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Early Years Foundation Stage


At At Shay Lane Primary School we value the importance of Early Years Education as the beginning of a child’s learning journey throughout school. Our mixed Nursery and Reception Foundation Stage Unit is made up of a 52 place nursery (26 places in a morning and 26 places in an afternoon) and a Reception class.


Reception Class

Miss Hodgkiss - Class Teacher

Mrs White - Teaching Assistant

Miss Smith - Teaching Assistant



Miss Whipp - Class Teacher

Mrs Asqwith - Nursery Nurse

Mrs Kent - Teaching Assistant

Miss Richie - Teaching Assistant


Shay Lane Foundation Unit is a ‘magical’ learning community where children come first. We have the highest aspirations and expectations for all our children and our vision is that every child strives to be the best they can be. Children are supported to become active learners who are inquirers, independent, creative, risk-taking, ambitious and constantly persevere. We are committed to promoting pupil agency through developing metacognition.


‘Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfill 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 it’s 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.’


Within the Foundation Stage we have developed our Curriculum to prepare our children for Key Stage 1 across all subject areas. We have carefully constructed learning opportunities, which are underpinned by The Early Years Framework (2021). This includes seven educational programmes based upon the three prime areas and four specific areas.


The three Prime Areas are – Communication and Language Physical Development Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

The four Specific Areas are – Literacy (Reading & Writing) Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Arts and Design.


The three prime areas form the building blocks for learning and underpin our curriculum across all areas. Good development in all of these areas is essential for all other learning to take place. We pride ourselves on the promotion and development of PSED and Communication and Language so that children can go on through school to reach their full potential.


We provide a balanced curriculum which incorporates child initiated learning through play, adult led focus groups and whole class teaching. Our aim is to promote independence, confidence and a love of learning as well as the necessary knowledge and skills which will prepare the children for moving up into Key Stage One.


We do our upmost to work with parents and see them as partners in their child’s early education. We rely on information about a child’s interests and achievements at home in order to build up a holistic view of each child and refine their next steps of learning.


Enabling Environments

At Shay Lane we acknowledge that the environment plays a vital role in supporting and extending the children’s development. We aim to create an attractive, welcoming and stimulating learning environment, which will encourage children to explore, investigate and learn through first-hand experience.  We also aim to make it a place where children feel secure and confident and are challenged to develop their independence. Activities are planned for both the inside and outside environment.  Children have the freedom to move between the indoor and outdoor classroom during child-initiated learning time.

Children have access to a wide range of equipment including construction materials, role play equipment, small world, sand and water equipment, art materials, musical instruments, ICT equipment, mark making materials, counting equipment, books, larger outdoor equipment and specialist PE equipment. All areas are carefully planned to reflect learning needs, the theme and children’s interests.

All children and adults are expected to take responsibility for the care of and use of resources and the environment and we believe that supporting the children and helping them to look after and respect their environment is a very important part of a child’s development.  We encourage children to tidy up as they go through the day and we also have ‘Tidy Up Time’ before lunch and at the end of the day as this offers a valuable opportunity for talking, reading, problem solving, reasoning, counting and sorting activities.

How the environment supports the curriculum

We believe that developing a learning environment that allows the children to select their own resources is a crucial part of creating independent and curious learners. Adults support the children to select the things they need to follow their interest. Often when a new interest develops the adults will then adapt the environment and resources to support this thread of learning.

A long term plan sets out our intent for the year and we acknowledge that there will be always flexibility within this in order to react to interests and development. Our team produce a weekly plan which outlines the learning intentions to be focused on in each area of learning and show how those activities and experiences will be delivered through ‘Adult Led’ and ‘Child Initiated’ learning opportunities. Planning is therefore constantly developed, adapted and evaluated through ongoing observations of child initiated or spontaneous activity and planned opportunities (indoors and outdoors). Assessment for learning is crucial in response to children’s developmental needs and interests. The learning intentions are also informed by a thorough knowledge of child development enhanced by reference to the ‘Development Matters’ document.

Starting Points for Learning in the EYFS

We feel it is important that we provide inspiring starting points for children’s learning which provoke the children to take the lead in their learning.

Starting points each term are as follows:

Autumn 1 - What makes me special

Autumn 2 - How shall we celebrate?

Spring 1 - Winter wonderland

Spring 2 - Bears

Summer 1 - Ready steady grow!

Summer 2 - Little explorers on the move


What does the Foundation Stage look like at Shay Lane - 


Our Curriculum

Long term plans