Early Years Foundation Stage

Intent: Why do we teach what we teach?

At Heyford Park School we value developing children as individuals. We aim to support them in acquiring the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to prepare them for the challenges in their future school journey. Our aim in the EYFS is to inspire passionate learners, who are resilient and well regulated so ultimately they can be successful in their school life, be happy, curious and life-long learners.

Through our curriculum we ensure that our children gain the knowledge, skills and understanding they require for this success. Through play-based, active learning in our Nursery and Reception Year we provide each child with a range of engaging opportunities to stimulate their creativity and support their development. We do this by reflecting on the different rates at which children are developing and how they learn, as every child is different. 

We observe, reflect and review by focusing on how children: 

  • Play and explore 

  • Actively learn 

  • Create and think critically 

As children begin their journey in our nursery they will initially spend time learning how to listen, speak and meet the high expectations for behaviour by working together and being kind. Our enabling environment and warm, skilful adult interactions support the children as they begin to link learning to their play and exploration. As the pupils move into Reception, 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. We want our children to be excited and engaged in their learning. Our curriculum therefore has flexibility to match provision with the children’s interests and specific needs. 

Implementation: How do we teach what we teach?

In EYFS pupils learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult-directed activities. Both play an important role in our children’s education. Through effective use of planning the indoor and outdoor environments, we ensure that the seven areas of learning are considered so that children can independently access their learning, whilst having the adult available to scaffold through questioning, and a good knowledge of children’s development. The day is structured so that children have opportunities for both child-initiated activities and regular directed teaching in English, maths and phonics every day. In these sessions children work with a member of staff to develop their individual targets. This focused group time means the teacher can systematically check for understanding, identify and respond to misconceptions quickly and provide real-time verbal feedback which results in a strong impact on the acquisition of new learning. 


We aim for the Maths curriculum to provide children with an in-depth learning experience that will give them a solid understanding of early number, spatial reasoning and pattern. We provide children with a wide variety of opportunities to engage with the cardinality, comparison and composition of numbers to 10, as well as providing opportunities for them to count to 20 and beyond.


We ensure that our children develop a life-long love of reading that includes language, comprehension and word reading. Children are read and sung to regularly and exposed to a range of high quality and aspirational texts. This then leads to skilled word reading where children are given the skills in phonics sessions and the environment to decode words and recognise print.


Writing starts with children articulating their own ideas from adult stimulus, questioning and high quality texts which can then be developed through role play and discussions. Children will then be taught the skills to apply their phonetic understanding to their transcriptions, which involves decoding and forming letters. The environment encourages all children, regardless of interests and gender, to want to write. We channel the children’s interests to mark make and write independently, in a range of scenarios such as notes, letters and stories.

Our curriculum 

Through adult questioning and commentary, children’s communication and language is developed and built upon effectively. Our language rich environments and use of high quality texts encourage children to learn new vocabulary, ask questions and articulate their ideas and thoughts in well-formed sentences.

Personal Social and Emotional Development is supported and the children manage their emotions, develop a positive sense of self and have the confidence to reach their own goals. Teachers implement the Jigsaw scheme which explores making good friendships and resolving conflicts effectively.

The environment and curriculum overviews ensure that children can develop their strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through targeting fine and gross motor skills. Both the classroom and outdoor area ensure that children maintain an active and healthy lifestyle whilst they are at school. Teachers follow Get Set PE that work on these vital skills throughout the children’s time in reception.

Impact: How do we know what pupils have learnt and how well they have learnt it?

Our curriculum needs to meet the needs of our children, including our disadvantaged pupils and those with SEND, so we spend time looking at and evaluating how children are learning. This is achieved through talking to children, looking at their work, observing their learning experiences and analysing data and progress by year group, class, groups and individuals. At the beginning of the reception year children will complete a baseline assessment to identify and record children’s starting points. This information is then added to Target Tracker which enables us to measure our starting points against a national data set. We use this information to plan learning experiences and next steps so that knowledge and skills are built cumulatively. During each assessment point teachers update the progress children have made onto Target Tracker which allows us to assess the impact of teaching and evaluate whether adaptions need to be made. Evidence of children’s learning is also added onto our online learning journal, called Tapestry. This programme allows staff to record observations on the children’s learning and development as assessments. As we believe in working closely with parents, this programme is open for parents to access. Parents and carers will be able to like, comment and share observations from home on to their child’s learning journal, which staff will be able to see and share with the children. At the end of the Reception year we aim for children to have made the expected progress so that they meet the national expectation for GLD (Good Level of Development) and are ready for Key Stage One.

Useful links:https://oxfordshire.50thingstodo.org/app/os#!/welcome

What-to-expect-in-the-EYFS-complete-FINAL-16.09-compressed.pdf (dev-foundation-years.pantheonsite.io)


Page Downloads Date  
DfE Development Matters Report Part 1 16th Mar 2022 Download
DfE Development Matters Report Part 2 16th Mar 2022 Download
DfE Development Matters Report Part 3 16th Mar 2022 Download
EYFS Curriculum over view 22nd Apr 2022 Download
Termly Topic Overview Reception Term 2 24th Oct 2022 Download
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