What is the Early Year Foundation Stage (EYFS)?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year.  At The Orchards School this consists of:

Nursery (3-4 years)

Reception (4-5 years)

At The Orchards School, our aim is to provide a safe, caring and stimulating environment where children can play, explore and begin their journey to become lifelong learners.  

Four key themes underpin the delivery of the EYFS:

1.  A unique child

2.  Positive relationships

3.  Enabling environments

4.  Learning and development

Areas of Learning

There are 7 areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation stage. These are split into Prime and Specific areas.

Prime Areas

Communication and language

Children will be given lots of opportunities to experience a language rich environment, to develop their confidence and skills to express themselves and to speak and listen in a range of situations.

Physical development

Children will be provided with lots of opportunities to be active and interactive, to develop their co-ordination, control and movement. Children will be taught the importance of physical activity and how to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Personal, social and emotional development

We will help children develop a positive sense of themselves and others. They will learn to develop positive relationships, respect for others, social skills and how to manage their feelings.

Specific Areas


Children will be taught to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.


Children will have lots of opportunities to develop their skills of counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating, addition and subtraction problems. They will be taught to describe shapes, spaces and measures.

Understanding the world

Children will be guided to make sense of their physical world and their community. Through observation and exploration they will find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

Expressive Arts and Design

Children will explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. They will be provided with opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective learning support the development of children by detailing the ways in which children should be learning from their environments, experiences and activities.

There are three characteristics of effective learning:

At The Orchards School we strongly believe that children learn best through practical first hand experiences where children take a lead role in their learning. Throughout the day children benefit from a mixture of child initiated and adult led activities.

Practitioners are highly skilled and are able to facilitate learning through play, by building on children’s natural interests and personalising learning for every child. Children are taught to reflect on their learning and are encouraged to identify their next steps, so they are motivated to become resilient, lifelong learners.

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