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Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage

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.

At Nishkam Schools the Reception class lasts for one year and sets the standard for ensuring that all children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. The Reception classes promote learning and teaching to ensure children are ‘school ready’ giving them a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right solid foundations on which to build on through school and life.

EYFS settings in Nishkam schools provide:

  • Quality and consistency - Ensuring every child makes progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A secure foundation – Through planning based on the needs of the children and assessing and reviewing what has been learnt regularly.
  • Partnership working – A positive relationship with parents to support the development of the children.
  • Equality of opportunity – Ensuring all children are supported and included.

Four guiding principles shape practice in our early years’ settings. These are:

  1. Unique child – every child is unique who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured
  2. Positive relationships – children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships
  3. Enabling environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual needs and help them to build their learning over time.
  4. Learning and development – children learn and develop at different rates and ensuring the needs of those children with special educational needs and disabilities are met.

Our early years setting follows the curriculum as outlined in the 2021 EYFS Statutory Framework. The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

We believe that play is essential for children's development. Through indoor and outdoor play, children learn to concentrate, investigate, develop their imagination, enhance language skills and develop their personal, social and emotional skills. Play is natural and spontaneous and is carefully nurtured within the Reception setting. Adults skilfully interact with children in their play to further support, extend, consolidate the learning.

Developing a love of reading is essential in the EYFS years. In Nishkam schools making sure that children become engaged with reading from the beginning is therefore one of the most important ways to make a difference to their life chances whatever their socio-background. The children learn how to read using a synthetic systematic phonics programme Little Wandle whereby children are taught phonemes in a structured way and allowed time to consolidate previous learning. Children are then encouraged to read books that match their phonics ability.

In addition to reading, the EYFS settings have a language-rich environment in which adults talk with children throughout the day to develop their comprehension skills as well as enhancing their vocabulary. This would then support their ideas when they write.

The White Rose curriculum for maths is followed alongside the core objectives for EYFS mathematics. The maths mastery approach is also used alongside the objectives for Number and Shape, Space and Measures. Learners are given opportunities to problem solve, reason and engage in high quality mathematical talk within the continuous provision.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are central to planning experiences and opportunities in EYFS. Practitioners skilfully ensure playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically are developed through every strand of learning.

The curriculum is collaboratively planned and reviewed by EYFS practitioners. Termly moderation is carried out throughout the year to ensure teacher judgements are accurate and robust. Termly pupil progress allows for practitioners to discuss those children not on track on making the expected progress and plan to meet the needs of these pupils.

Assessment in reception is ongoing, every moment is an assessment opportunity to see what a child can and can’t do. At the start of the year the Reception Baseline Assessment is completed alongside school-based assessments and the Wellcomm Screening (focus on communication and language). In the final term of the year the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. It is here that teachers make a judgement on each child using the Early Learning Goals within the 7 areas of learning. This information is shared with Year 1 teachers to support the transition from reception to Year 1.

Useful links

Statutory Framework -

Birth to 5 matters -

Development Matters -