The EYFS is a very important stage in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. At Bentley New Village the children’s early years experiences are happy, active, exciting, fun and secure. 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 before the age of five will have a major impact on their future life chances. The warmth, sensitivity and pleasure that the practitioners at Bentley New Village display towards the children, ensures that they learn in a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.


Children will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through the 7 areas of learning and development in the Early years Foundation Stage Development Matters.

7 Areas of Learning and Development

Prime Areas of Learning
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and emotional development
Specific Areas of Learning
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

All 7 areas of learning are used to plan children’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting children at Bentley New Village ensure that the activities are suited to the children’s unique needs. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning.


The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that children are born ready, able and eager to learn.  They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them.  Development depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. Our main focus during the Autumn Term in Nursery, is on the Three Prime Areas; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. Once the children are showing high levels of well being and involvement we then introduce the teaching of the Specific Areas; Literacy, Maths, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

We welcome children into Nursery and Reception in September. We know that starting school is a big step for the children and parents so we work together to help the children settle in quickly and happily, developing a positive attitude to learning and school. In Autumn Term, our priority is to get to know the children and help them to settle into the unit.


We provide opportunities for children to play together allowing them to develop their social skills and teach them how to share and take turns. The children will be introduced to each other, staff, routines and different areas in the school. They will learn about different areas in the Early Years classrooms and how to use equipment purposefully.

Communication and Language Development

Within the  Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, children cover the three aspects of Communication and Language, including listening and attention, understanding and speaking.


Children will develop the following; Sitting quietly. Listening and responding to sounds, own name, rhymes, stories and conversations. Anticipating words, phrases and events. Answering simple questions (who, what, where). Understanding humour. Recalling stories. Following directions. Using language to make friends, to share ideas and experiences, to give explanations, to ask questions, to pretend and imagine. Developing vocabulary, use of sentences and different tenses

Physical Development

Children are provided with opportunities to develop their physical ability including moving and handling and health and self-care. They will be supported and encouraged with the following; Moving safely, in a space, in different ways, balancing, using climbing equipment and changing speed & direction. Rolling, throwing, catching and kicking.


Alongside developing their fine motor skills by manipulating objects, tools, construction, malleable materials and pencil & scissor grip and control. Children are encouraged to become independent with toileting, hand washing and dressing and in addition will be taught to recognise danger and develop an awareness of safety.

Our Learning Heroes

All of the learning that takes place in the Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning. At Bentley New Village these characteristics are represented by our learning heroes;

Playing and exploring – Dora the Explorer

Creating and thinking critically – Bob the Builder

Active Learning – Buzz Lightyear

Parents as Partners

Our partnership with parents means that parents have the opportunity to work closely with our Early Years practitioners to support children’s transition into the setting. We would like parents to feel secure in the knowledge that their child is well cared for and happy at school.


Our parents are welcome to be actively involved in their children’s learning in school and are able to share learning experiences through ‘stay and play’ sessions, learning journeys, 2simple parent share and parent workshops. We recognise that parents are the first educators in children’s lives and value contributions to judgements about children’s development. We use this information to support our assessments and share information about what children need to do next to develop and thrive.

Early Learning Goals

There are a total of 17 Early Learning Goals in EYFS:

The Prime Areas

Communication and Language

Listening and attention: children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

Understanding: children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Speaking: children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Physical Development

Moving and handling: children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and self-care: children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Self-confidence and self-awareness: children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don’t need help.

Managing feelings and behaviour: children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Making relationships: children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.

The Specific Areas


Reading: children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Writing: children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.


Numbers: children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Shape, space and measures: children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.

Understanding the World

People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.

The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials: children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Being imaginative: children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

Assessment at the End of Reception

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. On going assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process.  It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.  In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share.  To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child’s achievements, interests and learning styles.  We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.


Each child’s level of development is assessed against the Early Learning Goals (above) Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:

  • Emerging, not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
  • Expected
  • Exceeding, , beyond expected levels of development for age


Year 1 teachers will have access to the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key Characteristics of Effective Learning. These will inform transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities at the start of Year 1