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St Anne's Infants' School


Reach for the Stars


Early Years Foundation Stage


What is the EYFS?

  • The EYFS is a statutory framework to support children’s learning and development from birth until the end of the Reception year in school

    The EYFS framework describes how Early Years practitioners should work with children and their families to enable children to reach their full potential and meet the appropriate age related development millstones

  • The EYFS framework also describes how children should be kept safe and cared for


Learning and Development

There are seven areas of learning and development set out in the EYFS framework. We value all seven areas of learning and development and understand that they are connected to one another and are all equally important.


Three ‘Prime Areas’ are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Communication and Language

  • Physical Development


Children’s learning and development is also guided through four ‘Specific Areas’ in which the three Prime Areas are strengthened and applied. These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics 
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


Practitioners provide children with a range of play and learning experiences in all these areas appropriate for their stage of development to help them to learn and develop new skills working towards the Early Learning Goals at the end of their time in Reception.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

The characteristics of effective learning play a central role in a child’s learning and in becoming an effective learner. The characteristics run through and underpin all seven areas of learning and development. The characteristics also link with our Star Values. We represent the characteristics with three dinosaurs, so that they are accessible to the children:

  • Explorasaurus - Playing and exploring
  • Tryatops - Active learning
  • Thinkadon - Creating and thinking critically


At the end of the year your child’s report will have comments about how your child demonstrates the three Characteristics of Effective Learning. You will also see this within your child’s Tapestry observations. We encourage parents and carers to be fully involved, to share their learning and interests at home and help to plan their child's next steps in through the Tapestry online leaning diary.


You can find out more about this statutory document at


The Reception Curriculum at St Anne's Infants'

In Reception the curriculum introduces learning themes and combines this with the children’s interests to provide motivating and meaningful experiences.


The yearly themes are:

  • Settling in and getting to know our school and each other
  • How can we move?
  • What is the same?
  • What are creatures?
  • What can I do now?
  • What makes a great story?


All seven areas of the EYFS curriculum are woven through these themes and children learn through a balance of adult-directed and child-initiated activities which as based in play where possible. Children continue to have access to indoor and outdoor learning opportunities but there is an increased focus on the specific areas of learning to build on the solid foundations that have been laid in children's nursery provision. Reception is an exciting year in which children make rapid progress with their reading, writing and mathematical skills. Phonics is taught discretely after the children's initial settling in period to support their development in literacy. At the end of the Reception year, all children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals of the EYFS curriculum.


To find out more about our expectations in Reception, please click on the Literacy and Maths icons on the Curriculum page.