Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)

Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (better known as EYFS) start their school life by continuing to work through the stages of learning set out in Development Matters.  The Department for Education (DfE) has published Development Matters, new non-statutory curriculum guidance which supports the delivery of the revised early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework. The EYFS framework sets the standards to make sure that children aged from birth to 5 learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

There are 7 areas of learning and development that are taught and developed across the Early Years.

The 3 prime areas are :

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

The 4 specific areas are:

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


Our EYFS classroom and outside space have all the facilities that this age group require. The Early Years form the building blocks for all future teaching and learning. 

Our Early Years Vision at Rockcliffe CE Primary School 

In Early Years, at Rockcliffe CE Primary School, we are focused on children being happy, confident, independent and well-rounded individuals with a love for learning through promoting high levels of well-being and involvement. We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage provides the essential building blocks for children to become successful learners and adults of the future. It is our aim for each child to reach their full potential and make at least expected progress from their various starting points on entry to Rockcliffe CE EYFS.

Our curriculum is based on Development Matters and is underpinned by a Christian ethos with the core values of love, trust, tolerance, respect and forgiveness which helps us to create a true sense of community. We follow White Rose for Maths, Read Write Inc for the teaching of phonics and use Talk through Stories and Literacy Shed to develop our skills in English.

We strongly believe in the valuable principle of learning through play because, for the children, this is the most meaningful way in which they learn. We provide several open-ended learning experiences to broaden the children’s learning which are a balance of adult led input and enhancements in the provision, whilst at the same time allowing for children to follow their own interests and lead their own learning.

The structure of the day allows for extended periods of uninterrupted play, allowing the children to nurture a curiosity for learning, develop resilience, foster teamwork, collaboration and solve problems.

Our Early Years unit is an engaging, stimulating, consistent and enabling environment with clearly defined areas of provision which children can access independently. They develop their decision-making abilities, and it allows them autonomy by directing their own learning.

In Early Years we foster a love of the outdoors and appreciation of the natural world, and make regular use of the school grounds, outdoor environment, and local area. We aim for the children to be curious about the world around them, participating in active learning and learn from quality first hand experiences.

We believe that strong partnerships between home and school are crucial in supporting our children to grow and develop. Our parents are supportive and are engaged in their children’s learning, interacting daily with the school staff through face-to-face interactions, school events and engaging with their children’s experiences and learning through the online Tapestry journal.

The adults in early years know the children well and make careful observations which feed into the provision to allow children to follow their interests and lead their own learning. High quality interactions in the moment allow children to develop their thinking, enhance their communication and problem solve.