St Helen's CE Primary School

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St Helen's CE Primary School, Highfield Road, Hemsworth, WF9 4EG

01977 617955

St Helen's CE Primary School

Looking forward in Faith

  1. School Info
  2. EYFS


Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Nursery (F1 Seedlings), Reception (F2 Acorn)

In EYFS, we aim to provide the highest quality care and education for all our children thereby giving them a strong foundation for their future learning. We intend to provide an enriched, Christian environment and create a safe and happy setting with motivating and enjoyable learning experiences. Through our curriculum we would like to educate all children in the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be effective, inquisitive, curious, independent learners and influence their wider thinking across all areas of the curriculum.  We wish for all our children to believe in themselves and their abilities and capabilities, to belong to the school learning community and the wider community and to become successful in their academic career and beyond. We value the individual child and work alongside parents and others to meet their needs and help every child to reach their full potential.


Children use and develop taught skills throughout the year on a daily basis. Continuous provision practice and principles begin in EYFS and support children to develop key life skills such as independence, innovation, creativity, enquiry, analysis and problem solving. During the school day, children have an opportunity to work independently, work collaboratively with their friends and with members of staff.



To support our wider curriculum, we provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to come into school and work with their child, share their work and celebrate successes. We keep parents informed and we meet regularly with them to ensure children’s transition into school and through the EYFS is happy and allows them to reach their potential with the support needed. This includes transition days, stay and play sessions, Bedtime Story sessions, parent workshops, reports and parent meetings. F1 Parents are invited into school each Friday to share the celebration of the weekly rhyme with F2 Parents invited to a weekly Come and Read session.

We start with our FEET sessions (Families enjoying everything together) which are very popular, where we invite pre-nursery children and parents in to meet the teachers and familiarise themselves with the classroom. Parents also have the opportunity to meet with new teachers and visit their child’s new learning environment when they move to F2. We also support the transition into Key Stage 1 for both child and parents. We prepare children for Year 1 with weekly visits to their new class and meeting the teacher for the last month of EYFS. F2 children also have regular visits into the school dining room and experience the KS1/2 playground during the last month of EYFS.

All children in F2 have a Y6 Buddy who helps to support them through weekly reading sessions, local walks in the community and through their transition visits to the dining room and KS1/2 playground.





Areas of Learning

We plan an exciting and challenging curriculum based on our observation of children’s needs, interests, and stages of development across the seven areas of learning to enable the children to achieve and exceed the early learning goals. All the seven areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

These three areas are the prime areas: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development.

Children are also supported through the four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.



Communication and Language

Listening, Attention and Understanding/Speaking

  • To provide opportunities for children to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings, and relate to each other and to adults.
  • To incorporate communication and language into the planned activities of each area of the curriculum.
  • To develop spoken language through conversations, one to one and in groups.
  • To provide experiences that guide children through the ages and stages of Communication and Language Development towards the early learning goals.
  • To identify and respond to any difficulties in a child’s language development.
  • To provide opportunities for children who use alternative communication systems to develop ways of recording and develop their skills in these methods.



Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Self-regulation/Managing self/Building relationships

  • To establish constructive relationships with adults and children taking account of the different needs and expectations.
  • To find opportunities to give positive encouragement to children, with practitioners acting as role-models.
  • To plan opportunities for children to work alone and in small or large groups.
  • To plan activities which develop the children’s independence.
  • To challenge children’s thinking through books, displays and role-play about people with differences in religion, ethnicity, special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To ensure there is time and space for children to focus on their activities. To plan activities that promote moral and spiritual development alongside intellectual development.
  • To plan activities which develop the children’s independence.
  • To challenge children’s thinking through books, displays and role-play about people with differences in religion, ethnicity, special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To provide the emotional and structured support necessary for children with behavioural or communication difficulties.
  • To encourage children to gain independence in the physical skills of dressing.



Physical Development

Gross Motor skills/Fine Motor Skills

  • To improve the skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement.
  • To demonstrate through the provision of physical activities the positive benefits of being healthy and active.
  • To develop the children’s confidence and sense of well-being.
  • To plan activities that offer appropriate physical challenges.
  • To introduce and develop the language of movement alongside their actions.
  • To provide sufficient time and space, indoors and outdoors and set up relevant activities.
  • To provide resources that can be used in a variety of ways.
  • To introduce and develop the language of movement alongside their actions.
  • To develop hand and muscle coordination for writing.




Literacy Development

Comprehension/word reading/writing

  • To provide opportunities for children to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings, and relate to each other and to adults.
  • To give opportunities to share and enjoy a range of stories, poems, songs, rhymes and information books.
  • To plan an environment that reflects the importance of language through signs, notices and books.
  • To plan an environment that reflects the importance of language through signs, notices and books.
  • To provide opportunities to see adults writing and to encourage children to mark make and write for themselves.



Mathematical Development

Number and Numerical Patterns/Shape, space and measure

  • To enable children to become confident and competent in the key mathematical skills of: counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures.
  • To make mathematical development enjoyable because it is purposeful e.g. through stories, songs, games, imaginative play. Continuing to maintain the children’s interest and enthusiasm.
  • To give opportunities to consolidate, extend and practise their mathematical skills and knowledge.
  • To be aware of numbers in the wider curriculum observing numbers and patterns in the environment and daily routine.
  • To provide experiences that develops mathematical language.
  • To encourage children in developing positive attitudes towards mathematical learning.
  • To plan a range of mathematical opportunities within the Continuous Provision activities and set aside daily sessions in both F1 and F2 for teaching mathematical skills.
  • To develop children’s thinking by showing an interest in methods, not just solutions.
  • To encourage children’s mathematical development by intervening in their play and talking mathematically to them.
  • For adults to be confident about mathematics themselves and to see opportunities for mathematical development across the curriculum.


Understanding the World

Past and Present/People, culture and communities/The Natural World

  • To provide children with a wide range of opportunities and experiences which reflect the world they live in.
  • To provide opportunities to explore the differences between the past and the present.
  • To provide activities based on first hand experiences both indoors and outdoors, that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, prediction, critical thinking, decision making and discussion.
  • To become aware of the place they live in and have a sense of locality being able to identify landmarks and know something of their purpose.
  • To develop a sense of time through artefacts, through language of time and through discussion with older members of their families and through research in books and photographs.
  • To provide activities that help children become aware of and explore issues of differences in gender, ethnicity, language, religion and culture, special educational needs and disability issues.
  • To provide the support for this interest and curiosity through the availability of adults to answer questions, and through times for discussion.
  • To directly teach skills where necessary.


Expressive Arts and Design Development

Creating with materials/Being imaginative and expressive

  • To recognise that being creative is fundamental to successful learning enabling children to make connections between areas of learning.
  • To offer rich experiences in art, music, dance, role-play, and imaginative play.
  • To provide a stimulating environment where children’s creativity, originality, and expressiveness are valued.
  • To provide sufficient time for children to explore, develop ideas and be able to finish working at them.
  • To provide opportunities for children to express themselves through a wide range of materials.
  • To have opportunities to work alongside other creative adults
  • To provide resources from other cultures to stimulate different ways of thinking.
  • To accommodate children’s specific religious or cultural beliefs with regard to particular art forms or methods of expression.
  • To provide a wide range of activities that children can respond to through all their senses.
  • To provide experiences and resources which are relevant to the needs of children with special disabilities.





At St Helen’s CE Primary School we encourage children to demonstrate their attitudes and behaviours to learning through the Characteristics of Effective Learning. We ensure the content of the curriculum is taught in a logical progression so that children build on prior learning and we provide first hand learning experiences which allow the children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative, critical thinkers to enable them to challenge themselves. Our teachers in EYFS create environments to match the needs and skill levels of our children and use their own teacher assessments and gap analysis to inform their planning and the quality provision.

We recognise that reading is a key to all other learning and ensure quality phonic sessions are being taught regularly using the whole school approach of  Floppy’s Phonics, with children’s reading books matching their phonic ability as well as reading aloud to the children, telling stories and rhymes. We encourage parents to read with their child and to recognise the importance of reading to their child on a daily basis to promote an enjoyment and love of reading. We also recognise that children need a vast range of vocabulary in order to succeed in life. This is taught explicitly through adult directed tasks, interventions such as I CAN Chatting with Children and tailored support during provision.

At this stage in a child’s life learning through play is vital, we use the environment to ensure their needs are met through continuous provision, enhanced provision and following their interests. Staff teach an objective through whole class, small group teaching and going into provision to observe children’s play and move learning forward at that point. They record ‘snapshot’ evidence of children’s learning to build an overall picture and set next steps for learning. Formative assessment takes place within every session and helps teachers to identify any children that needs more support to achieve the objective and those that need challenging. This may be instantaneous if appropriate. Although EYFS has our own curriculum we are keen to make sure our children are prepared for the next chapter in their school life and as such ensure our curriculum plans have links with KS1 and are developed alongside subject leaders.

At St Helen’s we believe the enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour and our children feel safe to try new things. We teach our children to believe in themselves, belong to the academy and wider community and strive to be the best versions of themselves.