Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) guidance is statutory for all settings who work with children from birth to the end of the year in which they are five. For children in Hampshire, this means that the final year of the EYFS happens in their first year at school in a nursery or reception class before they then go on to follow the National Curriculum.


The four EYFS themes

A Unique Child
Every child is different and will develop at different rates in different ways, but every child must be given an equal opportunity to reach their own full potential. Positive relationships and goodcommunication are vital to enable children to learn about risks and safety, how to make good choices, and how to behave within expected boundaries. Children will thrive when all their physical and emotional needs are met both at home and by us at the pre-school.
Positive Relationships
One of the most important areas of development for pre-school children is to learn how to manage their own feelings, begin to understand other people’s feelings and to learn to build friendships. We respect all families and are keen to foster a positive two-way relationship with parents and carers. We will support, listen to and work with children to help each child maximise their potential and feel loved and safe whilst in the environment. A key Carer will look after each child who attends the pre-school and will take responsibility for the child’s development and emotional and physical wellbeing whilst the child is at pre-school.
Enabling Environments
Children learn best when they are in a safe, challenging, and interesting environment supported by adults who are able to engage with them at each stage of their learning. We will provide your children with exciting learning opportunities both indoors and outside, which help them to become independent learners. We will also support children as they leave the setting and move onto other learning environments, working in partnership with our colleagues from other settings.
Learning and Development
Children learn through play and exploration which is supported by adults who are knowledgeable about child development. We will encourage children to develop their imaginations, to become creative thinkers, and to solve problems for themselves. This learning takes place through a careful balance of child and adult initiated activities.

The Seven areas of Learning and Early Learning Goals

By the time they reach the end of the EYFS, most children are expected to have reached or gone beyond Early Learning Goals in each of 7 areas of learning There are 3 Prime Areas of learning, considered most important for under 3's as follows
Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Perhaps the most important area for young children, this area covers developmental areas such as gaining confidence, independence and good self-esteem, making relationships and having respect for self and others.

Communication and Language

Goals in this area include development of good speaking and listening having good understanding of language including an enjoyment of books and stories.

Physical Development

This area covers the development of physical skills using the whole body, developing fine motor skills and learning good habits with regards to personal health and hygiene.

There are also 4 further Specific Areas of Learning.

Understanding the World

This is a wide ranging area which is all about children finding out about the world about them including people, places, and the natural world as well as exploring technology.

Expressive arts and Design

Children explore their creativity and imagination in a range of ways including through art and craft, through exploration in music and dance and through being able to experiment with real life situations by acting them out in their imaginative role play.

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy - Mathematical Development

This area covers the use of numbers, counting, thinking about ways of solving problems and using terminology such as size language and giving and following directions.


This area covers the development of early reading and writing skills.


As well as giving guidance on learning and development, the EYFS contains statutory and advisory guidance about how best to promote children’s welfare. We follow this guidance to ensure your child’s safety, happiness and wellbeing is looked after. An important aspect of this is to ensure that we can work in an honest partnership with parents to ensure each child is given the best individual care.

Record Keeping and Assessment

Whilst your child is at pre-school, his or her key person will keep an online learning journal which contains a portfolio of ‘memories’ reflecting your child’s time within the setting. You will be given your own login details to access their learning journal. You can share these photos with your child at home and use them as a method of sharing the experiences they have within the setting.

Formal written observations are no longer completed, (aside from a 2 year / entrance check) with the emphasis now on staff spending more time with the children, interacting, learning about them and really getting to know them. Your child’s key carer will still plan for and support your child’s learning and development, using their interests as a basis for their learning.

You will be invited in periodically for a meeting with your child's key person, at which you will be invited to discuss your child's progress and plan together to further develop their learning.

We are also keen to include records of your child's achievements and experiences out of pre-school and we will be giving you ideas of how this can be shared.

When your child transitions away from the setting you will get the opportunity to download your child’s journal to keep as a memento.

Supporting the EYFS at home

The best ways that you can support your child at home are to:-

  • Spend lots of time talking to your child.
  • Share plenty of books, stories and information books, with your child.
  • Encourage your child to take part in a range of activities both outside and inside.
  • Play lots of games together – spending quality time with your child is the very best way to help him or her develop.
  • Let us know if your child does anything new and/or interesting.
  • Let us know if you or your child are having any difficulties or worries that may affect their learning or happiness and if there is anything we can do to help.