Gurnard Primary School

Gurnard Primary School

Inspire, Achieve, Celebrate

  1. Our curriculum
  2. Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage


At Gurnard Primary School our aim is to provide high quality early years provision that meets the needs of children and their families. Our provision is based on the understanding that Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.”

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage March 2014  



Early Years Provision

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At Gurnard Primary School, children join the Reception Class in the year that they turn five. Our provision is based on the four Early Years Foundation Stage principles of: A Unique Child; Positive Relationships; Enabling Environments; and Learning and Development.


A unique Child

All children and their families are valued at Gurnard Primary School and the diversity of individuals and communities is valued and respected. Children are treated as individuals and have equal access to all provisions available. We recognise that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates. All children are encouraged to achieve their personal best and planning is adapted to meet the needs of all groups and abilities. Any child with potential Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) is identified at the earliest possible opportunity. Concerns are always discussed with parents/carers at an early stage and the school’s Inclusion Lead is called upon for further information and advice. Appropriate steps are taken in accordance with the school’s SEND Policy.


Positive Relationships

  • We recognise that children learn to be strong, confident and independent from being in secure relationships. We aim to develop caring, respectful, professional relationships with children and their families.
  • We have very strong links with our feeder pre-schools and childminders. The Early Years Team meet with providers to discuss each individual child and their transition into school.
  • We offer several opportunities to talk to parents about their child before their child starts in our school including information evenings, home visits and play sessions.
  • We offer children the opportunity to spend time in the Reception Class before starting school and a staggered entry to help children settle into class.
  • All children are allocated a key person during their time in the Reception Class and specific time is timetabled to work with these groups regularly. Developing a positive relationship and secure attachment with their key person enables children to feel safe and supports their emotional needs and development.
  • We operate an open door policy with Early Years staff available to talk to parents/carers at the beginning and end of every school day.
  • We use an online learning profiles called Tapestryso that parents/carers can access their child’s profile from home and add their own observations to it.
  • We run a rolling programme of three pupil mentoring sessions a year.
  • We organise a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between child, school and parents.
  • We provide a full report on children’s attainment and progress at the end of their time in the Foundation Stage.


Enabling Environments

At Gurnard Primary School our aim is to provide a rich and varied indoor and outdoor environment that supports children’s learning and development. This begins by observing the children and assessing their interests, development and prior learning to ensure that opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child. We recognise that some children prefer to learn outside rather than inside. Learning outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors and the children have free flow access to the outdoor environment at all times.


Learning and Development

  • We consider that every area of children’s learning and development - physical, cognitive, linguistic, spiritual, social and emotional - is equally important. 
  • Our teaching reflects the principles that children learn through: playing and exploring; active learning; and creating and thinking critically. Through play children explore and develop learning experiences which help them make sense of the world. Staff will enhance play and extend it as needed to further individual learning. 
  • Our Early Years Team understand the importance of engaging the children in stimulating learning experiences, interacting with the children and encouraging the use of language to extend their understanding. Children will be encouraged to communicate with one another and with the adults in the setting at all times. Adults model good language skills and encourage children to participate in role play activities and scenarios which will stimulate and excite their imagination. We encourage children to ask questions and find answers through first hand learning experiences. Through sensitive questioning the children will be encouraged to think deeply and to extend their learning. 
  • All children are encouraged to show respect towards one another by sharing, taking turns, using language such as “please” and “thank you” and showing consideration towards others. 
  • The children are encouraged to be independent learners, following their own interests, accessing their own resources and helping to tidy the environment at the end of each session.



The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Framework provides a structure of learning opportunities through which we develop the different aspects of early education. All of the areas of learning are delivered through planned, purposeful play, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities, both indoors and outdoors.


Three prime areas of:

Four specific areas of:

Personal social & emotional development

Communication and language

Physical development



Understanding the world

Expressive arts and design