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Early Years Foundation Stage



“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 have 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."

(“Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage”, Department for Education, 2012, Revised 2014)


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. 


Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. At Pirbright Village Primary School we greatly value the important role that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) plays in laying secure foundations for future learning and development, however we also believe early childhood is valid in itself, as part of life. It is important to view the EYFS as preparation for life and not simply preparation for the next stage of education. The EYFS is for children from birth to five years of age. The final year of the EYFS is referred to as the reception year.


All children begin school with a variety of experiences and learning. It is the privilege of the practitioners working in reception to take on the task of building upon that prior learning and experience. This is done through a holistic approach to learning, ensuring that parents/guardians, support staff and the reception teachers work effectively together to support children's learning and development.


The Early Years Foundation Stage is based on seven areas of learning, three of which are considered prime areas of learning.  The prime areas of learning are particularly critical for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.


The prime areas of learning are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development


The four other areas are known as the specific areas, through which the three prime areas of learning are strengthened and applied.  


The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


Adults have a crucial role in stimulating and supporting children to reach beyond their current limits.  At Pirbright, a child's progress is carefully monitored through recorded observations, focused questioning, photographs and examples of children's work.  These are used to make informed decisions about the child's progress and plan next steps to meet their learning and development needs.


For further information regarding our approach to the Early Years Foundation Stage, please click on the link below.



A 'Good level of development' is the aim we have for all children to achieve at the end of their reception year. When children arrive in reception, we assess them on entry and continue to monitor their progress throughout the year, providing a personalised, progressive and play based approach to their learning.  At the end of the year, we assess the children in reception against the areas of learning in which there are 17 Early Learning Goals (ELG). The children will be awarded one of the following for each ELG:

  • Emerging
  • Expected
  • Exceeding

To achieve a 'Good level of development', the children need to achieve 'Expected' in all prime areas as well as in Literacy and Mathematics.  

At Pirbright Village Primary School, since 2012, when there was a change to the Early Learning Goals, our 'Good level of development' results have been as follows:

A Good Level of Development


Pirbright School










2015-16 69% 70%






Each spring term, we begin to prepare for our new entrants joining in September and it is an exciting time for both parents, children and the staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  Once places have been confirmed, the ball quickly starts rolling!  Information packs containing helpful booklets, dates for the diary and invites to events are sent out and during the run up to the children's first day we ensure everyone is prepared so that the children's very first day at school and the whole of the first year, is a rewarding and memorable experience.


Below is a link to our Parent's section of the website where you will find copies of our booklets for our new entrants under 'new parents'.