The Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Unit at Renishaw Primary School we aim to teach children to be happy, confident, well-rounded individuals with a love for learning.  We believe in providing all children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on each individual’s wants, needs and interests.

Learning through play is at the centre of all we do and children will always have the opportunity to play in thought provoking and exciting indoor and outdoor environments. Much of the provision is inspired by the ‘Curiosity Approach’; a philosophy based on ‘curiosity’ being the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out.

Learning should be fun, engaging and suitably challenging. A great deal of thought and hard work has gone into making the indoor and outdoor areas places that the children will be excited by. We believe that they offer children the opportunity to develop their thinking and problem solving skills.

Adults provide high quality interactions and they are role models for learning. The flow of children between nursery and reception age also encourages children to teach one another new skills and share experiences. Children are fantastic teachers! -they present and discuss their learning at a level other child understand and associate with.

We are committed to providing the best possible start to their school life, teaching them skills and giving them experiences which will ensure their well-being now and success in the future.

What do we teach in the Early Years?

The Early Years Framework

As Early Years practitioners we use this document to support us in observing, assessing and planning for your children.

There are 3 Prime areas of Learning and Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Physical Development

Communication and Language

The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.

In addition to these areas we have 4 Specific Areas of Learning



Understanding the World

Expressive Art and Design

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning.

When you look at your child’s observations on Tapestry you will also see our reflections on the Characteristics of Effective Learning for that episode of exploration.

‘The Unique Child reaches out to relate to people and things through the Characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all areas of learning.’

 • playing and exploring

 • active learning

• creating and thinking critically


In Phonics, we share teaching across Nursery, Reception and KS1. This enables children to progress through each phase at their own pace. Class teachers are responsible for assessing children’s phonics knowledge and will decide if they are ready to move onto the next phase. In Reception we are currently working from Phase 1 to Phase 3.

Phonics is taught each morning and will encourage children to segment and blend sounds in words to help them build confidence in reading. We read with children on a daily basis as early reading is extremely important. Reading books and records will be sent home with children each day and we encourage parents to read with children at home as much as possible to support their learning and development.

If we feel that a child is ready for a new book, we will change it on the day that they read. In some cases, we may decide that a child needs more time to practice reading a book and will send it home again.

Our PE days are as follows:

Nursery- Wednesday and Thursday  (dependant upon your child’s hours in the setting)

Reception- Thursday

In light of current Covid related guidance please can children come to school in their PE clothes on these days.

PE Kit consists of a white t-shirt, navy jumper/hoody, navy or black jogging bottoms/leggings and trainers.

Each day we have a morning snack. We provide a variety of different fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy eating. You may bring in your own healthy snack if you wish.

Forest School

Forest School will take place on a Friday.

Please can children be dressed appropriately -they will be outside for extended periods of time so warm clothes and waterproofs (weather appropriate) are essential. There is a limited stock of wellington boots and waterproof all-in-ones in the unit. If your child has these items available it would be a great help to have them on their coat peg in a named plastic bag.

What is Forest School?

Forest Schools are hugely popular with Early Years providers. They develop and nurture a love of nature and the outdoors in young children.

Children will spend a great deal of time exploring the fantastic outdoor space we have available at Renishaw Primary School. They might be looking at frogs in the pond, painting with sticks, making a crown of autumn leaves and acorns, planting bulbs for the Spring, working together to decide how to make apple juice out of a basket of apples. The possibilities are endless! Children can also explore and play indoors-still maintaining that link with nature and the outdoor environment through carefully planned resources, activities and play opportunities.

Making owl nests.
Exploring apples.
Painting clay mushrooms.
Can we get the juice out of apples and oranges?
We work together in Forest School.
Using our senses to explore.
The children made fairy doors and a fairy circle to keep the fairies safe from the ‘Storm Fairies’.


We use Tapestry which is a private online journal to track children’s learning and achievements. You should have received an email to activate your account if you have not done so already. From here you will be able to access published observations of your child and follow their learning journey. Please leave a like and comment once you have seen your child’s observations!

If you have any queries regarding Tapestry, please come and speak to a member of staff.

In the early years we encourage outdoor play in most weather conditions. As winter approaches we do ask that every child brings a coat to school. We would also encourage children to bring in additional items such as hats, scarves, gloves and wellies.