Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS statutory framework (2024) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. The EYFS is about what children learn, as well as how they learn. Effective practice is a mix of different approaches. Children learn through play, by adults modelling, by observing each other and through adult-guided learning.

At Creswell C of E Infant and Nursery school, in Foundation Stage 1 (Nursery) and Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) our curriculum is based on the EYFS Statutory Framework and Development Matters. The children follow a planned programme of learning experiences which support child development and ensure that children make good progress toward end of key stage 'learning goals' for the first stage of their education in 7 aspects of learning.

There are 3 Prime areas:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development

There are also 4 Specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

While planning and delivering activities across these 7 areas, we are also observing how children approach school life and we are supporting their development in the characteristics of effective learning:
Playing and Exploring
Active Learning
Creating and Thinking Critically 

At Creswell C of E Infant and Nursery school we use our knowledge and experience of the Early Years to craft a curriculum that is meaningful and relevant.

  • We pride ourselves on listening to children and those who care for them, and using this information to personalise each child's learning
  • We value the outdoor environment, and understand how important it is in the development of thinking and problem solving skills.
  • We provide a safe and nurturing environment where children learn through exploring and playing.  
  • We seek to instil a love of learning that builds on children's natural curiosity and enthusiasm for the world around them.
  • We aim to lay the foundations for school life by teaching key learning behaviours and core skills that are essential for future learning experiences. 

We ensure that the curriculum the children enjoy is a balance of child and teacher led activities, structured to build key personal and social development skills whilst making the most of children's starting points to extend their knowledge and skills.  We pack a lot in and have high expectations which is reflected in excellent progress and outcomes for pupils.


Children start in Foundation Stage 1 the term before they are 3 (September, January or April) and are offered 5 morning or 5 afternoon sessions.  They will remain in Foundation Stage 1 for between 3 and 5 full terms.  Children start full time education in Foundation Stage 2 the September before they are 5

A typical day/session in an Early Years classroom will include some whole class activities, and also time for children to work in small groups or individually, either with a teacher or teaching assistant, or independently.  Children have extended opportunities to choose their own learning pathways and explore the resources provided, both inside and outside.

Teachers organise the teaching opportunities around themes that allow the children to make links in their learning.  Themes are enhanced on a weekly basis based on children's interests and local / national context.  Please read the planning documents below to see what the children are learning about each term.   
In The Moment Planning
We take an in the moment planning approach to weekly planning with weekly focus children, observing, assessing, planning and reviewing in the moment.  Parent/carer feedback is invited half termly as an integral part of this process. You can find more information about in the moment planning below.
Learning Journey
Not all children arrive at school with the same experiences, and staff assess children to see what they already know and what they need to learn next.  They record their learning on a learning journey record throughout the term.  A copy of this can be seen below. Staff and parents/carers share photograph and video observations on ClassDojo documenting this journey.  Progress against end of term checkpoints and next steps are shared with parents / carers termly.