Early Years - The Foundation Stages

What to expect in the EYFS - A Parents Guide

What to expect in the EYFS


Our Foundation Stage Curriculum Topics

The 4 Principles


What we do to promote this aim at St Thomas'

  • Understand and observe each child’s development and learning, assess progress & plan for next steps. 
  • Support children to develop a positive sense of their own identity, religion and culture.
  • Try to identify any need for additional support.
  • Keep children safe.
  • Value and respect all children and families equally.


What we do to promote this aim at St Thomas’

  • Have a warm and nurturing approach, fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Be welcoming of all families and encourage participation in school events.
  • Have open lines of communication (Dojo, Email, Website, Open door policy).
  • Act sensitively, Responding to children’s needs, feelings and interests.
  • Support children’s own efforts and encourage independence.
  • Consistently set clear boundaries and have high expectations.
  • Build positive relationships with key workers, peers and staff.
  • Encourage children to be brave in their approach, understanding that mistakes are part of learning.
  • Work closely with outside agencies.
  • Include the families voice when making ‘best fit’ assessment judgements.
  • Shares ways to support children’s learning at home.


What we do to promote this aim at St Thomas’ 

  • Try to use stimulating resources
  • Provide rich learning opportunities through play and playful teaching
  • Support children to take risks and explore. 
  • Provide learning opportunities both indoors and out
  • Provide opportunities to problem solve and build independence 
  • Provide prayer and reflection spaces to develop awareness of their own and others beliefs 
  • Offer breakfast club, snacks and healthy lunches
  • Encourage active travel to school and provide bike/scooter sheds
  • Offer recently developed outdoor areas
  • Opportunities to use the outdoor classroom and allotment 


What we do to promote this aim at St Thomas’ 

  • Practitioners teach children by ensuring challenging, playful opportunities across the prime and specific areas of learning
  • communication and language development
  • personal, social and emotional development 
  • physical development 
  • literacy 
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design 
  • Teach broad topics to stimulate and develop interest 
  • Include children’s own interests
  • Foster the characteristics of effective early learners 
  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically 


Our EYFS Curriculum 

The content of our curriculum is delivered through a range of broad and balanced, knowledge-rich projects that children love. Subject driven and rich in knowledge, our curriculum projects help us to deliver all the necessary early years learning needed to be the most ready they can for national curriculum content. We follow our curriculum plan for maximum sequencing and connectivity. This unique progression from nursery to Year 6 aims to promote the acquisition of ambitious knowledge, high-level literacy, technical vocabulary and the characteristics of learning, to ensure children are prepared for National Curriculum subject disciplines.  

Children in EYFS have a balance of adult and child led play and learning activities to ensure learning takes place both indoors and out. The ultimate goal being that children know more, remember more and do more each day. 

Phonics - unlocking the code to reading and writing 

What is RWI phonics?

How to say the sounds
Short video to support parents/carers with phonics sounds.

10 things to think about when you read to your child
A video of tips for parents/carers.

Why read to your child?


At St Thomas’ C of E Primary we use Mini Mash. This is an online resource that supports teaching and learning in the Early Years environment. It is an interactive virtual classroom that allows children in nursery and reception to explore, learn and create in a safe online space. It offers a wide range of tools mapped around the seven learning areas of the EYFS Framework. It also comes complete with 25+ themed topic packs covering all of the Early Years favourites.

This program allows children to build the skills needed ready for the use of Purple Mash from year 1 onwards. 

EYFS staff use the Charanga resource to support music teaching & learning. This half termly (6-step) focus-based approach supports staff in engaging all young children with music. It includes a variety of adult-led and child-initiated activities delivered through planning and play. All the musical learning is focussed around nursery rhymes and action songs.
Each Unit of Work is supported by weekly lesson plans and assessment and has a cross- curricular/topic-based focus and a musical focus that allows teachers to engage the children in activities related to the developmental events taking place in their changing lives.
The Units of Work in Terms 1 and 2 are more flexible allowing for child-led activities based around the focus for learning. In Term 3, Big Bear Funk transitions from being focus based to preparing for Year 1. The final Unit for the year Reflect, Rewind and Replay consolidates the year’s learning. The Units of Work are delivered as a full 30-45 minute lesson, or in shorter 5, 10, 15, 20 minute bite-size sections.
Summary of learning:
Musical learning focus for Terms 1 and 2: Listening and responding to different styles of music, embedding foundations of the interrelated dimensions of music, listening to, learning to sing or sing along with nursery rhymes and action songs, improvising leading to playing classroom instruments and, share and perform the learning that has taken place.