The Early Years Foundation Stage

The EYFS Reform 2021 

In September 2021, there will be some changes to the EYFS curriculum. All Early Years providers must follow the new framework. Here is a snapshot for you of the reforms that are taking place. Please click here 

Here is a more detailed powerpoint of the EYFS reforms and how this will look like in the Early Years Setting  – please click here

EYFS Curriculum Intent

At Renishaw Primary we understand that purposeful play is a very important part of the EYFS curriculum and is a key way in which children learn with enjoyment and challenge. By providing a variety of learning experiences, we aim to help all children develop a positive attitude towards their learning within a caring environment. We recognise that parents are children’s first educators and we therefore seek to develop an effective partnership between home and school.

We believe that all children deserve an education rich in wonder and memorable experiences that allows children’s natural creativity and curiosity to flourish, alongside the purposeful acquisition of knowledge and skills. We believe that an education that does all of this gives children the best chance to become well-rounded, happy individuals, ready to succeed in an ever-changing world. Although we may be a small school, we recognise that our children have varied life experiences before they join us in EYFS. We aim to provide rich, creative learning experiences that reflect the needs and interests of our children.

 We fully believe that every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured; 

  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships; 
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and 
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

The Development Matters document along with the Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals set out end of reception year expectations for children by the end of the Foundation Stage. Renishaw Primary recognises the crucial role that Early Year’s education has to play in providing firm foundations upon which the rest of a child’s education is successfully based. It is our intention to provide a broadly enriched, rounded and stimulating learning environment where children can work with adults and peers in a climate of mutual respect, where our children immediately learn how to *Respect, Pride, Success*.


We keep parents informed regularly and meet regularly with parents and carers to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed.  This includes using , Workshops, Class Dojo and parent consultations.

We have a curriculum that is child-centered and that is based upon wow experiences and topics which engage the children.  We encourage active learning to ensure the children are motivated and interested.  We take time to get to know children’s interests and their likes to support learning.  

All areas of the EYFS curriculum are followed and planned for to ensure there is a broad, balanced and progressive learning environment and curriculum.  The children will learn new skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate understanding through the seven areas in the EYFS curriculum: Our curriculum involves activities and experiences for children, as follows:

    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. 

•    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. 

•    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. 

•    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. 

•    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. 

•    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. 

•    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.

These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Planning for this curriculum is designed to be flexible so that a child’s unique needs and interests are supported.

Daily guided activities are set up and planned that cover different areas of the EYFS curriculum and allow children to develop their next steps in learning.  Areas of need and next steps are identified for all children to ensure good progress is made.  There are also a range of stimulating and engaging activities which the children can access independently and a variety of opportunities for child-initiated play.  In planning and guiding children’s activities we reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in our practice.

 We ensure activities support the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning to ensure learning takes place. These are:

• 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. 

 Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.  Our outdoor area is used all year round and in most weather conditions.

Staff in the EYFS make regular observations of the children’s learning to ensure their next steps are met. These are collected in each child’s Learning Journey.  We regularly assess where the children are using the Development Matters and then ensure our planning, adult interaction and learning environment support children to reach their next steps.


  • We strive to ensure that our children’s progress across the EYFS curriculum is good from their varied starting points. We also strive for children to reach the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and to be in line or above National expectations.
  • Evidence in children’s Learning Journeys support all areas of the EYFS curriculum.
  • 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.
  • Summative assessment compares children’s attainment to age related expectations using Development Matters to support us.  This is tracked to ensure rates of progress are at least good for all children, including vulnerable groups such as those with SEND or who are disadvantaged.
  • Assessment judgements are moderated both in school and externally with local schools. Experienced staff undertake moderator training through the LA which helps validate school judgements.

The Best for Every Child

From our first contact with parents/carers and children, we will do our upmost to gain as much information as possible about the child’s current needs, background and interests in order for a child to start in our setting with ease. Home visits, questionnaires and stay and play sessions help us quickly find a starting point to prepare and welcome every child and their families into our setting. Transitions are planned with upmost care to ensure a seamless move into their next group or start to our school.

The children are at the centre of all decisions made in our foundation stage. We want to identify any barrier to learning as soon as possible to ensure no child is left behind. They all deserve an equal chance to success, and we will do what we can to support them.

High Quality Care

We will provide an environment which is welcoming, a place that adults and children feel at home. We aim to provide spaces that promote curiosity and an irresistible temptation to explore and play.

Staff are warm, caring and loving. We care for each and every child with consideration of any individual needs. We ensure we respond to their needs in a way which is appropriate to their age and stage in development.

We will interact with each child in a way that works best for them.

Our Pedagogy

Play is at the centre of our teaching approach. We know that children learn most effectively through their play and interests. All staff use their knowledge of child development in order to scaffold learning whilst engaged in child-initiated play. Resources, activities and experiences will be scaffolded differently by the adults, according to the child’s stage of development.  Our learning environment is planned for as a team, considering our observations of the children. We use children’s interests and individual needs to plan and adapt different areas of the classroom and the resources available. We ensure all areas look inviting, with learning provocations. We reflect on our teaching and interactions daily to ensure we provide what is best for each individual child, using the characteristics of effective learning and development matters as a guide to assess and plan individual next steps, this could be in the moment with the child or as a team to ensure the provision is right for the children.

Children using creative skills with construction. They are also communicating, problem solving and collaborating.
Children are encouraged to be as independent as possible at an early age. They develop skills like using scissors, holding mark making tools effectively, selecting colours and using a wide range of creative media.
Exploring the outdoor area
We are very fortunate at Renishaw Primary School and have large grounds for the children to play in.
Children’s creativity is encouraged, nurtured and celebrated.

Our Curriculum

We have planned our curriculum based on the skills, knowledge and experiences children at Renishaw Primary School need to continue their educational journey through to year 6. We will provide children with the correct starting points to build upon and support their future learning. 

With Communication and language at the heart of our curriculum. Speech, language and vocabulary are woven through every aspect and area in our curriculum. We will cover the 7 educational programmes taken from the statutory guidance.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Communication and Language

Physical Development



Understanding the World

Expressive Art and Design


Every interaction with a child can be an opportunity for assessment. Assessment does not always need to be recorded. Through excellent relationships with the children, we trust our own knowledge of their individual next steps and act upon what we have observed immediately. Our assessment will be “in the moment” as much as possible, to prevent any delay in learning, due to loss of child’s interest. Summative assessments in relation to key skills will be done each term to ensure children are making progress.

Self-regulation and Executive Function

We want the children at Renishaw to develop excellent executive function and self-regulatory skills. These skills are crucial for learning and development. They also enable positive behaviour and allow us to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families.

Working memory -governs our ability to retain and manipulate distinct pieces of information over short periods of time.

Mental flexibility -helps us to sustain or shift attention in response to different demands or to apply different rules in different settings.

Self-control -enables us to set priorities and resist impulsive actions or responses.

We will support children to establish routines, we will model social behaviour, create and maintain supportive, reliable relationships. We will support children to exercise their developing skills through activities that foster creative play and social connection, teach them how to cope with stress, involve vigorous exercise, and over time, provide opportunities for directing their own actions with decreasing adult supervision.

Partnerships with Parents

We will share and support parents in understanding our approach to teaching and learning in the EYFS, in order to support their children at home. We share relevant assessments with parents as often as necessary to ensure learning can be continued at home. Using online communication methods such as dojo will help us keep communication open and as often as needed. We will always have an open door policy to parents and we want them to feel as welcome as the children.  We will support parents in understanding their child’s next steps by providing ideas and activities to do at home.

Our PE days are as follows:

Nursery- Tuesday 

Reception- Thursday

Please can Reception 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 takes 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.

Digging in the garden
Exploring apples.
Apple printing
We develop an awareness of the changing seasons.
Using our senses to explore.
The children made fairy doors and a fairy circle to keep the fairies safe from the ‘Storm Fairies’.

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.