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Image by Christopher Ryan

An overview of what and how we teach…

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education for all children from birth to the end of the reception year (their first year at school).  This important stage provides children with secure foundations for continued learning.

There is a national framework for this stage which is used by all OFSTED registered pre-schools, nurseries, playgroups and childminders to support children’s learning during this time.

What will my child be learning?

The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage was reviewed and revised in September 2021. Whilst maintaining that a child’s learning in all areas is interrelated, it is acknowledged that there are some areas of learning that are of critical importance (“prime areas”) and that a child’s progress in these will be key to “unlocking” a child’s potential in all other areas (“specific areas”).

Therefore the greatest importance should be put on these prime areas of development for children in the Foundation Stage.

At Little Oaks we will therefore tailor our provision to allow all children to make the very best progress they can in these areas, whilst also providing fun and challenging opportunities for children to progress in the specific areas of development, at a time and stage which is right for them individually.

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will be helped to develop a positive attitude, a sense of well-being, positive relationships, confidence, independence, the ability to know what their own needs are and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong. They will learn how to make choices and how to express their needs and feelings in an appropriate way.

Specific Areas


Through fun and open ended activites children will begin to develop an understanding of numbers, space, shape and measure. They will have opportunities to sort, count, problem solve and construct. They will begin to gain a real understanding of these concepts and not simply learn to recite by rote.

Understanding the World

Children will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them through asking questions. They will be able to find out about everyday technology, past events, and the communities in which they live.

Image by Erika Fletcher

How will my child be learning?

  • Through DOING rather than being told.  Children learn most effectively when they are actively involved and interested.

  • By building upon what your child CAN DO as a starting point for learning.

  • Through PLAY. Play is the key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.

  • Through talking to others. Playing and talking are the main ways through which children learn about themselves and the world around them.

  • Through developing relationships with peers and adults.

For more information about how to support your child’s learning at home, click here.

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