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Early Years Foundation Stage

We begin each new year by looking at the individual needs of our children, taking into account their different starting points, current interests, and abilities in all areas of the curriculum. 

We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children are going to continue to build upon through their school and personal life. We value all children as individuals and strive to support them all to achieve their full, unique potential.  We encourage children to have a positive attitude towards learning as well as the people and the world around them.  Our aim is to ensure that all pupils finish their reception year in line with their peers nationally and are ready for the next stage of their education.

The seven areas of development from the EYFS framework and the characteristics of learning are taught and developed through half-termly Imaginative Learning Projects that are specially selected to cover a range of children’s interests and learning requirements.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. 

These are the prime areas: 

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

There are also four specific areas that develop children’s learning.  These are:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Communication and Language

The development of children’s spoken language is crucial for all seven areas of learning and development. Children need to communicate with adults and staff effectively to develop all areas of learning. We ensure all children are fully supported with their speech and language development by encouraging quality conversations with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment.   Children are encouraged to comment and discuss their interests, learn new vocabulary through different topics and the class word of the week.  Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems also provides them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts.  If any child is finding it difficult to communicate using their speech and language then the staff at Glebe will support the children and parents to access additional help and resources.  All staff in the Nursery and Reception are trained to deliver ‘Time to Talk’ and the Nuffield speech program’ to support the children in school.  

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives.  Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children at Glebe are supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.

Physical Development

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Children develop their gross motor and fine motor experiences through a range of experiences, activities and games.  Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Children will be provided opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors by staff who will support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Children will explore and play daily within the Nursery and Reception class with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and other small tools to develop their physical development.  Staff will provide support and guidance to allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.


Children within the Nursery and Reception will develop literacy skills that will provide a foundation for all future learning in school.  Children will be surrounded by opportunities to develop reading and writing skills.  This will include looking at books, taking part in daily phonics sessions, taking part in book of the week activities and eventually reading their own simple books and talking about what they have read.   Children will also be encouraged to make marks with all different types of materials and resources (paint, chalk, shaving foam etc), develop their pencil grip and work towards writing their own name and simple sentences. Adults in both classes will also develop their literacy skills by talking with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. 


Children in Nursery and Reception will develop a strong understanding of number, which provides the foundation for future learning throughout their whole school life.  Children will learn to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers and the patterns within those numbers. Children are given frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding through guided adult activities and mathematical play within the planned classroom and outdoor learning environment.  Children will be encouraged by staff to ‘have a go’ and talk about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes. 

Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. Children in Glebe will explore a range of experience that support their understanding.  This is from real life experience, such as visits from the library service, nurses and police officers and from the broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems that enhance their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. 

Expressive Arts and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. Children within the Nursery and Reception class have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. Developing the children’s experience and opportunities to explore art activities is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts.