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Cassiobury Infant and Nursery School

Learning together, growing together; inspiring our children in their journey through life.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The EYFS covers our Nursery (Squirrel Class) and the three Reception classes (Owl, Rabbit and Woodpecker classes). 

The aims of our EYFS are:

  • To give each child a happy, positive and fun start to their school life in which they can establish solid foundations on which to expand and foster a deep love of learning
  • To offer each child a wide range of new and exciting experiences and give them the opportunity to consolidate, explore and test them out along with their own, individual experiences
  • To enable each child, through encouragement and high expectations, to develop to the full, socially, physically, intellectually and emotionally
  • To offer a structure for learning that has a range of starting points and unlimited opportunity for development
  • To encourage children to develop independence within a loving, secure and friendly atmosphere
  • To support children in building relationships through the development of social skills such as cooperation and sharing
  • To help each child to recognise their own strengths and achievements through experiencing success and developing the confidence to work towards personal goals.


The ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment – playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically – underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner. 


These characteristics of learning and the areas of development are all interconnected.  The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS.  The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning.


The areas of development are listed below with the prime areas highlighted in bold:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Physical Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive and Arts and Design

We ensure there is a balance of adult led and child initiated activities across the day. Although much of the time is spent with children self-selecting tasks, the interaction between the adult and child is essential as the adult’s response to children builds understanding and therefore guides new learning. The adult’s role is to continually model, demonstrate and question what the child is doing.



Learning through play is an important part of our EYFS. We believe children learn best through activities and experiences that interest and inspire them. We provide children with stimulating, active play experiences in which they can explore and develop their learning to help them make sense of the world. This is done through following the whole school topic and through areas of their own interest. They have opportunities through their play to think creatively and critically alongside other children as well as on their own. They are able to practice skills, build upon and revisit prior learning and experience at their own level and pace. Play gives our children the opportunity to pursue their own interests and inspire those around them. The children learn to adapt, negotiate, communicate, discuss, investigate and ask questions. We believe it is important that adults take an active role in child initiated learning through observing, modelling, facilitating and extending their play.



Assessment is an essential part of the learning and development across the EYFS. It involves all staff observing children to ascertain their level of development, interests and learning styles and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.


To ensure we have evidence of a child’s progress in the EYFS we use a range of strategies all of which come together in a ‘Learning Journal’. We are very proud of these journals: they include collections of children’s work, photos and observations which create a detailed picture of the child. Parents have access to the ‘Learning Journals’ through our ‘Learning Together Mornings’. Parents are encouraged to contribute to the journals by filling out ‘Magical Moment’ forms.


There is a helpful guide to help parents understand their child’s learning and development in the Early years.  The link can be found here: