The early years foundation stage

At TLC we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for children aged 4 to 5 years old. Below we will look at different areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage within the context of Reception class activities.

Supporting early years learning

All areas of the curriculum are equally important and inter-dependent. For example, learning to read requires the appropriate attitudes and dispositions. Learning to write is supported by the development of fine and gross motor skills. Opportunities for speaking and listening, in an exciting interactive and challenging environment, promote language necessary for good writing.

Imaginative role play areas such as a surgery, an optician`s, a dentist`s, a shop, a rocket, a castle, a pirate ship and many more will extend knowledge and understanding in science, geography, history and diverse cultures.

The home corner is useful in developing children`s awareness of shape, space and measure, problem solving, counting and practising new writing skills.

Personal, social and emotional development

Children will be settling in and experiencing the daily routines of school life. Learning will develop children`s confidence in playing with others and talking about themselves and their experiences.

They will be encouraged to select and use resources around the environment and carry out small tasks.


Children will be encouraged to understand that there are numbers all around them which have significance. They will begin to develop counting, recognising and matching skills using real objects and actions such as clapping and jumping.

Using the story themes, children will experience sorting activities such as organising small, medium and large items and separating groups by colour, size and type.

Communication and language

Learning will be based around traditional tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, well known and enjoyable children`s favourites such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and also books connected to the topics we will be learning about, for example, Pirates and Dinosaurs.

Children can join in with repetitive phrases and words to broaden their language development. Exploring and using language will be embedded in all areas of learning, encouraging children to explore new words and sounds.

Children in the Reception Class will be taught to read through a multi-sensory, systematic approach in a classroom rich in environmental print.

We will be using the current English document `Letters and Sounds` to deliver short and discrete daily phonic sessions that will introduce Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence, blending and segmenting. Reading and spelling will be taught simultaneously with attention to sounds in response to letters. The Letters and Sounds National Primary Strategy will ensure children have a firm foundation in hearing and enunciating sounds in words.


Children in the Reception Class will be encouraged to use their phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words. They will be taught to use the correct pencil grip to aid them in forming recognisable letters.

Children will explore the meaning and sounds of new words and begin to use story language such as `Once upon a time` and `In the end`. This will extend their pre-writing skills. They will learn to write their name, labels and captions and begin to form simple sentences. They will begin to use punctuation such as capital letters and full stops.

Learning to write will involve formal and informal teaching. Planned play areas such as a doctor`s surgery, a space rocket, a restaurant and shops will promote the writing of notes, menus, reservation lists, recipes and receipts.

Children will use a variety of writing tools including crayons, pencils, chalk, pastels, paint brushes and felt pens. Ongoing activities to strengthen fine and gross motor skills will contribute to the development of good handwriting.

Adults will help to extend the children`s emergent and early writing skills during child initiated play. This will occur through questioning, modelling and recorded responses. Children`s work will be celebrated in front of the whole class and on displays.

Physical development

Children will be encouraged in activities such as throwing and catching large balls, exploring music and movement and learning how to negotiate space successfully.

Children will be using one handed tools and equipment to develop fine motor skills in preparation for writing. They will be learning about the importance of safety when using tools and equipment.

Understanding the world

Children will be encouraged to talk about significant events and experiences with their families and friends.

Children will also be exploring different topics from `All about me`, `Materials` and `The Environment and Space`. They will be accessing ICT activities and learning how to use technological toys.

Expressive arts and design

Children will be joining in with songs and movements and building up a repertoire of simple songs. Construction using various sized building blocks and connecting materials will be used to develop story themes such as making castles, the round table and a dinosaur cave.

They will be developing imagination through role play and encouraged to make props for this, using different materials such as collage, paint and construction.

Reading at home

Reading books will be sent home weekly along with a communication book (Reading Diary).

Please support your child by spending 5–10 minutes each day on reading activities. Parents are requested to sign the Communication Book.

Tips for parents/carers listening to children read

  • Allow your child to discuss the illustrations
  • Encourage pointing to words as he or she reads
  • Let your child proceed without correction in order to facilitate self correction
  • Act as a model by reading some of the text aloud and then asking the child to join in
  • Encourage your child to talk about what he or she likes about the characters and setting
  • Ask questions about events
  • Play `I Spy` using the text as a stimulus
  • Ensure the sessions do not exceed 15 minutes and are pleasurable
  • Play word games using the words in the text
  • Make collections of words which can be stored in a special box or on a wall
  • Create story boxes by using containers such as shoe boxes to hold small toys and objects for retelling the story

Activities to extend your child`s numeracy skills at home

  • Shopping to promote counting, ordering, number recognition and understanding the purpose of money
  • Setting the table to facilitate sorting, matching, one to one counting and concepts of addition and multiplication, for example, How many sets? How many people are eating today?
  • Cooking to practise measuring liquids, solids and time.