Early Years Foundation Stage



Nursery and Reception classes are known as The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). We follow the statutory framework for the EYFS and have a bespoke curriculum built around this.


At Guildford Grove we want our Nursery and Reception pupils to have access to a broad and balanced EYFS curriculum which prepares them for now and for the future. Following personal interests and individual needs, we plan opportunities throughout our EYFS curriculum to support all children’s learning and development and to help children to achieve their full potential.

Our EYFS curriculum aims to enable our children to be:

✔ Happy and secure individuals; who feel safe, supported and nurtured in the school environment.

✔ Skilful communicators; who connect with others through language and play, ensuring that they play in a vocabulary-rich environment.

✔ Independent and creative learners; who are curious about the world around them and begin to develop good learning habits to help them to achieve their best.


The EYFS curriculum in Nursery and Reception follows a thematic approach. Our thematic curriculum promotes high quality learning through engaging topics and it is sequenced to provide a clear framework of progression in skills and knowledge to equip children for the next stage of their education across all areas of learning. We have carefully designed our thematic curriculum to ensure it reflects our school community and supports our values and ethos as a school.


Just as in the wider school, in each term the children will:

  • Experience an exciting hook to immerse them in the new curriculum area,
  • Learn new sticky knowledge to ensure they retain key information,
  • Develop their subject specific vocabulary and
  • Work towards a shared goal to make learning meaningful.

Our Early Years classrooms are spacious and child centred. We have a large outdoor space which is exclusively for Early Years children to play and explore in. Our outdoor space has large areas for construction and gross motor play. It also has planting spaces, a gravel pit and areas for children to explore water and sand.


Home visits
Before children begin in our Nursery or Reception classes, two members of our team come to visit children and their parents/carers at home. This helps us to find out about the child; their interests, strengths, and any particular needs that they might have. When it is time for children to start Nursery or Reception, we work with parents/carers, to organise a staggered start to enable children to adjust at their own pace.


For Nursery there are two sessions, a morning session running 8:45-11:45 (Sunflowers) and an afternoon session running 12:15-3:15 (Daisies). Children are brought to the Nursery door by their parents/ carers and the staff greet them there.

A typical session in Nursery may look like this:

  • Welcome and free play
  • Carpet time
  • Child initiated play (small group work and adult focused activities happen during this time)
  • Snack and story time
  • Rhyme time
  • Home time

For Reception pupils, the day runs from 8:45am – 3:15pm. Children are brought to the classroom door by their parents/ carers and the staff greet them there. They are collected in the same way at 3:15pm.

A typical day in Reception may look like this:

  • Early morning mark making and free play
  • Phonics
  • Reading
  • Child initiated play
  • Carpet time (a different area of learning focus each day)
  • Lunch
  • Maths
  • Child initiated play (small group work and adult focused activities happen during this time)
  • Story and Rhyme time
  • Home time


In Reception and Nursery, children are offered a piece fruit and a carton of milk. We also ask parents/ carers to send their child in with water which the children can freely access throughout the day.


Children in Reception have lunch in the dinner hall at 11:45am with their friends. There is a choice of a packed lunch from home or a school dinner. School dinners are freshly cooked on site. Each day there are an excellent range of meal options available, and all dietary needs are able to be catered for. Meals are free of charge.

Key person approach

Children in the EYFS are assigned a key person to help them feel individual, cherished and cared for while they are away from home. This approach means that there is one named member of staff to act as the main point of contact for parents and children.


The key person will support parents and children by:

✔ Helping children to settle in when they first arrive at Nursery.

✔  Making sure that any questions are answered.

✔ Helping children with their personal care, for instance changing nappies, going to the toilet, washing hands.

✔ Observing the children’s play and providing suitable resources and activities.

✔ Keeping up-to-date records about the child’s learning and sharing them with parents.

✔ Encouraging children to develop independent skills, such as putting on their own shoes/coat.

Working with Parents/ Carers

Our aim at Guildford Grove is to work in collaboration with parents/ carers as much as possible. We regularly run ‘Stay and Play’ sessions where parents/ carers are invited to come into Nursery and Reception to work with their children in their school environment.


Throughout the year, we run a range of workshops for parents/ carers to give information about how different areas are taught. We also send home weekly newsletters which detail what the children have been learning in school that week in order for parents to support children further at home.

We use the app, Seesaw, to record some evidence of children’s learning. Parents/ carers are given access to this at home so that they can add information to support us in building up a clear picture of a child’s skills/interests/ development.

There are termly meetings with each child’s class teacher. These provide a formal opportunity for parents/carers to hear about their child’s progress.

We take the children out on several local trips throughout the year to enhance their learning. We are always very grateful for adult support on these outings!

At Guildford Grove, we are lucky to have very experienced staff who work hard to ensure that all children are nurtured and supported throughout their time in EYFS. Staff are always happy to talk to parents/ carers. The best way to do this is to make an appointment with the teacher at drop off/ collection time or via the school office.


Further information can be found within our Early Years Policy and under the curriculum tab.


For further information on how children with special educational needs and disabilities are supported at Guildford Grove, please see the SEND section of our website.


Useful links
Link to EYFS Framework:

Link to Development Matters guidance. This gives information about the typical development that you can expect for your child at different stages between 0-5 years: