Early Years Foundation Stage


The Early Years Foundation Stage (E.Y.F.S.) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning.

The EYFS has 4 themes. These are:

  1. Unique Child
  2. Positive Relationships
  3. Enabling Environments
  4. Learning and Development

Areas of Learning and Development in the EYFS

There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the Early Year’s Curriculum in Nursery and Reception. Children will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through these 7 areas of learning and development. They include 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas, each of these areas are then also divided into 2-3 aspects (bullet points below).

Prime areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Making relationships
• Self-confidence and self-awareness
• Managing feelings and behaviour

Physical Development
• Moving and handling
• Health and self-care

Communication and Language
• Listening and attention
• Understanding
• Speaking

Specific areas:

• Reading
• Writing

• Numbers
• Shape, space and measure

Understanding the World
• People and communities
• The world
• Technology

Expressive Arts and Design
• Being imaginative
• Exploring and using media

Our Nursery and Reception years constitute a distinctive phase of the children’s education. We give the children time to adapt to their class by bringing them into school gradually over a period of three to four weeks. We find that this gives them the necessary time to adjust to the many social, physical, emotional and intellectual demands – tears at Whitchurch are rare!

In the EYFS learning is an integrated process. Children are provided with a balance of child initiated and adult led experiences. First hand experiences and play provide meaningful contexts for learning both inside the classroom and outdoors. This type of learning persists throughout the school with the necessary ‘stepping up’ to new challenges that is required as the children move through the school.

Starting School Guide