The Early Years Foundation Stage

What is our Intent?:

At Tithe Barn Preschool, in our Early Years Foundation Stage, our intent is to provide a broad, balanced and flexible curriculum that addresses the children’s social, emotional, physical, moral, spiritual, and cultural development.

Encompassed within our vision “Where every child loves to learn” is the need for every child to be exposed to a range of experiences where doors are opened and memories are made.

Every child is unique, and we pride ourselves on listening to children and those who care for them, using this information to personalise each child’s learning. Staff take time to discover, observe and recognise children’s interests and are confident in being flexible to adapt the curriculum ‘in the moment’ to ensure interests are developed further.

We strongly believe in first hand experiences and valuing the importance of the outdoor environment to support and develop children’s thinking and problem-solving skills. We provide children with a safe and stimulating environment, support and encouragement to enhance internal motivation and independence. We strive to build positive partnerships with parents/carers and other practitioners linked to supporting children in the Early Years.


To implement our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, we begin each new year by considering the individual needs of our children and their different starting points to develop our flexible curriculum which enables them to follow the path of their learning journey, at a point that is suitable for their unique needs and stage of development.

To support transition, we provide a range of opportunities:

  • Open Days
  • Settling in sessions
  • Parent forms
  • All About Me forms

We follow the EYFS Statutory Framework 2021 and Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook 2022. Alongside this, we use the supporting documents from Development Matters Outcomes and the assessment and Reporting Arrangements.

7 Areas of Learning:

Within the Early Years curriculum, there are 7 Areas of Learning which, in partnership with parents, we will monitor and nurture. The areas of learning and development are inter-connected and equally valuable; however, the three Prime Areas are particularly important for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving within the environment.

Prime AreasSpecific Areas
Communication and LanguageLiteracy
Personal, Social and Emotional DevelopmentMathematics
Physical Development Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Characteristics of Learning:
Playing and ExploringActive LearningCreating and Thinking Critically
Children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’ Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements Children have  develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things 

A range of activities and experiences are planned for which enables children to develop and learn effectively. The curriculum is delivered with a balance of one-to-one activities, small and large group adult-led teaching sessions, and time and space for children to lead their own learning through child-initiated activities. During children’s play, staff observe and interact to stretch and challenge children further.

We support and encourage children to develop a life-long ‘love’ of reading by using stories as a hook to ignite interest.

Mathematical activities are planned to support children to ‘have a go’ and develop a strong knowledge of numbers and the relationships between them, using a wide range of concrete resources.

We nurture children to be confident, healthy and happy and provide opportunities to develop their emotional intelligence and life skills. We encourage children to talk about and understand their own feelings and that of others.

Forest School sessions provide a practical way to learn outdoors whilst developing a deep understanding of their natural world, working as part of a team and solving problems.

We celebrate children’s achievements using our WOW vouchers and circle time sessions.

Where a child may have a special educational need or disability, we liase with Gloucestershire County Council Early Years team and relevant services from other agencies where appropriate. Staff follow guidance that has been offered to support the child. We also provide intervention where appropriate, for example speech and language, physical activities and more.

We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between practitioners and Parents/Carers. Parents/carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development to provide a well-rounded picture of their child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities. We do this through:

  • Parent Meetings
  • Summative Assessments
  • End of term reports
  • Transition Documents
  • Stay and Play sessions (half termly)
  • Newsletters
  • Parent Workshops
  • Website
  • Facebook and Instagram
  • Daily Conversations

How do we measure the impact?

We measure the impact of each child’s learning through observations, assessments and evaluations throughout the year to inform planning that will allow the children to succeed in their next steps of learning and ensure that each child’s differing needs are met. Assessment is base around on-going observation and the recording of progress towards the 17 Early Learning Goals.

Staff meet regularly to plan alongside their medium-term plans and current observations, which remains flexible for unplanned circumstances or children’s responses. It is through this process that children will work towards achieving the Early Learning Goal; the level of development expected at the end of the EYFS.

Quality and consistency in teaching and learning to enable every child to make good or accelerated progress.

Assessment opportunities include:

  • Information gathered from parents/carers
  • All observations, assessments and recording are an integral part of teaching, as they inform future planning for children’s needs and development.
  • Observation carried out whilst children are engaged in child initiated activity/play, in order to gain an insight into children’s level of understanding related to specific skills and concepts.
  • Discussions with staff and children about their interest and their learning
  • Children’s questionnaires to help inform planning and assessment
  • Exchange of information with parents at Parent meetings, stay and play sessions, daily conversations.
  • Cohort Tracking documents and discussions with senior leadership team

The Managers keep progress records on our Preschool assessment document alongside Tapestry. These contain a wide range of evidence that we share with parents/carers regularly throughout the year.

Our Cohort Tracking document is updated at the end of each term. This helps to complete the written Summative Assessments which provides a summary for each child as to their progress towards the 17 areas of the curriculum. We record each child’s level of development to be On Track, Less than Expected or More than Expected and initiate support and intervention where appropriate. We share all of this information at Parent Meetings and in the end of year transition document. Parent’s receive an annual transition report that offers comments on each child’s progress in each area of learning. It highlights the child’s strengths and development needs and gives details of the child’s general progress and their characteristics of learning.

The Early Years Foundation Stage:

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education that begins at birth and finishes at the end of the Reception year.

The curriculum is divided into Areas of Learning and Development, with Early Learning Goals that most children reach by the end of their Reception year.

Our planned activities enable the children to learn through play, working through the age bands for each Early Learning Goal.

The Prime Areas are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own ability.

Physical Development: opportunities will be created to be active and to develop co-ordination, control and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Communication and Language Development: children will have a range of opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

The Specific Areas are:

Literacy Development: involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Mathematics: involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, space and measures.

Understanding of the World: involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and community. Opportunities will also be given to develop their technology skills.

Expressive Arts and Design: children will explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. They will be encouraged to be imaginative and enjoy creating music and singing songs.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning

These are the ways in which young children learn and develop:

  • Playing and exploring
  • Active learning
  • Creating and thinking critically.

Parent Partnership

Please join in with your child’s learning at Preschool. Themes are listed on the notice board each week and we ask for items connected to a theme to be brought in and shown at circle time. Parents are encouraged to contribute to the Parent Sharer Planning’ with ideas that will encourage their own child. Details of visitors, special days and term dates will be displayed on our notice board and on our website, where you can also find our Policy documents.

Key Person

Each child will be allocated a Key Person, who is responsible for building a relationship with your child and maintain their Learning Journals. Your Key Person is your direct point of call for any changes in circumstances that we may need to know about.

Learning Journeys

We continually assess your child’s learning and development during their time at the Tithe Barn Preschool. Photographs and observational notes will form their very own Learning Journey. We record this on Tapestry, an online app, that allows parents daily access to their child’s Learning Journey. We record the physical evidence in a Journal which will be sent out termly. We would like you to comment about what they have achieved at Preschool and about their learning at home, interests, news they wish to tell us, drawings and photos. This will be a record of their learning at preschool, which you can keep when they leave.

WOW Sheets

WOW Sheets (available on the notice board) are for you to complete when your child achieves something at home such as getting dressed on their own, riding a bike without stabilisers or counting to 10. We celebrate these achievements at circle time.


An assessment of your child’s development, under the seven areas of learning, will be made throughout the year. A summary will be sent home for you to read. You are invited to make a comment on these progress checks and return a copy to Preschool.

Opportunities for a ‘Settling In’ meeting with your child’s Key Person will be held within the first month of your child starting preschool. Parents’ meetings are held in the Spring term, where progression and next steps are discussed in more detail. Please remember that staff are always available to talk at the beginning and end of sessions so please come and see us.