Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception)

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In Reception at Knockhall Primary School, we learn through exciting and engaging play opportunities that address learning in the seven areas of learning and development outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. These areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

Each area has an Early Learning Goal that summarises the skills, knowledge and understanding the children should gain by the end of the year.

These lead to 17 Early Learning Goals, which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that children should gain by the end of the Reception Year.

eyfs 4The ways in which the children learn, the Characteristics of Effective Learning, underpin all that we do in Reception. We support the children in thinking creatively, having their own ideas, and developing a sense of willingness to ‘have a go’. Through play and exploration the children are encouraged to develop skills in determination, concentration and a good attitude to learning.

We are also developing our thinking skills by using ‘Thinking Hats’ and encourage the children to think about their own thought processes.

We provide a balance between adult-led and child initiated experiences. Opportunities are carefully planned for children to be supported through play and exploration opportunities, adult guided focus sessions and short carpet lessons.

Although the curriculum remains very play based, the balance shifts gradually through the Reception year towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning in Year 1.

Maths is taught through Mathematics Mastery, which develops skills in problem solving and reasoning, also building on from children’s learning of early mathematical concepts. The sessions are practical and uses a variety of engaging resources.eyfs 1

Literacy (reading and writing) is taught through a range of texts by a collection of different authors. We also follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme for the teaching of phonics.

The children have the opportunity for outdoor learning on a daily basis in our outdoor area. The area is fully resourced for children to support their learning in all areas across the curriculum and has activities set up to support child and adult-led learning. The environment and activities inside and outside are carefully planned to promote learning, so while it may look as though the children are ‘just playing’, actually they are learning all the time.

eyfs 5We foster and promote functional independence at every opportunity and the children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning. The classrooms and outdoor space are arranged so that the resources are self-select. This enables the children to extend their learning at their own pace. Teaching and learning is also organised to follow the children’s interests enabling he children to be actively engaged in their development.

An important part of teaching in Reception and the EYFS is through adult interactions. Adults observe the children closely as they play, and join in sensitively to support them and move their learning on, extending their language and thinking, and helping to develop their skills.

Our aim is that the children develop into active, independent and confident learners, leaving Reception ready for the learning in Year 1.

Information about what your child should be doing at this age can be found within the document ‘What to expect when’ - you can download it from:


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