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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.

You can access a virtual tour of our EYFS area here: EYFS Virtual Tour

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.


Communication and Language Listening, Attention and Understanding
Children at the expected level of development will:
Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions; Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding; Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.

Children at the expected level of development will:
Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary; Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate; Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children at the expected level of development will: Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly; Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate; Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

Managing Self
Children at the expected level of development will: Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge; Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly; Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.

Building Relationships
Children at the expected level of development will: Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others; Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers; - Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs.

Physical Development Gross Motor Skills
Children at the expected level of development will: Children at the expected level of development will: Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others; Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing; Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.

Fine Motor Skills
Children at the expected level of development will: Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases; Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery; Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.

Children at the expected level of development will: Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary; Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories; Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

Word Reading
Children at the expected level of development will: Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs; Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending; Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

Children at the expected level of development will: Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed; Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters; Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.


Children at the expected level of development will: Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number; Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5; Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

Numerical Patterns
Children at the expected level of development will: Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system; Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity; Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally

Understanding the World

Past and Present
Children at the expected level of development will: Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society; Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.

People, Culture and Communities
Children at the expected level of development will: Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps; Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

The Natural World
Children at the expected level of development will: Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;  Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class; Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.

Expressive Arts and Design

Creating with Materials
Children at the expected level of development will: Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function; Share their creations, explaining the process they have used; Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.

Being Imaginative and Expressive
Children at the expected level of development will: Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher; Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs; Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.                                                                                   

Within Reception we will also focus on developing the Characteristics of Effective Learning within your child.  These three 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.

Playing and exploring Children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
Active learning Children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
Creating and thinking critically Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

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 using the recognised synthetic phonics programme, Jolly Phonics. These are fun sessions involving lots of speaking and listening, 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. Information regarding the Jolly Phonics programme can be downloaded here: Jolly Phonics Parent Teacher Guide


When forming a judgement about whether an individual child is at the expected level of development, teachers draw on their knowledge of the child and their own expert professional judgement.  Formative assessment and responsive practice takes place during every interaction with the children.  Teachers do not wait for formal assessment periods to put into place learning experiences and support for children to achieve, this is done in the moment or as soon as possible after an interaction.  A summative assessment in each area of learning will be made at the end of each half term when the Teacher will meet with the Head teacher to discuss each child and flag any areas of concern.  During each half term each child will be observed during an extended period of learning and assessed using Development Matters 2021. 

The delivery of our EYFS curriculum is dependent on Teachers knowledge of the child and paedological expertise and our Teachers are committed to quality interactions with the children and therefore we prioritise this over excessive documentation and recording. 

Half termly observations of children will be shared with parents, via a piece of educational software called ‘Tapestry’.  At the end of each week the parents will be updated on the learning the class as a whole have experienced during that week using the Tapestry system. 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 has an individual account 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. 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.