Bures Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

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Early Years Foundation Stage

In Reception, we follow the national guidance for all children aged 0-5 years. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework sets out the standards for development, learning and care of children from birth to five. The curriculum is planned in seven areas of learning and development; all areas are important and inter-connected.

Four  themes underpin all the guidance:  

1.    The Unique Child – every child is unique who is constantly learning, capable confident and self-assured 

2.    Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent 

3.    Enabling Environment – children learn and develop best in an enabling environment where their experiences respond to their individual needs and where there’s a strong partnership between practitioners, parents and carers. 

4.    Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. 

The Framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


The EYFS curriculum is designed to support children’s natural curiosity and develop their enthusiasm for learning. These areas of learning will be introduced and developed in ways that are suitable for young children, incorporating well-planned ‘learning through play’ in both the indoor and outdoor environments to encourage challenge and enjoyment.

We have a statutory duty to ‘baseline assess’ children within the first six weeks upon entrance to Reception. Children are also continuously assessed throughout their time in the Reception class and the outcomes of the assessments are recorded to form each child’s end of Foundation Stage Profile, which also is a statutory requirement. Teachers and Teaching Assistants undertake informal observations/assessments in a sensitive and supportive manner so children are typically unaware of this ongoing practice.  Children are defined as having reached a Good Level of Development at the end of the EYFS if they have achieved at least the expected level for the Early Learning Goals in the three prime areas of learning and the specific areas of literacy and mathematics.  The Foundation Stage prepares children for learning in Key Stage 1 and is consistent with the National Curriculum.

At Otley and Witnesham, we are proud of the relationships we have with our children and we are careful to ensure that each child’s next unique learning steps are planned for and that the children are well supported on their learning journey. Our classrooms and school environment, alongside excellent relationships, ensure that the children can thrive, explore, question and take safe risks. Otley and Witnesham children are truly engaged and motivated learners! 



There are 3 prime areas, which are:

Communication and Language

•    Listening, Attention and Understanding

•    Speaking

This involves giving children a wide variety of opportunities to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations. 

Physical Development

•    Gross Motor Skills

•    Fine Motor Skills

This involves providing opportunities for children to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children are also helped to understand the importance of physical activity and how to make healthy choices. 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

•    Self–Regulation

•    Managing Self

•    Building Relationship

This involves helping children to form positive relationships and develop respect for others, as well as developing social skills whilst learning how to manage their feelings. Children develop an understanding of appropriate behaviour and to have confidence in their own abilities.



 All of these seven areas are connected together. In addition there are three characteristics of effective learning which weave through all the areas.

 These are:

•    playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things

•    active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements

•    creating and thinking critically , make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things– children develop their own ideas.


There are then four specific areas that support and strengthen the three prime areas:


•    Comprehension

•     Word Reading

•    Writing

This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. 


•    Number

•    Numerical Patterns

This involves providing children with a wide range of resources and opportunities to develop their skill and confidence in counting, understanding and using numbers, simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces and measure.

Understanding the World

•    Past and Present

•    People, Culture and Communities

•    The Natural World

This involves supporting children to make sense of the physical world around them, through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about their community, people, places, technology and environment. 

Expressive Arts & Design

•    Creating with Materials

•    Being Imaginative and Expressive

This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. This also includes encouragement for sharing their thoughts, feelings and ideas through a variety of activities in music, art, dance, role-play and design and technology.