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Early Years Foundation Stage

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage at The Whitchurch CE Federation

'Children's development can be quite uneven, especially in the Early Years. Some children concentrate on physical tasks first; others are joyous readers at the age of three. Some need to yell and jump endlessly. Others need to observe from a safe space. The whole child needs to be nourished and all aspects- emotional, social, physical, and cognitive- given a chance to develop at the child's unique pace' Heather Shumaker.


The Intent of the Early Years Foundation Stage

We believe that all children deserve an education which not only focuses on the purposeful acquisition of skills and knowledge, but also one that is rich in wonder and provides memorable experiences that allows their natural creativity and curiosity to flourish.

A holistic approach such as this gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals with strong foundations that are rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development.

Our aim is that all children are active members of society and happy curious lifelong learners.

At The Whitchurch CE Federation, we recognise children are unique and join us in Nursery or Reception with different experiences.

We acknowledge the importance of giving our children the best possible start to their education by planning and implementing teaching and learning opportunities that supports them to reach their full potential.

We work with other agencies such as speech and language and family support workers to ensure specific needs are met.

Our curriculum offers the cultural capital we know our children need so that they can gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for success. They can only do that if we embed the right habits for learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning – Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking. 

The Implementation of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Children in both our Nursery and Reception classes follow the EYFS curriculum, which has seven main areas of learning.

The Prime Areas: -

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development

The Specific Areas: -

  • Literacy

  • Mathematics

  • Understanding the World

  • Expressive Arts

Our enabling environment and warm, skillful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration.

As the pupils move into Reception, we invest time and energy into helping pupils set and reflect on their own goals by aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number.  We maximise opportunities to make meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking following children’s interests and ideas.  We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination through our vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips, visits and regular forest school sessions.

The timetable is carefully structured so that children have directed teaching in English, maths and phonics everyday with regular circle time sessions to focus on Personal, social and emotional development.  These sessions are followed by small group work. Group work means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning.   

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum.  Children follow the rigorous and highly successful Read Write Inc. program this ensures they meet good outcomes for reading. We actively encourage a love of stories and reading by using high quality texts and planned story sessions which actively promote comprehension, language and intrigue.

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Maths is taught through the mastery approach using White Rose Maths materials. Children demonstrate mathematical reasoning when in play and it is on these firm foundations mathematical competency at year one and beyond develops.

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them across both the indoor and outdoor learning environment.

The Impact of the Early Years Foundation Stage

With the successful implementation of our balanced curriculum and a well-structured, safe, active and challenging learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, children develop the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables them to be successful learners.

Children are actively engaged in learning and their enjoyment of this learning will be apparent to all. 

All children will have experienced a curriculum that provides, exciting and enriching learning experiences and opportunities for children to learn through educational visits and hands on experiences.

Children will more fully appreciate and understand the world around them, experiencing and learning about different cultures, music, dance, art and history.

Children will actively ask questions about the world around them and their learning experiences and they will develop resilience, not fearing making a mistake but instead embracing this as an opportunity to learn. 

Children will leave the Early Years Foundation Stage with a sense of self assurance and identity within our Federation community and wider world.


They will view themselves as active capable learners in charge of their own destiny.

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