An overview of what and how we teach…

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage is the period of education for all children from birth to the end of the reception year (their first year at school).  This important stage provides children with secure foundations for continued learning.

There is a national framework for this stage which is used by all OFSTED registered pre-schools, nurseries, playgroups and childminders to support children’s learning during this time. Please see our latest OFSTED report by following the link:

What will my child be learning?

The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage was reviewed and revised in September 2021. Whilst maintaining that a child’s learning in all areas is interrelated, it is acknowledged that there are some areas of learning that are of critical importance (“prime areas”) and that a child’s progress in these will be key to “unlocking” a child’s potential in all other areas (“specific areas”).

Therefore the greatest importance should be put on these prime areas of development for children in the Foundation Stage.

At Little Oaks we will therefore tailor our provision to allow all children to make the very best progress they can in these areas, whilst also providing fun and challenging opportunities for children to progress in the specific areas of development, at a time and stage which is right for them individually.

Prime areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will be helped to develop a positive attitude, a sense of well-being, positive relationships, confidence, independence, the ability to know what their own needs are and an understanding of the difference between right and wrong. They will learn how to make choices and how to express their needs and feelings in an appropriate way.

Physical Development

This area of learning will help develop children’s co-ordination and control, manipulation and movement.
Gross motor skills will develop through climbing, running, building and moving.
Fine motor skills will develop through small world, sand, water and creative play.
Children will also learn about staying healthy, by being introduced to healthy foods. They will learn about self-care practices through the daily routines of the pre school.

Communication and Language

Children will be helped to develop crucial speaking, listening and understanding skills.Through roleplay and creative activities they will have opportunities to practise speaking and listening to each other. During session time and crucially keygroup time they will have opportunities to speak and listen with adults too. If a child needs some additional support in this area he or she will be invited to join our “chattering crew”.

Specific areas


Through fun and open ended activites children will begin to develop an understanding of numbers, space, shape and measure. They will have opportunities to sort, count, problem solve and construct. They will begin to gain a real understanding of these concepts and not simply learn to recite by rote.

Understanding the World

Children will be encouraged to explore and find out about the world around them through asking questions. They will be able to find out about everyday technology, past events, and the communities in which they live.

Expressive Arts

Creativity is fundamental to successful learning. It includes; art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play where children will be encouraged to respond and express their ideas in individual ways.


Once children have the necessary physical skills they will be supported to mark make as part of their play. Through singing and rhyming activities they will begin to apply their understanding of sound differentiation, which will form sound foundations for phonic writing later on.

How will my child be learning?

  • Through DOING rather than being told.  Children learn most effectively when they are actively involved and interested.
  • By building upon what your child CAN DO as a starting point for learning.
  • Through PLAY. Play is the key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.
  • Through talking to others. Playing and talking are the main ways through which children learn about themselves and the world around them.
  • Through developing relationships with peers and adults.

For more information about how to support your child’s learning at home, click here.

Contact Little Oaks

If you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help. Please feel free to call our office on:

01280 840201

Contact Little Oaks

If you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help. Please feel free to call our office on:

01280 840201

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