Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

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“Every child deserves the best possible start in life to achieve their full potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure safe and happy childhood is important in its’ own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. The Early Years Foundation Stage is the framework that provides that assurance.”

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year at five years old. In our school, we have a Nursery where children join us from the age of three for either morning sessions or full day provision. We have three intakes throughout the year (September, January and April) and children join our nursery the term after they are three. Children who are four years old by the 1st of September, continue their Early Years journey in Reception.

At Bentham Community Primary School we recognise that every child is a competent learner who can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. We always support each other, celebrate our differences and work together as a learning family. We recognise that children develop in individual ways, and at different rates.

Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning underpin our daily classroom practise. They represent the process of how we learn. From persevering with tricky challenges and exploring new ideas to thinking creatively and critically, these skills are at the heart of building an effective learner. We have three friendly puppets that represent these characteristics, who the children love getting to know during their time in EYFS!

Concentrating Crocodile

He perseveres with challenges

He is proud of his work

He always tries his best

Ellie the Explorer

She likes working collaboratively

She likes role play and sharing her ideas.

She likes trying new activities.

Planning Puppy

He has his own ideas.

He thinks critically and improves his own work.

He makes links between his ideas.

The EYFS Framework

Our curriculum is designed to follow the EYFS Statutory Framework curriculum 2021 and is further guided by a document called ‘Birth to 5 Matters’ that sets out the learning, development and assessment requirements for all children until the end of their reception year. All early years practitioners are required to pursue daily rich activities to support each child’s educational development across seven areas of learning. The EYFS framework has never prescribed a particular teaching approach and the new framework holds true to this value.  Our philosophy of early year’s education remains the same and is centred around child-initiated learning and adult-guided exploration. We are fortunate to have a wonderful outside classroom which we use in all weathers! Being outdoors offers opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors. It offers the chance for children to investigate, use their senses and be physically active and exuberant. We plan and enhance our learning environments following children’s particular needs, interests, and enthusiasms!

The EYFS Framework is made up of seven areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Art and Design

The teaching team in EYFS make daily observations of children’s interests, significant steps in their development and acquisition of skills. Each child has their own learning journey, which documents their progression through Nursery and Reception. Children in Reception complete the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) which is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks of when they start at Bentham. At the end of the Reception, teachers make a holistic, best-fit judgment about a child's development, which is supported by the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). Please find attachments below of the EYFS Statutory Framework and Birth to 5 Matters document.

Parents as Partners

At Bentham we recognise that parents are their children’s first and most enduring educators. Developing a strong partnership with our families is so important in ensuring happy, confident children that can achieve their potential. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children’s learning at Bentham school and are always welcome. From ‘Stay and learn’ sessions, parent workshops and coffee mornings to library visits and talk homework, parents play such a huge role in creating our learning family. Parent conversations and the use of the class email are a fantastic way for parents to share any new achievements their child makes at home. We use this information to support our assessments and next steps.


A Day in Nursery



9:00 – 12:00am Morning session
12:00 am Collection of Children


If parents qualify for the 30 hour funded places, children in Nursery can also stay for their lunch and the afternoon session, before being collected at 3pm.  An additional paid option of staying until 3.30pm is available.

A Day in Reception

9:00am Registration
9:00 – 12:00am Morning session
12:00 – 1pm Lunch time
1pm – 3.30pm Afternoon Session
3.30pm Home Time