that our children are:
- Levels of engagement and self-esteem are high as children feel valued, important, and listened to. Their happiness and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do.
- We recognise that each child is unique and help them to develop their own interests and to clearly communicate their thoughts and feelings.
- All children enjoy coming to school and are instilled with a love of learning that will sustain them not only during their time in education but throughout their lives.
- When children leave Foundation Stage, they are equipped with the skills they need to read, write and explore number.
- Our children are excellent communicators and are comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures to express themselves and explain their ideas.
- In EYFS, both children and staff are highly engaged readers that enjoy sharing a love of books together.
- As well as developing a strong sense of self, children also learn about their place within our school, community and the wider world. They are kind, inclusive and respectful of all.
- By learning about the natural world, our children also learn to value, respect and care for our planet.
- Our children and kind, thoughtful and supportive of each other. They know how to share and can work together as a team to solve problems.
- We are a community of learners and are supported through our strong relationships with our children’s families, our Early Years team, Governors and our Church and village community.
- Our children feel safe and secure, enabling them to have the confidence to question, experiment, and take risks. They have the confidence to try new things and persevere in the face of challenge.
- We help to keep our children safe by giving them the knowledge and understanding to make healthy choices for their bodies and minds.
How does this link to the whole school vision ?
Having the Courage to Shine!
Courage to face new challenges
Courage to be the best version of ourselves
Courage to have an inquisitive mind
How do you implement this vision?
- Our EYFS learning environments are calm and supportive, children can relax and feel free to be themselves.
- Each child is assigned a Key Worker who promotes their wellbeing and with whom they develop a special bond
- By following the children’s interests, we celebrate their individuality and what makes them unique
- Mindfulness activities are planned throughout the year enabling each child to find strategies which help them to feel calm and happy.
- Our EYFS team enjoy their work and their enthusiasm is contagious! The children know that each morning they are guaranteed to be greeted by a smile.
- We provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is underpinned by our EYFS vision
- We have a strong focus on delivering the ‘Prime areas’ of the EYFS curriculum, which children are supported with through their individual ‘next steps’
- In FS, children have daily, structured inputs in phonics and Maths and read with an adult at least three times per week
- The Insight assessment tracker is used to measure children’s progress towards meeting the Early Learning Goals
- Metacognition strategies are modelled by staff ‘thinking out loud’
- Our environment, inside and out, is created to be organised, stimulating and irresistible to learning opportunities taking place
- Our staff are invested in their own professional development, the children know that we love learning too!
- Books are at the heart of our curriculum and children look forward to story time, a special part of the day
- We enjoy collecting new vocabulary and adding it to our ‘word wall’.
- Opportunities to promote good communication skills are built into the day during inputs and when modelling to children during free-flow
- Sentence stems are provided during teaching inputs to encourage children to use full sentences when explaining their ideas
- Our Staff are trained in NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention) and deliver interventions to children who need support in developing their speech
- We are patient listeners and allow children time to express and explain themselves
- We model respectful behaviour and polite language during all our interactions, with children and adults alike
- Turn-taking and listening are skills; thus, they are explicitly taught during PSED inputs and within free-flow
- Respect starts with knowledge. We teach our children about different cultures and faiths so they can better understand them
- Kind and considerate acts are acknowledged and rewarded
- Many of our key texts (50 Books to Read in Busy Bees and FS) have been selected because they explore the theme of respect: for ourselves, each other, for communities and the planet
- Our classrooms are inclusive and cater for every child’s learning needs
- We keep in touch with our EYFS families through Tapestry, Microsoft Teams, ‘This week we are learning’ memos and ‘Stay and Play’ sessions
- All children can contribute ideas during class planning time enabling them to take ownership of their learning
- The Early Years team plans together to ensure that children have the best possible experience whilst in our care, we model good teamwork to our children
- Our curriculum threads ensure children play an active part in our school and community, as well as understanding their place in the larger world
- Through our curriculum, as well as through our PSHE Jigsaw scheme, we actively plan how to help children to play and work together e.g. through team building activities
- Clear safeguarding guidelines ensure children are kept safe within our settings.
- Key Workers have a deep understanding of their children and are aware of any changes in their behaviour, however small
- We have high expectations of behaviour which is managed through rewards (merits, moving on to a star) and sanctions (traffic light system)
- Skills such as perseverance and ‘having a go’ are encouraged through our provision and rewarded through our ‘Courage to Shine’ stars
- Mistakes are a part of learning, we use the language of ‘Growth Mindset’ (Dweck, 2006) to explain this
- Children are taught how to keep their bodies and minds safe through exercise, healthy eating and mindfulness activities
What is the impact of your EYFS vision?
- Our classrooms are filled with joy! All children enjoy coming to our setting, they arrive each day smiling and ready to learn
- Children understand what makes them special and take pride in their individuality
- Children make healthy choices and can explain how to care for their bodies and minds
- Children make rapid progress in early reading, writing and number skills. Progress made in Busy Bees is built on in FS.
- The impact of our EYFS curriculum can be seen though children achieving the 17 early learning goals
- When children leave FS, they have the skills, knowledge, and attributes to be successful in Class 1 and beyond
- Themes which have been initiated by our children’s interests result in high levels of involvement, creative thinking and a love of learning
- Children have the terminology to clearly express their thoughts, feelings and needs
- Children are confident when talking to different people, demonstrating their rich vocabularies and conversation skills
- Everyone in EYFS is an enthusiastic reader and can talk passionately about their favourite books
- Children are kind to themselves and their peers, their behaviour and manners are impeccable
- Global Citizens: children have the knowledge, skills and values to engage with the wider world
- In the words of Greta Thunberg ‘No one is too small to make our difference’, our children are empowered and understand that small actions can make a big impact
- Our relationships with parents and carers is very effective. Families provide positive feedback about their children’s experiences in EYFS and the support they receive from the EYFS team.
- Parents feel well informed and connected to their child’s school life through interactions with staff, Tapestry, Teams, parent teacher consultations and written reports
- Children develop strong friendships, they play and learn together by listening and taking turns. They understand how to resolve conflicts calmly and independently
- EYFS are excellent representatives of our school and their contributions are valued by the local community
- Children feel safe and secure. This is demonstrated by the improvement in children’s well-being and involvement as the year goes on, as measured by the Leuven Scale
- Security results in children being confident learners, with a willingness to inquire, persevere and problem solve
What do you want your children to know?
We have designed our own broad and balanced curriculum which is underpinned by our EYFS values. In addition to following children’s interests, we have five themes which are threaded throughout the year.
These themes have been carefully selected to reflect what we feel is important for our children to know, such as how to look after their mental-health and wellbeing (All About Me) which has never been more important than during the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. The theme of Our School reflects our understanding that although it is a privilege to be with children at the beginning of their education, we are just a small part of their lifelong learning journey. Our Community gives us the opportunity to appreciate what a wonderful part of the world we live in (God’s Own Country!) whilst Our World acknowledges the limitations of our location in terms of children having rich, multicultural experiences which therefore need to be planned. Finally, climate change threatens our children’s most basic rights. We hope that what our children learn through Our Planet will inspire a love and respect for nature that will motivate them to make choices that help to lower their carbon footprints and protect the planet for future generations.
All About Me
- Create a sense of our unique self
- Develop our own interests through new experiences
- Learn how to make healthy choices for our bodies and minds
- Reading buddies
- Caring for BB
- Recycling hub for school
- Strengthen links with our village and Church
- Walk around our village regularly to observe changes
- Sponsor a local farm
- Explore what makes North Yorkshire special
- Celebrate religious festivals and cultural events
- Learn about different countries; their customs, culture, religions and languages
- Explore seasonal changes
- Develop a love of nature
- Grow our own food
- Learn to care for and respect our environment
A Year in Foundation Stage