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 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 in both gross motor and fine motor skills.

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 gross motor skills, they will also have access to a range of opportunities to develop their fine motor skills such as, manipulating objects, tools, construction and malleable materials. This will help to develop the children’s pencil grip and control.

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
ELG: Listening, Attention and Understanding
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Listen attentively and respond to what they hear with relevant questions, comments and actions when being read to and during whole class discussions and small group interactions;
– Make comments about what they have heard and ask questions to clarify their understanding;
– Hold conversation when engaged in back-and-forth exchanges with their teacher and peers.
ELG: Speaking
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Participate in small group, class and one-to-one discussions, offering their own ideas, using recently introduced vocabulary;
– Offer explanations for why things might happen, making use of recently introduced vocabulary from stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems when appropriate;
– Express their ideas and feelings about their experiences using full sentences, including use of past, present and future tenses and making use of conjunctions, with modelling and support from their teacher.
Physical Development
ELG: Gross Motor Skills
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others;
– Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing;
– Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
ELG: Fine Motor Skills
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases;
– Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery;
– Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
ELG: Self-Regulation
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly;
– Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate;
– Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
ELG: Managing Self
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge;
– Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly;
– Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
ELG: Building Relationships
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others;
– Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers;
– Show sensitivity to their own and to others’ needs

The Specific Areas

ELG: Comprehension
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
– Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;
– Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.
ELG: Word Reading
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
– Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
– Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
ELG: Writing
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;
– Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;
– Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
ELG: Number
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
– Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
– Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
ELG: Numerical Patterns
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
– Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
– Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
Understanding the World
ELG: Past and Present
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
– Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in books read in class and storytelling.
ELG: People, Culture and Communities
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
– Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.
ELG: The Natural World
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
– Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
– Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.
Expressive Arts and Design
ELG: Creating with Materials
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function;
– Share their creations, explaining the process they have used;
– Make use of props and materials when role playing characters in narratives and stories.
ELG: Being Imaginative and Expressive
Children at the expected level of development will:
– Invent, adapt and recount narratives and stories with peers and their teacher;
– Sing a range of well-known nursery rhymes and songs;

Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.

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