Early Years Foundation Stage



The Early Years team at Redhill Primary Academy recognise that each pupil is an individual; that all pupils are creative; that all pupils need to succeed. We believe learning is maximised when it takes place in an environment enriched with support, encouragement, and assistance. We celebrate the pursuit of lifelong learning, developing the whole child and are committed to nurturing high self-esteem and respect for others. We are ambitious for all and believe that everyone can learn, become better thinkers and independent learners by asking questions, solving problems and make thoughtful decisions.

At Redhill Primary Academy, we adhere to the four overarching principles that shape our practice within Early Years settings. These are central to us creating a Foundation Stage that starts with the pupil, supports, and develops the role of parents, offers a high-quality environment, and provides pupils with exciting contexts for their learning. To ensure pupils make outstanding progress in, it is our intent to take into consideration their starting points and needs of our pupils as they begin their learning journey. Every pupil has access to a broad, balanced, and adapted curriculum which prepares them for now, for the future in terms of opportunities and experiences in Key Stage 1 and beyond. We plan and provide opportunities to ensure children are able to build upon their prior knowledge, explicitly teaching key substantive and disciplinary knowledge through carefully planned activities. Through the continuous provision children are able to practice and apply their new knowledge through play.   

Our four overarching principles – from the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage:

1.Every pupil is a unique pupil, who is consistently learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.

2.Pupils learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

3.Pupils learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who consider their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time; and pupils benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

4.Pupils develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.


The core of our EYFS curriculum is the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is supported by Essential Letters and Sounds, Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (2022), Development Matters, Birth to 5 Matters and the Seven Features of Effective Practice.

The curriculum has been coherently sequenced in a logical progression to ensure that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. This enables our pupils to know more and remember more, ready for future learning in Reception, Key Stage 1 and beyond. End points are identified across all seven areas of learning in the EYFS progression document.

We cover the seven areas of learning to ensure that pupils experience a curriculum that is broad and ambitious, that develops their vocabulary and prepares them for their next stage of learning. Our school’s approach to teaching early reading and synthetic phonics is systematic and ensures that pupils learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception.

Nursery and Reception have curriculum maps that outline the seven key areas of learning. This ensures that adequate amount of time and coverage is allocated to each key area.

Medium term planning supports teachers to plan a broad, balanced and meaningful curriculum that enables pupils to build on previous learning and have opportunities to master new concepts whilst providing the flexibility for pupils to follow their own interests and ideas.

Pupils learn through adult-directed and child-initiated activities. The timetable is carefully structured so that children have rigorous directed teaching in literacy, maths and phonics everyday with regular circle time sessions to focus on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). These sessions are followed by group work where children work with a member of staff to develop their ambitious 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.

Children are provided with plenty of time to engage in ‘exploration’ throughout the variety of experiences carefully planned to engage and challenge them in the provision. The curriculum is planned for both inside and outside the classroom, and equal importance is given to learning in both areas. The curriculum offer and environment is crafted to allow children opportunity to revisit and embed knowledge, to develop an automaticity and fluency of key knowledge and skills. Cross-curricular design allows for further opportunities for children to practice and apply their learning in new contexts.

Pupils acquire new substantive and disciplinary knowledge, and demonstrate their understanding through the seven areas of the EYFS curriculum:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

For some areas of learning, knowledge must be taught in a particular order; it is hierarchical. Both phonics and mathematics contain concepts that require one component being taught before the next and need to be taught in a systematic way. All staff are experts in teaching systematic, synthetic phonics and ensure that pupils practice their reading from books that match their phonics knowledge. Opportunities to develop mathematical skills are carefully planned using concrete resources and build on prior learning and real-life experiences across a theme and the year. We want our pupils to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real-life experiences.

The Reception baseline assessment will be carried out within the first six weeks of the academic year and is an activity-based assessment of pupils’ starting point in language, communication and literacy and mathematics. Throughout the Nursery and Reception years as part of the learning and teaching process, pupils will be assessed in relation to their progress towards their stage of development and the Early Learning Goals. These judgements are made based on accumulative observations and in-depth knowledge of the pupils acquired through ongoing assessment. These ongoing assessments are used to inform planning and next steps in teaching and learning for all pupils throughout the year. End of year assessments are finalised during the summer term, summarising each pupil’s development at that point against the Early Learning Goals.

Talk Boost:

Talk Boost is a research-based approach to promoting and developing communication skills for children. It has targeted interventions for children who need help with talking and understanding words to boost their language skills to narrow the gap between them and their peers.

Ongoing Observation:
All ongoing observations are used in a responsive way to seamlessly inform planning and identify children’s next steps. This formative assessment does not involve prolonged periods of time away from the children and excessive paperwork. Practitioners draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgements through discussions with other practitioners, photographs and physical examples such as a child’s drawing / making. Observations are kept in their learning journeys, floor books and as wow moments to be shared with parents and carers.

The EYFS curriculum is centred around the needs of the children, inclusive of disadvantaged children and those with SEND


The impact of our curriculum:

  • Pupils develop detailed knowledge and skills across the 7 areas of learning in an age-appropriate way.
  • Pupils use their knowledge of phonics to read accurately and with increasing speed and fluency.
  • Pupils are ready for the next stage of education.
  • Pupils have the personal, physical, and social skills they need to succeed in the next stage of their education.
  • Pupils enjoy, listen attentively, and respond with comprehension to familiar stories, rhymes and songs that are appropriate to their age and stage of development.
  • Pupils develop their vocabulary and understanding of language across the 7 areas of learning.
  • Pupils demonstrate their positive attitudes to learning through high levels of curiosity, concentration, and enjoyment.
  • Pupils listen intently and respond positively to adults and each other.
  • Pupils develop their resilience to setbacks and take pride in their achievements.
  • Pupils begin to manage their own feelings and behaviour, understanding how these have an impact on others.
  • Pupils develop a sense of right from wrong.
  • Pupils have successful transition into Reception and Year 1.
Our curriculum and its delivery ensure that children make good progress. Children in our early years, on average, arrive with much lower starting points than national. During their time in our EYFS, children make rapid progress so that we meet the national expectation for GLD at the end of the year. Pupils also make good progress toward their age-related expectations before transitioning into Year One. We believe that this is due to our high standards; the enriched opportunities for children to apply their disciplinary knowledge through play-based activities; and the rigour of teaching and assessment the children have as they move through the early years. Children at Redhill Primary Academy leave the EYFS having experienced a rich diet of balanced learning experiences and this is undoubtedly the best way to develop happy, knowledgeable and curious children

The Stepping Stones to School - Readiness for school - See The Steps