Early Years Foundation Stage

at Holy Family Catholic Primary school

In the Foundation Stage at Holy Family we aim to provide our children with the best start in life. Learning takes place through a range of child-initiated, planned adult-initiated and adult-directed activities. The stimulating learning environment is rich in a variety of resources for children to experience their learning both in the indoor and outdoor spaces. We learn through a cross curricular topic approach which includes a trip out of school each half term. We also learn through children’s particular interests and adapt the curriculum to accommodate these. We understand the importance of practical learning experiences and strive to equip children with a love of learning and a natural curiosity. Through play, in a safe, caring environment, all our children are encouraged to become creative, confident, independent, lifelong learners.

The Early Years begins this process by laying the foundations for their learning journey to meet the individual needs of the children. We believe that early identification of additional learning needs, supports the children to make the progress that they are capable of. Working alongside other agencies, we support children by engaging with their parents and carers. Before children start school, we make home visits to meet you in your own environment and invite you to come and experience the new school environment. We hold regular workshops for parents about how we learn in EYFS. 

In Reception class we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS), alongside the guidance of Development Matters. There are seven areas of learning and development, which are all inter-connected.  The three prime areas are particularly important for children’s capacity to learn and help them build positive relationships with others and self-confidence.

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language

 Specific Areas 

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

We also consider the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ which enable children to be a good learner (see attached document). 

Within the Foundation Stage the acquisition of communication and language skills is key, as without it is difficult to access other areas of learning. All children are screened by a Greenwich appointed Speech and Language therapist on entry to identify any gaps and set targets where necessary. There are many opportunities which enable the children to begin to explore key literacy skills in EYFS; these are achieved through Role Play, story-telling, structured play, whole class circle talking time and use of rhyme and song. 

Phonics is taught daily in Reception through multi-sensory and interactive lessons. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme is used which aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right, as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Our Key steps to success in EYFS at Holy Family School: 

  •  Children will feel safe and happy to learn at school.
  •  Parents will be able to support their child’s learning at home
  •  The curriculum and learning environment will respond to the needs and interests of the pupils.
  •  Children will be motivated to learn and demonstrate excellent attitudes to learning.
  •  Children will learn cooperatively and establish positive peer relationships.
  •  Children will be challenged and supported to achieve their full potential.


Useful Links:

National Framework for EYFS


Letters & Sounds Phonics Scheme


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