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The Downley School

“Learning, Growing and Succeeding Together”

Year Group Information

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year.  At The Downley School, children join the Reception class in the year that they turn five.  In partnership with Parents and Carers we enable the children to begin the process of becoming active learners for life. We endeavour to ensure that children “learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.” We aim to support children in their learning through “teaching and experiences that give children the broad range of skills that provide the right foundation for good progress through school and in life.”

The EYFS is based upon four principles:

  • A unique child – developing resilient, capable, confident and self-assured individuals. 
  • Positive relationships – supporting the children in becoming strong and independent. 
  • Enabling environments – where opportunities and experiences respond to the individual needs of the child by developing a strong partnership between practitioners, parents/carers and the child. 
  • Learning and developing – An acknowledgement that children learn in different ways and at different rates.

The Role of the Practitioners in EYFS

  • To have a firm understanding of child development and an awareness of age appropriate needs, behaviour and learning
  • Be attuned to individualised feelings, needs, fascination and lines of enquiry
  • Be attentive to any patterns of play that may be emerging or reflecting and emotional need
  • Encourage children to communicate in a variety of ways and value home languages and cultural heritage
  • Develop themed planning that is personalised, challenging but achievable
  • Ensure quality interactions which scaffold and prompt thinking, building on children’s interests, strengths and questions
  • Encourage and support children’s interactions with other children and adults.
  • Model feelings and Characteristics of Effective Learning
  • Model language of learning and exploration of emotional well- being
  • To be attentive to the 4 principles of Assessment for Learning : learning objectives, feedback, questioning and self-evaluation/challenge
  • Support children to become mastery learners- to ask questions, take and evaluate risks, develop resilience and have ownership for their learning
  • To ensure the environment is safe, calm, purposeful, challenging and supportive.
  • To provide inspiring learning experiences and provocations in which children can become the leaders both in the classroom and outdoors
  • To teach through focus activities, being a play partner and through personalised learning opportunities
  • To follow the school policy for behaviour management.

Parents/Carers as Partners

We recognise that Parents/Carers are children’s first and most enduring educators and we value the contribution you make. We recognise the role that Parents/Carers have played, and their future role, in educating our children.  

  • The children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher before starting school during transfer sessions.
  • We support children through the transition from Pre-School to Reception with the children attending part-time during the first week.  This is also to support Staff and Parents/Carers in getting to know each other as well as the children. 
  • We invite all Parents/Carers to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school and again during the first half-term of the child’s Reception year in order to detail how we aim to work with their child particularly in relation to reading and phonics.
  • There is a formal meeting for parents/Carers twice a year at which the Teacher and the Parent/Carer discuss the child’s progress. Parents/Carers receive a report on their child’s attainment and progress at the end of each term.
  • We arrange a range of activities throughout the year that encourage collaboration between the child, school and parents/carers: stay and play sessions, celebration assemblies, school visits, enterprise days and opportunities to share the children’s themed learning.
  • We can provide a quiet and confidential area where parents/carers are able to discuss any concerns.
  • We also have a full time Family Worker who will support and sign post for you.
  • We have an ‘Open door’ policy where Parents/Carers are able to talk with the EYFS staff both before and after school.


Here are a selection of web links to games that will help you child to further develop some of the skills that we teach in Reception.

English Games

Click on the links below.e

Maths Games

Click on the links below

Books to Share and Read

(100 picture books to read before you are 5 years old)