Early Years Foundation Stage


At Ecclesfield Primary School we aim to raise standards, improve outcomes and support each pupil’s welfare, learning and developmental needs in the EYFS by:

  • Providing a broad and balanced curriculum which is in line with the statutory framework for the EYFS
  • Recognising that all pupils are unique and special, understanding that all pupils have different needs, their own learning style and develop at different rates
  • Providing a safe, secure and caring environment that enables and develops learning, including outdoor learning
  • Encouraging pupils’ independence and decision-making skills
  • Raising pupils’ awareness of their identity and role within the community
  • Teaching appropriate methods of expressing needs and feelings
  • Developing pupils’ understanding of social skills and the appropriate behaviour towards one another
  • Providing learning experiences which reflect pupils’ personal interests and build on their existing knowledge
  • Understanding the importance of play in pupils’ learning and development
  • Enabling pupils, parents and staff members to feel valued and respected as part of the school community



The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum

Staff follow the curriculum as outlined in the 2017 statutory framework of the EYFS.

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

The children work towards ‘Early Learning Goals’ which prepare them for future learning. 

More information can be found on the DfE website or www.foundationyears.org.uk, or please talk to staff who will be happy to help.

The EYFS curriculum at Ecclesfield Primary School is designed to recognise children’s prior learning from previous settings and their experiences at home, provide first hand learning experiences, whilst allowing the children to build resilience, ambition and integrity.

Staff ensure the EYFS curriculum supports the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure a deep level of 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

To find out more about how our Early Years Curriculum is designed for our pupils at Ecclesfield Primary, please click here.



An integral aspect of the curriculum is that children are prepared for the future. In the EYFS, children’s individual identities are valued and our children are kind and caring while also aspiring to be the best that they can be in whatever area they choose to pursue. We believe that every child is unique. All children have the potential to achieve and our broad, varied curriculum allows every child to excel now and in the future based upon their own personal strengths, interests and core values.

From their different starting points, all children will make good progress academically, emotionally, creatively, socially and physically. Knowledge, understanding and skills will be secured and embedded so that children attain highly and are fully prepared for Year 1 and beyond.

  • They will have strong communication skills and will listen respectfully and with tolerance to the views of others
  • They will take pride in all that they do, always striving to do their best
  • They will demonstrate emotional resilience and the ability to persevere when they encounter challenge
  • They will develop a sense of self-awareness and become confident in their own abilities
  • They will be kind, respectful and honest, demonstrate inclusive attitudes and have a sense of their role in our wider society


The children have a daily phonics lesson which is based around the Letters and Sounds programme, occasionally using cued articulation alongside to support their learning. Reading books sent home apply and reinforce the phonemes known to a child. We use a combination of reading book schemes – Phonics Bug Club, Collins Big Cat, Project X and Oxford Reading Tree. Staff work closely with parents throughout the year in order to support children to consolidate their phonics skills at home.

For more information and for some helpful tips and games for home see: http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/


Parent/carers and children are encouraged to visit the Foundation Unit prior to making a decision about enrolment. We endeavour to extend a warm welcome. Please ring the school office to arrange a date and time to come and visit us.

UPDATE: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently unable to offer school visits. Instead upon request, we can offer a discussion about our Foundation Stage unit over the phone to give you more insight into what life would be like for your child here at Ecclesfield Primary.

To ensure that your child has a smooth start to their school life at Ecclesfield Primary, we offer an extensive transition programme including home visits, transition mornings into school and access to supportive virtual activities for you to carry out with your child over the Summer, helping to prepare your child for school. Our transition programme gives the class teachers and children an opportunity to get to know each other a little before they start full time school in September.


Parent Partnership:

Developing a good partnership with parents is one of our key aims in ensuring children have the best start in life. Whenever possible, staff will be available to answer parent questions or deal with any concerns that may arise.

Throughout the year, Foundation Stage teachers provide several workshops for parents/carers to improve their confidence and ability to support their child’s learning and development, forging positive and effective partnerships with parents from the very beginning.


Information and Updates:

revised EYFS Framework will become statutory from September 2021

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-adopter-schools-eyfs-framework