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We celebrate and nurture the unique child, building a shared environment that embraces our surroundings, promotes independence and supports the development of skills for the future.

At Great Finborough we recognise the importance of playing and exploring for young children and provide lots of opportunities for our youngest children to learn through play during the school day. This play is supported by high quality interactions from the adults, encouraging our children to problem solve, persevere, take risks and develop independence.  Children in our EYFS Reception Class have access to a high quality learning environment consisting of indoor and outdoor class space and regular visits to the local Woodland area.

Our Early Years Foundation Stage Children join in our ‘Green Class’ and are taught by Ms Rebecca Firman, an experienced Early Years Foundation Stage Teacher.

Getting Started in the EYFS

We recognise that starting school is a big transition for both children and parents and we provide a range of events and activities to support you and your child through this process. These include:


Each year we hold 2 ‘Come & Join In’ sessions which are to enable your child to become familiar with the classroom setting and for the new class to enjoy the classroom environment together.  Parents and Carers stay in school during these sessions and  refreshments are provided for them by representatives of our local Church in the school hall. Younger siblings are welcome, but they must remain within the school under parental supervision.

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We will invite you to an induction evening about becoming part of the Great Finborough Primary School community on one evening during the Summer Term.   During this meeting you will meet your child’s Teacher and Teaching Assistant and will hear important information about the transition process and preparing your child for the first few days in their new school. You will also have a chance to ask any questions you may have.  You can download a copy of the booklet from last year’s Induction Evening here.

There will be a welcome from the Headteacher.  A representative from the Governing Body will be present and will outline the work of the school Governors.  Our School Business Manager will also be there with information about free school meals and how to purchase school uniform.

During this meeting we will have a signup sheet for home visits, a crucial opportunity for the teachers to get to know you and your child.


Towards the end of the Summer term Ms Firman will arrange a time to come and visit your child at home.  The main purpose of the visit is for her to introduce herself to your child in a familiar setting.  It is also a time for you to ask questions and tell us important information about your child.


This will take place on towards the end of July.  Ms Firman will be ready to welcome your child at the front entrance of the school at 10:00am.  You are invited to return to school and join your child for lunch and the session will end at approximately 12.30 (after lunch).  No uniform is required on the day but will be essential for the first day of term.


You, as Parents and Carers, are an important part of your child’s education. All children at our school make ‘Good’ progress from their relative starting points. The school’s tracking systems also indicate clearly that a child who is well supported at home makes even greater progress- this partnership is essential.

To help you with this, you will be invited to further meetings in the new academic year that explain how we plan, teach and assess your children in Green Class, how we teach phonics and maths, and how you can support at home.   Dates for these will be shared at in the Autumn Newsletter, which you will receive in the first few weeks back at school.

EYFS Curriculum

EYFS Curriculum Map

In the Early Years Foundation Stage there are 7 areas of learning; 3 of which are deemed the Prime Areas and the 4 Specific Areas. Each area is split into their separate Early Learning Goals, which is what your child will be working towards, and assessed against, at the end of Reception. Within Reception we will also focus on developing the Characteristics of Effective Learning within your child.  These characteristics focus on how children learn; therefore they run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development.  As enduring characteristics, pertaining to lifelong learning, they need to be continuously observed and fostered but cannot be described in a developmental sequence.

Listening and Attention Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
Understanding Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
Speaking Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of the listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
Moving and Handling Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
Health and Self-Care Children know the importance of physical exercise, and a healthy diet has on good health. They can talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.
Self-confidence and Self-awareness Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.
Managing Feelings and Behaviour Children can talk about how they and others show their feelings. They can talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
Making Relationships Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to other children’s needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
Reading Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Writing Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Numbers Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, placing them in order and saying which number is one more or one less than a given number. They can use quantities and objects to add and subtract two single-digit numbers.   Children can count on or back to find an answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
Shape, Space and Measures Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.                                                                                         
People and Communities Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
The World Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
Technology Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
Exploring and using media and materials Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
Being Imaginative Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.
Playing and Exploring – Engagement strong
Finding out and exploring
  • Showing curiosity about objects, events and people
  • Using senses to explore the world around them
  • Engaging in open-ended activity
  • Showing particular interests
Playing with what they know
  • Pretending objects are things from their experience
  • Representing their experiences in play
  • Taking on a role in their play
  • Acting out experiences with other people
Being willing to ‘have a go’
  • Initiating activities
  • Seeking challenge
  • Showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Taking a risk, engaging in new experiences, and learning by trial and error
Active Learning – Motivation
Being involved and concentrating
  • Maintaining focus on their activity for a period of time
  • Showing high levels of energy, fascination
  • Not easily distracted
  • Paying attention to details
Keeping on trying
  • Persisting with activity when challenges occur
  • Showing a belief that more effort or a different approach will pay off
  • Bouncing back after difficulties
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
  • Showing satisfaction in meeting their own goals
  • Being proud of how they accomplished something – not just the end result
  • Enjoying meeting challenges for their own sake rather than external rewards or praise
Creating and Thinking Critically- Thinking
Having their own ideas
  • Thinking of ideas
  • Finding ways to solve problems
  • Finding new ways to do things
Making links
  • Making links and noticing patterns in their experience
  • Making predictions
  • Testing their ideas
  • Developing ideas of grouping, sequences, cause and effect
Choosing ways to do things
  • Planning, making decisions about how to approach a task, solve a problem and reach a goal
  • Checking how well their activities are going
  • Changing strategy as needed
  • Reviewing how well the approach worked

Phonics in the EYFS

As you know, the ability to read and write well is a vital skill for all children, paving the way for an enjoyable and successful school experience. Children learn and practise many of the skills that they need for reading and writing from a very early age. They do this through a wide range of activities and experiences, at home, in settings and in school. They explore and learn through singing and saying rhymes, making and listening to music, talking with others, sharing books with adults and other children, dressing up, experimenting with writing and using puppets and toys to retell and make up stories.

When children enter Reception they take part in high-quality phonics sessions every day. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking, listening and games, where the emphasis is on children’s active participation. They learn to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play.

From a very early stage, children develop awareness of different sounds in spoken language. They develop understanding that spoken words are made up of different sounds (phonemes) and they learn to match these phonemes to letters (graphemes). Phonics is about children knowing how letters link to sounds (graphemes to phonemes), for example, c as in ‘cat’, ll as in ‘fell’, ee as in ‘sheep’. Children use this phonic knowledge when they are reading and writing. This approach has been shown to provide a quick and efficient way for most young children to learn to read words on the page, fluently and accurately. We want children to develop this skill so that it becomes automatic. This also greatly helps them with their spelling. At school we use a systematic phonics programme called Letters and Sounds.

Some files to help you understand our approach to phonics can be downloaded below:


High Frequency Words
in Phases


 Guide to Enunciation



Presentation from Phonics
Information Evening
Autumn 2019


Learning Journeys

In the Early Years Foundation Stage children learn through play, exploration and practical activities which help them to make sense of their world. The Learning Journey documents your child’s learning and development throughout their Reception year at school and is made up of the information, observations and photographs that we gather for each child. All of this information helps us to assess the children’s learning and development and plan appropriately for each child  as they work towards achieving the Early Learning Goals by the end of Reception. We also warmly welcome contributions from parents and other family members,  as this really helps to build a picture of the whole child from more than one perspective.

At Great Finborough we are record our children’s learning journeys using a piece of educational software called ‘Tapestry’. The Tapestry system is hosted in the UK on secure servers which conform to very high environmental standards and are proactively managed 24 hours a day. Each observation we make can be downloaded directly onto the system and linked into your child’s personal profile.

Each child’s learning journey can have individual accounts set up for parents and relatives to access. By logging on with a secure username and password you can access your child’s journal. You will be able to view the observations as a learning journey, flipping through your single child’s observation pages, in time-order, or filtering in flexible ways to access your favourite records. In addition, you can receive automatic emails generated for parents when new entries by the school staff are made.  Tapestry also allows you, as your child’s primary educator, to add observations and photographs of your own, as well as share your comments. We love to hear about learning and WOW moments from home to share with your child in school. At any time you can download a PDF of your child’s learning journey to share with friends and relatives.

NOTE: Parents are only able to view their own child’s journal. However, because children play in close proximity with their friends it does not reflect a true picture of their time at school if photographs are only of a single child. Therefore, photographs of your child may appear on their friends learning journeys.