Early Years Foundation Stage

If you are on this page as you are joining us in September 2020 - we have put together a special welcome page which is  2020 Admissions

We have a transition book for children starting in Nursery and Reception in September 2020  - which can be viewed by clicking on the links on the left or on images below


At Lovelace we provide a safe, happy and nurturing learning environment.  In the Early Years Foundation Stage children are developing good attitudes for future learning.  Our activities are carefully planned to encourage children to become active learners by playing, exploring and creating.

In our learning environment both in the classroom and outside we meet the individual needs and interests of all our children by providing a balance between child initiated learning under the guidance of our staff and activities that are planned and led by an adult.

The Reception and Nursery teams plan the learning opportunities through topics and themes. Our learning activities are planned in both the outdoor and the classroom environments.  You will receive regular information about these so you can support your child’s learning. 

The national framework sets out:      

  • Welfare requirements that everyone must follow to keep your child safe
  • The 7 areas of learning and development
  • Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS. 
  • Expected levels that your child should reach by the end of their Reception year.
'The early years provision is led well....children are prepared well for the next stage of school and are ready to move confidently into Year 1.' (OFSTED 2015)

Areas  of Learning and Development        

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first:-

Communication and Language : Listening and Attention, Understanding and Speaking



Physical Development: Moving and Handling and Health & Self Care


Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Self confidence and Self Awareness, Managing Feelings & Behaviour and Making Relationships


There are four specific teaching areas:

Literacy: Reading and Writing


 Mathematics: Numbers and Shape, Space & Measure



Understanding the world: People and Communities, The World and Technology

Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using Media and Materials and Being Imaginative


Characteristics of Effective Learning

Children in the EYFS learn by Playing and Exploring, Being Active and through Creative and Critical Thinking. These are referred to as the Characteristics of Effective Learning which takes place both indoors and outside.





In Nursery we develop children’s communication and language by following phase 1 of the guidance in Letters and Sounds.


It is woven through the routines of our sessions and the activities we plan. We focus on listening skills using stories, music, songs and rhymes. We plan activities that help our children to develop skills to tune into individual sounds such as things they hear in the environment. This supports the children in the journey into phonics as they are identifying different sounds.


In Reception we follow the Read, Write Inc Phonics Programme. It sets out a detailed approach to teaching phonic skills to children. There are certain rhymes to help children to remember the sound that individual letters (graphemes) and groups of letters (digraphs) make. The children become familiar with the letter sounds and begin to blend letters together to read words. When they are ready, they will begin to read ditty books. Sometimes pupils might need a bit of extra help and we provide specific intervention groups to support these children. As a result, our pupils make good progress in Reading. You can get information on this method of teaching phonics in these documents and on the following website www.ruthmiskin.com

In the Autumn term we will tell you more about this in our Parent Workshops and you will be invited to see a phonic session in your child’s class.

Please follow this link to find out more about the Read Write Inc. programme and resources to support your children's learning at home.

How we keep you informed of your child’s development:-
Each child with have their own individual Learning Journey. This will demonstrate significant achievements that your child makes and reflect their interests and learning styles.  We will use photographs, work pieces that are annotated by the class adults as well as recording what the child says about their learning.  There will be opportunities for you to share information of things your child enjoys doing at home.  Our displays in the Early Years department will also celebrate the achievements of the children.  We provide opportunities for Nursery and Reception parents to come in to share how we learn in our classes through workshops, open sessions and parent consultations. At the end of the Reception summer term, teachers will finalise their EYFS assessments which are known as the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.  An important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you.  All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is progressing across the 7 areas of learning and development.  Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in the next school year know what your child really enjoys doing and does well and will know how to continue to support your child’s progress.

As a parent, how can I help with my child’s learning?                    
All the activities you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning. They will have a lasting effect on your child’s development. 


Learning to Speak, Listen, Read and Write

Learning to Speak and Listen
Learning to express ideas clearly in speech and to gain information through listening to others is a key skill children will learn and practise in Nursery and Reception.

(See Document "Top 10 Tips for Talking") 


Learning to Read

Sharing books with your child will support them to becoming confident readers.

Make sure the atmosphere is happy and relaxed, sharing a book is something to look forward to - it should not be a task which you feel you have to do.

Sit close together so you can both see the book comfortably

Choose a time when the television is not on and the room is quiet

Step one:

  • Before starting to read, look at the illustrations on the front of the book, read the title.
  • Parent reads the story to child (always read in an interesting manner; make the story enjoyable).

Step two:

Read the story again and encourage your child to join in with:

  • the repetitions
  • the loud parts
  • the soft whispery parts
  • the exciting parts

Step three:

Discuss what has happened in the story:

  • What is the story about
  • What happened first
  • What might happen next
  • Which was the best page/part of the story

Remember print isn’t only in books so encourage your child to be aware of “everyday” print.

Children have much experience of print.

Lead by example - let your child see you read.

Encourage your child to have a go:

  • Praise your child’s choice of book, don’t be tempted to criticise as this will only damage the confidence your child is building up
  • Let your child hold the book and turn the pages
  • As your child becomes more confident and develops a wider knowledge of letters and letter sounds (phonics) then you may like to help him/her sound our simple words like “cat”
  • When they are learning key words that cannot be sounded out for example “the” and “my” support them to find these in the books your share.
  • If your child gets stuck - tell them the word. ‘Testing them will only make them nervous and unhappy with their reading
  • Don’t worry about mistakes. Listen carefully so that you can judge the nature of the mistake.
  • If the child reads “Helen climbed on her pony” instead of “Helen climbed on her horse” do not interrupt because the child obviously understands the print. Reading every word correctly is by no means essential at this stage.

Here is a useful document - A love of books is a gift for life


Learning to Write   

Pre-writing skills

The precursor to good handwriting is good fine motor skills. Before children begin to write script they need generous opportunities to develop their fine motor skills.

Here are some ideas to encourage the development of fine motor skills:

Activities to develop pencil grip:

  • Play dough: pinching, squeezing with thumb and forefinger. Example activity: making various animals from play dough
  • Threading: beads, pasta, straws. Example activity: jewellery making
  • Picking up small objects: use tweezers and pipettes/eye droppers. Example activity: a race to see how many peas your child can put in a pot
  • Finger rhymes: stretching and curling fingers
  • Water play: using spray toys, and spray bottles. Suggested activity watering the garden
  • Craft activities: glue sticks and paint brushes. Make a collage with lots of fine papers and decorate it with sequins
  • Icing cakes: using a plastic dispenser to push and squeeze out the icing
  • Strengthening activities: swinging from the climbing frame or grasping to climb and crawl.

What can I do at home to help and encourage my child to write?

  • Encourage independent mark making and writing at home provide a wide range of different pens, pencils, felt tips, crayons and chalks.
  • Be a role model – write notes, shopping list and memos with your child and give them their own paper or post it notes to use
  • Encourage painting, drawing and colouring
  • Make temporary marks with shaving foam, in trays of salt or brushes and water outside on a sunny day.

Useful Documents:-

Writing ideas at home

Pre cursive handwriting script


Letter Rhymes


Transition into our Early Years Foundation Stage

All children have the opportunity to make a preliminary visit and to attend an open session with you. Parent information meetings take place at the end of the summer term. A member of the Early Years team will also visit your child at their pre-school setting, where possible. Along with the home visits made by the Nursery and Reception staff in September, we provide ample opportunity for discussion about your child’s needs and for him/her to get used to us. We provide a relaxed and smooth transition into our school. Our nursery children will have a staggered intake; small groups of new children start each session at the beginning of the term. All Reception children will attend part time for their first week and if appropriate, can attend full time from their second week. Parents will be invited to consider whether their child is ready for full time school. Individual wishes may be discussed with Mrs Alison Hopkins who is responsible for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Some children do find their first few weeks very tiring. During this period of adjustment, it is not unusual for them to be either irritable, quite demanding or even tearful at home. You might find that you need to be especially understanding and patient at this time! Fortunately this phase soon passes as they adapt to the school day and the excitement of their new school.

To familiarise children with their new school we have compiled a Guide to Transition for Parents and a book of photographs of the class teams and the class and school environment.