Early Years Foundation Stage

Young children will have had a wide range of different experiences and will have a wide range of skills and interests when they join school. They need a well planned and resourced curriculum to provide opportunities for them all to succeed.


Effective practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage is built on four guiding themes.  They provide a context for the requirements and describe how practitioners should support the development, learning and care of young children.  The themes are each broken down into four commitments describing how the principles can be put into practice.

A Unique Child recognises that every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.  The commitments are focused around development; inclusion; safety; and health and well-being.

Positive Relationships describes how children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a key person.  The commitments are focused around respect; partnership with parents; supporting learning; and the role of the key person.

Enabling Environments explains that the environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.  The commitments are focused around observation, assessment and planning; support for every child; the learning environment; and the wider context – transitions, continuity, and multi-agency working.

Learning and Development recognises that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates, and that all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

The Prime areas of learning are:-

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development - by providing opportunities to cooperate and work alongside and with each other and to manage their feelings and behaviour by providing opportunities for each child to become a valued member of the group so that a strong self-image and self esteem are promoted
  • Communication and Language - with opportunities for children to talk to adults and to each other and to practise and extend the vocabulary they use and to listen carefully
  • Physical Development - with opportunities for children to develop their fine and gross motor skills and what they need to do to be healthy and safe

The Specific areas of learning are:-

  • Literacy - with opportunities for all children to learn about and use words and to experience a rich variety of books
  • Mathematics - with opportunities for children to develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space through practical activities
  • Understanding the World - with opportunities for children to find out about their environment, uses of technology and people and places that are significant in their lives
  • Expressive Arts and Design - with opportunities for all children to explore their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of art, design, music, dance and role play activities

At Mount Charles, we are committed to meeting the needs of each individual child. This includes ensuring that each child experiences the full curriculum, is assessed individually and that provision is made for his/her particular development and educational needs. We meet these needs by covering the curriculum through the children’s interests and our themes or topics vary every year. However some of the topics we have covered in the past include Dinosaurs, Pirates, Schools, Minibeasts, Superheroes, Babies, Pets, Traditional Stories such as The Gingerbread Man, The Enormous Turnip, Three Billy Goat’s Gruff, The Little Red Hen as well as looking at different Festivals and Celebrations over the year – Harvest, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Birthdays and Weddings.


Each child’s learning is documented through an individual learning journey which the parents contribute to and have regular opportunities to see throughout the year.