We offer quality learning experience for children

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Find out what the EYFS is plus how we support children with Special Educational Needs.

What is the EYFS?

The EYFS is the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The full document can be seen here: EYFS. 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.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

The EYFS seeks to provide:
  • Quality and consistency in all early years settings, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities that are planned around the needs and interests of each individual child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.
  • Partnership working between practitioners and with parents and/or carers.
  • Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
There are four guiding principles that shape practice in early years settings
  • Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.
  • Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
  • Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers
  • Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


EYFS: 7 Areas of Learning

The EYFS learning and development requirements comprise:  the seven areas of learning and development and the educational programmes.

The seven areas of learning are achieved through Play! Our staff ensure that our play opportunities are varied and exciting for our children.

There are 7 areas of learning and development that must shape our educational provision, these areas are all important and interconnected. The first three are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn. These three areas are called the Prime Areas. These are followed with four Specific Areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.

We assess the areas of learning at the following times: A Baseline when a child settles with us, a Two Year Check and at the end of each term. We share these with parents through our app called Parent Portal. This information is shared with comments and/or photographs and videos.

Prime Areas:

  • Communication and Language (C&L)
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
  • Physical Development (PD)

Specific Areas:

  • Literacy (L)
  • Mathematics (M)
  • Understanding the World (UW)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (EAD)

These areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. Our staff ensure these activities are targeted to your child’s individual interests, needs and stage of ability and these shape Our Curriculum alongside our unique environment, skilled staff and activities on offer.. There are also many resources available for children to choose themselves and develop their independence.

Educational Programmes

Educational programmes must involve activities and experiences for children, as set out under each of the areas of learning.

Communication and Language

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. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children’s language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. 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. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. 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 peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.

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, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. 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. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.


It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).


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. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, 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

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.

Expressive Arts and Design

The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.

What to Expect When?

Children develop at their own rates, and in their own ways. Information can be found in the following guide that is available to download online or to borrow from our Nursery: What to expect when, A Parent’s Guide

Further information can also be found by downloading: The parents guide to the EYFS

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the prime and specific areas of learning are all interconnected. They should also underpin everything that practitioners offer in the environment. The characteristics describe how a child learns.

When children are left to explore a stimulating learning environment on their own, they will learn through playing and exploring. Children also need support from a skillful practitioner, who has the knowledge of when to intervene and give guidance. This support will help children make significant progress in their learning.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

Playing and exploring

Finding out and exploring
Playing with what they know
Being willing to ‘have a go.’

Active learning

Being involved and concentrating
Keeping trying
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do

Creating and thinking critically

Having their own ideas
Making links
Choosing ways to do things

Additional Needs- Early Help Hub

At Bolitho Nursery, we firmly believe that all children are precious and have gifts and talents, that must be developed and shared to enable them to reach their full potential. We recognise that as children learn through experience, individual needs will become evident. Effective teaching strives to meet these needs and challenge children to achieve their full potential and excel.

Our Nursery has a Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator (SENCO) The SENCO works closely with the manager and with all practitioners in the setting; has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the setting’s SEN policy, and for coordinating provision across the setting; and for supporting colleagues in all aspects of their work with children with SEN.

Our SENCO can contact the Early Help Hub if our staff or you as a parent identifies a reason to enquire for further support for you as a family or your child.

The following information is from www.cornwall.gov.uk where you can search ‘Early Help Hub’ for further information.

What is Early Help?

Early Help includes help provided in both early childhood and early in the development of a problem. Early Help is available to children and young people of all ages from pre-birth up to the age of 18, and up to the age of 25 where young people have special educational needs or disability.

Vision for Early Help

Early Help in Cornwall aims to ensure that services to support children, young people and their parents are there when they need them. Early Help is about identifying problems at an early stage and providing purposeful and effective help as soon as possible once they have been identified, working with families to solve those problems before they get worse.

Find out more about our SEN provision via our Local Offer.

There are a wide range of services available through the Early Help Hub and you will be involved and supported at all stages.