St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Live, Love, Believe

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Early Years team is led by Mrs Cory who will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the curriculum in the Reception class. 


We are pleased to be an Early Adopters school - the Government has produced a new Early Years Framework for 2021 and we agreed to work within this framework earlier than the anticipated national roll out.


The EYFS Early Adopter Framework states:

  • 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 has 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.


At St Mary's, our intent is to provide our very youngest children with the best possible start to their school education. 

We ensure every child makes good progress from their individual starting  points through close partnership with the parents or carers of our children and ensuring every child is supported and included.

We provide a secure foundation for the learning and development of each child through focussed planning, assessing and review what each child has learnt and identifying their next steps.


The four over-arching principles of the EY framework are an integral part of every day within our Reception class and the ethos in which all learning takes place.

  • every child is unique and constantly learning 
  • positive relationships - with adults in school and at home and with their peers - encourages children to be independent, resilient and confident
  • the child's individual interests and needs are responded to within an enabling environment 
  • all children learn and develop at different rates 


With these principles in mind, we provide opportunities for the children to play and explore; to investigate and experience things; to "have a go". Children are encouraged to keep on trying even if they find things tricky - and to celebrate their achievements. Through giving them opportunities for creating and thinking critically, children develop and make links between ideas and come up with strategies for doing things.


There are 7 areas of learning and development, all of which are important and inter-connected.

The first 3 of these areas are known as prime areas:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development


The other 4 areas are known as specific areas:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Within each of these 7 areas, are a series of Early Learning Goals (ELGs) which help teachers to assess the level of development most children should have achieved by the end of their year in Reception class.

However, we recognise that not all children develop at the same rate and some may need longer or more support to meet their Early Learning Goals and this will be fully discussed with the parents.


The document below outlines the 7 areas of learning and development and explains the Early Learning Goals within each area.