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St Paul's C of E

Primary School

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Early Years

Welcome to St Paul's C of E Primary School Early Years Foundation Stage  


At St Paul's we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum in Nursery and Reception. We have a highly skilled team consisting of early years teachers, a higher level teaching assistant, teaching assistants and a specialist in speech and language. All the team have a sound understanding of early child development and a great deal of experience working with this age group. Our dedicated team is managed by Mrs Halligan, our Early Years Foundation Stage Lead and Reception Teacher. 


 Nursery and Reception have been following the new EYFS Statutory Framework since September 2020.

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”  Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage.


This framework sets out the educational programmes which must shape the activities and experiences for all children from birth to five years old in order to provide the best foundations for children to thrive. In addition to this there is the Non-Statutory Curriculum Guidance "Development Matters" which supports the delivery of the Framework. A link to this document can be found below.


Learning and development

The framework includes seven areas of learning that are equally important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly important for sparking an enthusiasm for learning and forming relationships.

The Prime Areas of Learning:-
Communication and Language
Physical Development
Personal, Social and Emotional Development

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 Specific Areas of Learning:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design


You can look at these Areas of Learning in more detail by clicking on the "EYFS Curriculum Overview" at the bottom of this page. 


The Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning



In addition to addressing all seven Areas of Learning our curriculum is designed to promote the Characteristics of Effective Learning. These characteristics describe how the children will learn. These learning behaviours are particularly important in the EYFS because they build the foundations for children to be lifelong learners. The characteristics are:

  • Playing and Exploring - Engagement
  • Active Learning - Motivation
  • Creating and Thinking Critically - Thinking

Planning and Assessment

Children at St-Paul's acquire skills and knowledge through a range of exciting topics linked to their own interests throughout the year. Teachers carefully plan to match the individual, group and whole class needs, understanding that every child is a 'Unique Child'. In addition to activities planned by adults, children are offered plenty of opportunities to direct their own learning and staff are skilled at observing children and recognise opportunities to support and extend children's ideas. 


At the beginning of their Reception year, all children take part in the Reception Baseline Assessment.  Please see the information for parents document produced by the DFE  (Department for Education) below to explain the process.


At the end of the Reception Year children will be assessed for the EYFS Profile. Each of the seven areas will be further broken down into the following categories

Communication and Language

  • Listening, Attention and Understanding
  • Speaking

Personal, Social and Emotional

  • Self Regulation
  • Managing Self
  • Building Relationships

Physical Development

  • Gross Motor
  • Fine Motor


  • Comprehension
  • Word Reading
  • Writing


  • Number
  • Numerical Patterns

Understanding the World


Expressive Arts and Design

  • Past and Present
  • People, Culture and Communities
  • The Natural World
  • Creating with Materials
  • Being Imaginative and Expressive


Pupils are assessed against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals, indicating whether they are meeting expected levels of development, or if they are not yet reaching expected levels (“emerging”). The Profile reflects ongoing observations, practitioners’ knowledge and discussions with parents and carers.


At St Paul's C of E Primary School we offer a range of Parents' Workshops/Meetings throughout the year to allow parents and carers the opportunity to gain an insight into our practice during this important Key Stage of Learning and offer advice on how to support your child at home.  We also invite Reception Parents to join  'Learning with Parents' an online resource which allows us to set homework, (all practical in nature, needing only accessible resources found in your own homes) which supports your child with learning through their Reception year.  


To find out more information about the Early Years Foundation Stage please see the documents section at the bottom of the page.   You will also find links to information on starting school in the form of the Reception and Nursery Booklets.