Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


Our vision and intent

We aspire to have happy, energetic and enthusiastic learners who are confident and independent. We aim to support the children to become good listeners who are ready to become active learners, showing they are ready to learn, are inquisitive, polite and emotionally thriving.

We are driven in aiming for all children to be on track to be age related by the end of the foundation stage and we strive to have support networks in place for children who need further support. Regardless of their ability or background, we believe that all children should make good progress from their starting points.

The Early Years staff at Millfields will work hard to gain positive and supportive relationships with all children in our settings, taking time to get to know each child individually to ensure all children’s needs are met and have the confidence and independence to grow and develop as learners. We believe that communication is key to progress and use skilful forms of communication to challenge and extend the children’s learning. Staff are reflective and flexible and have a good understanding of the needs of the children, working in close partnership with parent’s to ensure that children are able to be the best version of themselves.

At Millfields we believe the Environment to be the third teacher in an early years classroom and therefore plan for creative, challenging and inspiring areas of learning in order to promote curiosity, inquisitiveness, communication and challenge. We believe that Children thrive in continuous and enhanced provision in both indoor and outdoor learning areas with the freedom to explore and create making their own ideas and plans.


At Millfields First School we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. This is made up of four overriding principles which our early year’s education is based upon:

Unique child – Every child is unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Learning and development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The curriculum provides a play-based and experiential learning environment, combined with focussed teaching and basic skills, to ensure children make rapid progress before moving onto Year 1. The children in both Pre-School and Reception are provided with varied opportunities accessible in our indoor and outdoor provision. They engage in planned, focussed activities as well as self-initiated and free flow activities. The learning experiences within our Early Years are linked to the seven areas of learning and development within the EYFS. These areas are split into three prime areas and four specific areas. The three prime areas are those which the children should develop first and are considered most essential for the healthy development and future learning of our children. These include:

  • Physical Development– Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy.
  • Communication and Language – involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations. The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development– Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peacefully.

As children grow and make progress in the prime areas, this will help them to naturally develop skills within the four specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy – the early teaching of literacy involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading
  • Mathematics – Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. It is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Understanding the World – this involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive Arts and Design – this involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

Children benefit from meaningful learning across the curriculum and staff plan resourcefully for opportunities for communication, sustained shared thinking and physical challenge to build on existing skills taking into account the Characteristics of Effective Teaching and Learning.

Rich first hand experiences (inside, outdoors, visitors and school trips) are used to widen experiences, awe and wonderment. Exploratory learning and thinking creatively including problem solving across all areas of learning. New vocabulary and concepts through reading will excite and engage all learners which includes staff modelling standard English and asking high quality questions.

Our Curriculum will promote and support children’s emotional security and development of their character enabling children to take risks in a safe and secure environment. Supporting children to be active and to develop physically including giving clear messages to children why it is important to eat, drink and exercise as well as to be kind to others.


Our children will grow to be confident, competent lifelong learners and good citizens.

The children at Millfields First School experience a smooth transition between Pre-School, Reception and beyond. Effective communication and collaboration ensure the children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon.

We use learning journeys recorded on display boards and in books, learning floor books and portfolio’s captured on Class Dojo across the EYFS, supplemented with exercise books for phonics and writing in Reception, which evidence to the children and their families the successes of the children throughout their time in Early Years.

As a team, we carry out regular internal evaluation sessions where we discuss the needs of the children and their next steps. We identify target tiger children to focus on and areas of learning within the class environment to evaluate and monitor. We also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training where possible to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and assessment starts with careful observations which are then used to inform planning. Learning and teaching is thus effective when children feel a sense of belonging, curiosity and competence showing resilience and tenacity.

By being reflective and evaluative as a team, we can effectively demonstrate what learning is taking place and how each child is progressing in all seven areas of the EYFS curriculum. Progress toward the ELGs will ensure a positive disposition to learn.