Early Years Foundation Stage

The children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework in their first year at Ely St John's Primary. This is a skills based curriculum and teachers plan for progression in seven areas of Learning and Development, working towards achieving the Early Learning Goals. The framework is a continuation of the curriculum followed by nurseries and pre-schools. It is a holistic approach to learning and places a strong emphasis on the individual child.

Play and exploration is fundamental to learning in our EYFS classes. Children will learn through first-hand experiences; by actively ‘doing’ as well as through scaffolding and modelling by adults. We will provide them with sufficient space, both indoors and outdoors, time and choice of resources. Each week, teachers plan and prepare activities linked to children’s next steps and also give opportunities for the children to initiate their own learning. Through this, the children are able to develop the characteristics of effective learning: playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically.

We have a long term plan of skills and knowledge to teach each term, ensuring progression in all areas of learning. This can be viewed below. The resources and activities that we use in the classroom are planned through discussion with the children, allowing us to take into account their current interests, learning styles and stages of development. We find that this approach results in high levels of engagement which supports progress in learning. We encourage children to explore and make mistakes as part of the learning process.


The following are the seven Areas of Learning and Development:
Prime Areas
  1. Communication and Language Development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

  2. Physical Development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

  3. Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Specific Areas
  1. Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

  2. Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

  3. Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

  4. Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.