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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood" - Fred Rogers.


"Play is the highest form of research" - Albert Einstein.

EYFS Policy:

The EYFS 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. There are seven areas of learning in total, three prime areas and four specific areas. The prime areas of learning are Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. These are crucial for developing children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The specific areas of learning are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.


Development Matters is a document that supports early years practitioners in providing quality education in the early years. The EYFS team use Development Matters as part of daily observation, assessment and planning:


Reception Curriculum Overviews:

How we Teach in the EYFS at The Round House:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED): The children are encouraged to be independent, self reliant and self confident. We also foster turn taking, sharing, co-operation and helpfulness. In addition to co-operative play and joint responsibility for organising and tidying the setting, we provide specific situations in role-play to develop the children's social skills. Activities requiring collaborative group skills are also specifically built into the planning. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to become confident and independent, take an interest in things, develop their focused attention, play co-operatively with others, know the difference between right and wrong, know what their own needs are and manage their own basic hygiene. 


Communication and Language (C&L): Many opportunities are provided for the children to speak and listen to both adults and each other. Visitors such as the librarian or the local fire brigade are invited into school to give variety and to spark interest for the children. The children take home a knowledge organiser book containing vocabulary linked to the themes covered across the year. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to listen attentively in a range of situations, follow instructions involving one or two ideas/actions, answer how and why questions, express themselves effectively and use past, present and future tenses accurately when talking.


Physical Development (PD): The children have access to a variety of writing equipment as well as scissors, construction toys, play-dough and clay. In our outdoor area, we have climbing apparatus and we plan the equipment that we use on a weekly basis, weather permitting, so that we have a variety of activities. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to show good control and co-ordination in large and small scale movements, negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for both themselves and others, and hold a pencil correctly (using a tripod grip) and use it to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. 


Literacy (L): Within the setting, the children are surrounded by a variety of books including big books, magazines and non-fiction books. They are encouraged to listen to stories and share books with each other. The children take home individual reading books (a phonics book and a reading for pleasure book). The children also take home a key word book to support the weekly teaching of phonics. Whilst at school, the children will have the opportunity to engage in reading sessions both 1:1 and in small groups. This is done to support the children to develop essential reading skills. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to answer questions about stories, use their phonic knowledge to decode words and read them aloud, spell word by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter, and write simple sentences that can be read by both themselves and others.


Mathematics (M): The children experience early maths skills such as sorting, classifying, identifying shapes, repeating patterns, counting, practical addition and subtraction, measuring and capacity in lots of different ways including at the sand tray, water tray and when engaging in baking activities. We use Numberblocks and learn many number rhymes to help with counting, which the children enjoy. We have specific focused teaching time for maths, where we follow a maths mastery approach, as well as practical independent activities and adult-led activities too. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5, recall numbers bonds up to 5, compare quantities up to 10 and explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, e.g. odd and even numbers and double facts. 


Understanding the World (UW): It involves guiding children to make sense of the world around them, through exploration, observation and finding out about people, places and the past. The children think about how they have changed since they were babies, where they live, how things work and make observations about plants, animals and the weather. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to identify some similarities/differences between different religions and between things in the past to now, explore the natural world around them, make observations and draw pictures, and understand some important processes and changes in the natural world. 


Expressive Arts and Design (EAD): The children are offered many creative activities in any one week ranging from painting, drawing and printing to collage, clay and junk modelling. We also use musical instruments and sing a variety of rhymes and songs. Throughout the year, the children will be learning to explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function, share their creations, explaining the processes they have used, sing a range of nursery rhymes and songs and invent, adapt and recount narratives.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning: 


The characteristics of effective learning are pertinent to the EYFS and support children’s learning across all seven areas of learning.


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.


These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential.


Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA):


The RBA is a short assessment undertaken in the first six weeks in which a child starts Reception.


The RBA assesses a child in Mathematics, Literacy, Communication and Language.


At The Round House, we administer the assessment in accordance with administration guidance and assessment and reporting arrangements, which is published annually.


Formative and Summative Assessment:


The main EYFS assessment methods is through practitioner’s knowledge and observations of children in different teaching and learning contexts, including both adult focused activities and child-initiated play. Observations are recorded in a variety of ways and significant observations of children’s achievements are collated in their own personal learning journal on Tapestry, which is shared with parents/carers. Parents/carers are encouraged to add their own observations to show what their children are able to do at home. Practitioners use all observations collated in order to support their developing knowledge of individual children. Observations are evaluated, children’s learning priorities are identified and relevant learning opportunities are planned to support children to achieve their next steps and make progress.


Assessments are carried out four times a year, on entry and at the end of the autumn, spring and summer terms. Accurate assessment takes account of a range of perspectives including those of the child, parents/carers and other adults who have significant interactions with the child. After each assessment period, standards and progress are reported and discussed with leaders, parents/carers and governors. At the end of the Reception year, the EYFS profile provides a summary of every child’s attainment, including whether they have reached a Good Level of Development (GLD). Judgements are made, with support from the exemplification materials, showing whether a child is emerging (not yet meeting the expected level) or achieving (meeting the expected level) each of the 17 Early Learning Goals (ELGs).


Photos of Children Learning Through Play: 

Links to Websites:


Below are a list of links to a range of different learning opportunities. Explore and enjoy!


General: - Alphablocks videos and activities. - Games to support the children's reading skills. - Lots of reading books to support the children's reading skills. - Games for all phases of phonics. - Activities and resources for all phases of phonics. - Numberblocks videos and activities. - Games to support the children to develop both their fluency and recall skills. - Literacy and maths games. - Literacy and maths games. - Literacy and maths lessons. - Children can use the school login for this to access a range of activities, videos, etc. - A range of resources for all subjects (presentations, worksheets, etc.) T - Scroll down on the home page to find Disney and Pixar themed 10 minute shake up activities. Another way to stay fit and healthy throughout the day.


Go Noodle (Fun dance videos for exercise plus videos for mindfulness and stretching, free to join):