The Priory CofE Primary School


The Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage is a distinct phase in education, which begins when children are born and continues until the end of Reception year.

Aims of the Foundation Stage at The Priory Church of England School

  • To provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all children that enables them to reach their full potential in all areas of their learning.
  • To provide a safe and stimulating learning environment in which each child can grow in confidence and independence.
  • To foster high self-esteem in the children through the experiences and the interactions they have with both adults and their peers.
  • To encourage the children to develop the social skills they need to work effectively as a group or a class.
  • With the ethos of a church school all staff will encourage and support the children to question and respond to the mysteries of the world.


As a team we believe we must foster children’s emotional skills and well-being if they are to access the curriculum and achieve in all areas of their learning. Therefore we ensure that:

  • Children and staff within the Foundation Stage expect to be treated with honesty and respect.
  • Children are supported to acquire social skills that will help them interact with others.
  • We celebrate children’s progress with them and their parents.
  • We have high expectations of behaviour and support children in making choices for themselves.

Teaching and Learning in the Foundation Stage

At The Priory School the Early Years team have a good understanding of how children learn and we are aware that well-planned play, both indoors and outdoors, is a key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge. Therefore we undertake that all children in the Foundation Stage will:

  • Learn through open-ended play based tasks.
  • Engage in tasks that build on the children’s knowledge and skills.
  • Have opportunities to participate in activities that are initiated by themselves and to engage in activities planned by adults.
  • Be able to access the early years curriculum both inside and outside.

Teaching Strategies

At the heart of the teaching and learning the staff understand that play and episodes of engaged sustained thinking are the ways in which children learn. We are also aware that well-planned, purposeful activity and appropriate intervention by practitioners will engage children in the learning process. Therefore staff will:

  • Use open ended questions to extend children’s learning.
  • Support, encourage and interact with children in a meaningful way, individually, in small groups and in larger group situations.
  • Provide an interesting, stimulating and safe environment in which the children can investigate and learn with the environment arranged into areas for different types of play.
  • Create with the children a stimulating environment inside and outside.
  • Be interested and involved in children's chosen activities and play.

During some parts of the day children in the Foundation Stage will be engaged in activities that they have initiated for themselves. Resources and equipment are accessible to the children in order to allow them to be as autonomous and independent as possible.


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