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Early Years Foundation Stage - Oak Class

Oak class is our Early Years Foundation Stage (Reception) Class

Children are aged 4-5 years old

Teachers; Mrs Josephine Shepherd and Mrs Jayne Teager

Supported by; Miss Eleanor Clarke

How Children Learn in the EYFS

On joining our Reception Class your child will be in the final year of the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (EYFS). They will be working towards the 17 Early Learning Goals which is the government's expectation for all children by the time they leave the EYFS. We use the Development Matters document to guide our planning of the next steps of learning our children will be working towards. 

We have a focus on phonics throughout the school using 'Letters and Sounds' and we supplement this in the EYFS with 'Jolly Phonics'. Our Maths is taught using the 'Maths Mastery' approach. Parent guides to both phonics and maths can be found at the botom of this page. 

Other regular learning includes weekly teaching of RE, PE, music and a focus on PSHE. The children also have the experience of cooking activities and using the whole school grounds for physical activities

Through play and purposeful activities, the Early Years curriculum is designed to encourage learning which builds on and extends your child’s existing knowledge, experiences and interests in a caring and stimulating environment. Children learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outdoors. We ensure each child is reaching their full potential by observing and extending their play and encouraging them to do their best at every opportunity.

In Reception your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development, as set out by the EYFS Framework.

The three prime areas are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Language and Communication
  • Physical Development

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning and will help them to develop skills in the four specific areas which are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Prime Areas of Learning

Personal, Social and Emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

Language and Communication development 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.


Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Specific Areas of Learning

Literacy development 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.

Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.


Understanding the world 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 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.

The Learning Journey

Each child in the EYFS has a ‘Learning Journey’ file, which is a record of experiences and learning presented through photographs and observations made of your child at school. All staff working with your child will add to the file and use it to identify the next steps in your child’s learning. At Bramfield, we use an online version of the file, called ‘Tapestry’, which allows parents to access their child’s file from home, and add to it with their own comments and photographs etc. At the end of the year, parents are given their child’s learning journey as a PDF file to keep, share and treasure.

Planning in the Moment

Through careful observation 'next steps' are identifeid for each individual and these determine the areas of learning we need to focus on. Seasonal events such as harvest time or Bonfire night are regular topics we cover. However, children’s interests and fascinations need to be responded to quickly to gain the full value of their curiosity and engagement at the time and our approach to planning allows us to do just that. It is the children themselves who dictate the majority of the topics we cover in Reception.   

To facilitate this further, each week we select a ‘focus child’ for the following week. Parents of the child are given a consultation sheet to fill in and are encouraged to upload 5 photos of their child engaged in activities which they enjoy. On the return to school on Monday, the children share their photos with the rest of the class and these act as a springboard for ideas of activities the children might like to try. For example,  one pupil was very interested in princesses so we decidied as a class to organise a Cinderella Ball in the school hall. This led to invitations being written, guest lists and menus, as well as the creative and physical aspects of the dancing. The learning opportunites grow easily out of these activities and the children are even more engaged in the learning because it is meaningful to them.  

Parents of the focus child are given the opportunity to raise any questions they might have about their child’s learning and development and at the end of the week, we invite these parents in to discuss their child’s learning. Together we agree on areas to focus on and how we can work together to support their child in taking their next steps of learning.       

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