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.