Early Years

Early Years Foundation Stage



What is the intent of the Early Years Foundation Stage at Vine Tree Primary School?

At Vine Tree Primary School,  we place great value on the development of children as individuals and providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in Key Stage One and beyond. Our aim in the EYFS is to build strong foundations rooted in academic success as well as moral and spiritual development, so that ultimately our pupils can be successful at university, go on to be active citizens of society and happy, curious life-long learners. 

Our curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior learning, both from previous settings and their experiences at home. We work in partnership with parents, carers and other settings to provide the best possible start at Vine Tree Primary School  ensuring each individual reaches
their full potential from their various starting points.. Children are given opportunities throughout their curriculum to be able to access learning through the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning – Play and Exploration, Active Learning and Creative and Critical Thinking.

We teach children how to listen, speak and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind. As such, we prioritise personal, social and emotional development and communication through our curriculum.  

Our enabling environment and warm, skillful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. We invest time and energy into helping pupils set and reflect on their own goals by aiming high and developing a love of reading, writing and number.  This is delivered through a Learning Challenge curriculum which maximises opportunities for meaningful cross-curricular links and learning experiences as well as promoting the unique child by offering extended periods of play and sustained thinking following children’s interests and ideas.  We value imagination and creativity and seek to create a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning through a vibrant continuous indoor and outdoor provision, alongside trips and visits .

By the end of the Reception year, our intent is to ensure that all children make at least good progress from their starting points are equipped with the skills and knowledge to have a smooth transition into Year 1.

As a whole school, we embed our core values and principles into our learning which we expect all children to demonstrate:





Treated Fairly


How do we achieve what we set out to? 

  • We meet the welfare requirements laid down in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We actively safeguard and promote the welfare of all of our children. 
  • We plan to develop learning across the prime and specific areas of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. 
  • We carefully plan sequences of activities that provide meaningful learning experiences, developing each child’s characteristics of effective learning. These are based around an overarching theme in line with the school curriculum, whilst also appealing to our children’s interests. 
  • We provide high quality interactions with adults that demonstrate and impact on the progress of all children.
  • Staff use high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding, address misconceptions and to facilitate next steps in learning. 
  • Staff act as role models to the children for children to develop their own speaking and listening skills. 
  • Accurate assessment is used, through small group work and observations recorded on Learning Book. These are used to inform the next steps of learning and meet individual needs. Judgements are continually moderated as a team. 
  • We develop an engaging environment that is set up so that children can access all areas of learning both inside and outside of the classroom.  
  • We provide challenges for child-initiated activities that enhance children’s learning and impact on progress. 
  • Children are immersed in a language rich environment. 
  • Weekly home learning opportunities allowing parents to build on their child’s school experiences, at home are provided. 
  • We respond to the needs and interests of the children through mini-topics and enhancements to the learning environment.  
  • Educational visits are organised to provide rich, first-hand experiences to all children. 
  • Literacy is planned using ‘Steps to Read’ from Literacy Counts. Literacy opportunities are also promoted in all areas of our continuous provision where applicable.  Our Literacy planning is heavily story based with texts chosen for their level of challenge and quality language. The use of age appropriate stories allows us to create ‘hook’ lessons which further promote our children’s enjoyment, willingness and pleasure for reading.  
  • Phonics is taught daily using ‘Read, Write, Inc. Children are grouped in fluid groups to meet their current needs and provide a necessary level of challenge. 
  • Maths is taught based on an approach to develop mathematical reasoning and fluency designed to give children a secure foundation of mathematical concepts ready for their transition into Year 1.  Our maths curriculum has been developed using ‘First for Maths’.  
  • Development matters is used as a guide for planning and assessment alongside the Early Learning Goals. 
  • Assessment judgements are made from accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the children through one to one and small group tasks. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all children throughout the year.   


What is the impact of our EYFS curriculum?  

  • As a result of our EYFS curriculum the children of Vine Tree are motivated to learn, confident and resilient.   
  • The children acquire knowledge about the wider world and gain first hand experiences to create memories and make links with previous learning and as a basis for future learning
  • The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally. We measure the percentage of pupils achieving age related
    expectations throughout the academic year, put supportive interventions in place if and when needed. Class teachers use observations to make formative assessments which inform future planning and ensure that all children build on their current knowledge and skills at a good pace.
  • The impact of our curriculum will also be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and
    attitudes which will make them lifelong learners and valuable future citizens. We endeavour for pupils to be Key Stage 1 ready and have our school values embedded by the time they leave reception, preparing them for their future.

EYFS learning and development requirements  

Our curriculum encompasses seven areas of learning and development. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. 
Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships, and thriving. 

These are called the prime areas:  

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

Four areas help children to strengthen and apply the prime areas. 
These are called the specific areas: 

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

Throughout their time in the Reception Year our children partake in an ambitious curriculum which is designed in a sequential way to ensure progress towards the end of reception goals. These goals are defined as Early Learning Goals (ELGs).

Our curriculum incorporates learning through play, learning by adults modelling, by observing each other and through guided learning and direct teaching. It is also important to highlight that our plans are flexible to allow us to respond quickly to children’s new interests and/or needs. 
Weaving throughout the EYFS curriculum are three Characteristics of Effective Learning. 

  • playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’  
  • active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements  
  • creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things 

These elements underpin how we reflect on each child’s development and adjust our practice accordingly. Supporting children in their individual learning behaviour and observing the context of children’s play is essential. 

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