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Early Years Foundation Stage

Welcome to Bilsdale and Carlton’s’ Early Years Foundation Stage Class. We currently have an Early Years Foundation class for reception children taught alongside KS1 Y1 and Y2. Before the children start full time they will be introduced to aspects of school life during transition visits and the teachers will visit them in their preschool settings.

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

All schools and registered early years providers have to use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children from birth to the end of the reception year.

The principles for the EYFS are grouped into four Themes:

1. A Unique Child

This theme is about how the children develop: they are all different, but should be treated equally. Positive relationships and communication are vital. The children need to learn about taking risks and safety, how to make good choices, and how to stick to boundaries. They do best when all their physical and emotional needs are met.

2. Positive Relationships

This theme is about the children learning to manage their feelings and build friendships. We will respect all kinds of families and aim to develop a positive two-way relationship with parents. We will support, listen to and work with the children to help them learn. A Key Person looks after each child, helping him/her become familiar with the setting and to feel confident and safe within it. We will also talk to parents to make sure that the needs of the child are being met appropriately.

3. Enabling Environments

This theme is about planning for and checking on each child’s progress. We will ensure that the inside and outside spaces are safe, interesting and engaging. We will support children when they move on, working as a team to help your child succeed.

4. Learning and Development

This theme is about how the children learn – through play and exploration, with adult support for each individual. We will encourage the children to develop their imagination, to get actively involved in learning and to make decisions. We will develop the children’s creative and critical thinking, balancing the need for both the children and adults to lead the learning.

The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning and development. The first 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. They reflect the key skills and capacities all children need to develop and learn effectively, and become ready for school. It is expected that the balance will shift towards a more equal focus on all areas of learning as the children grow in confidence and ability within the three prime areas.

  • Communication and language development involves 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 involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, 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 involves 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.
  • Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
  • Mathematics involves providing children with 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 involves 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 involves 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.


In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice. These are Playing and Exploring - Active Learning - Creating and Thinking Critically.

As well as helping the children learn, we are also responsible for the children’s welfare. We help them to stay healthy and happy making sure that school is a safe and positive place for the children.

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