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Early Years Foundation Stage

Making learning fun!

At St Nicolas and St Mary School, we strongly believe that for children to engage in their learning it has to be fun, creative, interactive and most importantly be based upon each child's individual interests. Together, we want all children to develop a love for learning in a safe and caring environment. We want to work closely with all families and bring the children into a nurturing school environment.

Nursery and reception children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follow the EYFS curriculum.  Please request a copy of our policy for more information about the EYFS curriculum and assessment. A notice board outside the nursery may inform parents/carers about the key learning or topic for the week

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage? 

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and Early Years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. 

This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born and up until the age of 5, their Early Years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure and support their development, care and learning needs. 

Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. 

What is the EYFS Framework – why do we have one? 

The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS and was developed with a number of Early Years experts and parents. 

In 2020, the framework was revised to make it clearer and easier to use, with more focus on the things that matter most. This new framework also has a greater emphasis on your role in helping your child develop. 


What is phonics?

Words are broken down into the sounds they’re made up from and then these sounds are ‘blended’ together to make the word. For example, with ‘dog’, children learn the sounds the letters d,o, and g make separately first and then how they blend to say ‘dog’.

How will phonics be taught in Reception? 

Here at St Nicolas and St Mary's, we use Read Write Inc alongside the children in Key Stage 1 and 2  to get the children off to a flying start with their phonics.

The 44 main letters sounds are taught in a specific order to help begin building words as early as possible. Read Write Inc teaches the  skills needed for reading and writing which are: 

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions.
  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).

Learning Journals

Children are observed and assessed throughout their time in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  The findings of such observations are used to plan further activities and are recorded in learning journals. Each child is assigned a key person when they start at Little Fishes Nursery.  The key person will observe your child within the setting and plan the next steps for your child, taking their current interests into account.  This plan will be shared with you at a parent meeting arranged by your key person.

The EYFS uses Tapestry which allows us to interactively share observations with parents/carers via email and parents/carers can reply.

Parent Information

Find out how you can be more involved in your child’s schooling, deal with difficult situations and much more:  or try Parentline 0808 800 2222.

Additional information for parents & carers with children in the EYFS

In line with the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation (2012), the school is required to provide the following information to parents with children in the Early Years Foundation Stage:

  • How the EYFS is delivered including the range and type of activities and experiences provided for children, the daily routines and how parents and carers can share learning at home – Our EYFS policy outlines how the EYFS is delivered in the nursery and reception classes. Our induction and information meetings, class newsletters and school newsletters provide further details.   More information about the EYFS can be found at  and searching for “EYFS”.
  • How children with special educational needs and disabilities are supported – the school has an Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, an Assistant SENDCO (Special Educational Needs & Disability Coordinator) and Nursery INCO (Inclusion Coordinator), who can be contacted via the school office to discuss how children with SEND can be supported in school.  Further information can be found in the school prospectus and our SEND local offer and information.
  • Food and Drinks provided for children – please see the “Drinks, Snacks, Breakfast and Lunch” section on our website. 
  • Details of the school’s policies and procedures – all policies are available on request from the school office.
  • Uncollected children policy – see Coming to School and Home Time, page 8.
  • Missing child policy – see Policies and Documents, page 12.
  • Staffing including key workers – each child in the EYFS will have a key worker and parents will be told their name.  

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