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Early Years Foundation Stage

Our intent for Early Years/Foundation Stage

We are committed to providing the best possible early education for all our children in Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The unique child

We want our children to be independent thinkers and effective communicators who are capable, confident and self-assured. We want our children to be constantly developing their curiosity and resilience whilst learning to be strong through positive relationships where there is equality of opportunity for all.

Enabling environments

We believe in providing all children with a safe and stimulating environment that builds on each individual’s wants, needs and interests.  We value the importance of our outdoor and indoor environments and believe that these offer children the opportunity to think creatively and critically and develop problem-solving skills.

Learning and development

Our children have the opportunity to learn through play. Learning will be active, engaging and suitably challenging; recognising that children develop and learn at different rates.

Adults provide high quality interactions, are role models for learning, teach children skills and provide experiences which ensure their well-being and success now and in the future. Fundamental to this is consistently high quality learning opportunities that develop a rich vocabulary, practise and review skills and knowledge so that what children know, can remember and do is strong. Our children benefit from strong partnerships between all adults and parents/carers.

Characteristics of effective teaching and learning

Through playing and exploring we want children to be given opportunities to investigate activities with a ‘have a go’ attitude. We expect learning to be active and encourage children to use their own ideas and make links within their learning by creating and thinking critically. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The provision for children’s development and learning is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Our provision reflects the four overarching principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Our Learning 

As part of our learning we cover 7 distinct areas:



How we provide for development and learning

The Learning Environment provides a range of carefully structured play based activities, following the interests and learning needs we develop with your child. These rich learning experiences, across all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage, are both teacher-led and created by children using their own ideas. Throughout the day your child will have a wonderful time discovering, exploring, observing and creating within the high quality learning environment. We positively encourage indoor and outdoor play, ensuring we nurture all interests and learning styles.

Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education we offer helps children to continue to do this by providing all of the children with interesting and motivating activities that are appropriate for their stage of development.

For each area, the level of progress that children are expected to have attained by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage is defined by the Early Learning Goals. These goals state what it is expected that children will know, and be able to do, by the end of the Reception Year of their education.

Development Matters sets out the likely stages of progress a child makes along their learning journey towards the Early Learning Goals. Our School has regard to these matters when we assess children and plan for their learning.


Learning through play

Play helps young children to learn and develop through doing and talking, which research has shown to be the means by which young children learn to think. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance to plan and provide a range of play activities, which help children to make progress in each of the areas of learning and development. In some of these activities, children decide how they will use the activity and, in others, an adult takes the lead in helping the children to take part in the activity. In all activities, information from the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance has been used to decide what equipment to provide and how to provide it.


Characteristics of effective learning

We understand that all children engage with other people and their environment through the characteristics of effective learning that are described in the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance as:

  • Playing and exploring – engagement
  • Active learning – motivation
  • Creating and thinking critically – thinking.



Once the children have settled into school we start our phonics lessons and at Woodlands we follow the Pearson's Phonic Bug and Bug Club programme. Phonics Bug is the dedicated phonics strand of Bug Club, a core reading programme that can be used for independent and guided reading from Reception to Year 6. Your child will be given their own unique login to Bug club. 





A huge part of what we do is to observe the children during the day, so we can assess what their next steps in learning should be. Your help in this area is essential for us to build up a complete picture of how your child learns. In the files below you will find links to the types of areas you could observe and also examples of what observations may look like. These observations can be added to Evidence Me as an ongoing assessment of your child's learning journey.


Our curriculum helps children to achieve the early learning goals (ELGs) and an overall 'Good Level of Development' by the end of EYFS. Assessment is carried out through observation and interactions by teachers, children and parents/carers. These are recorded in learning journals and floor books to achieve a holistic view on a child’s development 

Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Teachers and support staff observe and talk to the children while they are learning, playing and interacting with others in order to identify their level of achievement, interests and characteristics of effective learning.  These observations are used to both shape future planning and to support or challenge a child ‘in the moment’. Parents and carers are involved in the process through the use of ‘Evidence Me’, which allows interaction and the sharing of information between home and school. 

Summative assessments are completed at key points during the year. Teachers use this to identify gaps in learning and to shape future planning and provision.  ‘Pupil progress meetings’ are held to identify and address underachievement.

Partnership with parents

Parents and carers can be involved in sharing their child's successes in various ways. Each class has its own email address where you can contact your child's teacher, and where we can share information with you. Learning experiences are also shared through the use of ‘Evidence Me’ a digital learning diary which allows interaction and the sharing of information between home and school. When your child begins their learning journey at Woodlands you will be invited to create your own personal account linked to your child. During the year parents and carers are invited to take part in information meetings and workshops to explain learning experiences at school and to how to support learning at home.  Parent consultations along with reports on successes and personal next steps are shared at key points during the school year, with a final report in Term 6.