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Early Years and Foundations Stage


At Okehampton Primary School, we follow the Early Years Foundations Stage Statutory Framework; setting learning, development and care for children from birth to 5 years.


The framework has four main principles:

  • ‘A Unique Child’ - this outlines child development and inclusive practice as well as keeping safe and well.
  • ‘Positive Relationships’ - this concerns staff and parents working together and good bonds between staff and children.
  • ‘Enabling Environments’ - this explains how the room is prepared and how the greater outdoor environment is utilised.
  • 'Learning and Development'- is the fourth principle and concerns providing a range of activities and experiences to promote independent learning across the seven developmental areas of learning as set out in the guidance.

The EYFS has three prime areas and four specific areas of learning which we concentrate on developing. The three prime areas are fundamental and support development in all other areas.

The prime areas are:
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development - developing social skills, building self-esteem and confidence, promoting self-care, good behaviour and independence.
  • Communication and Language - developing communication skills such as listening and speaking.
  • Physical Development - movement, a sense of space, health and bodily awareness, using equipment, tools and materials.
The specific areas (through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied) are:
  • Literacy - encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. You can read more on what we offer, here at Okehampton Primary School on reading and writing on the coloured text links.
  • Mathematics - providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures. You can read more on what we offer, here at Okehampton Primary School, here.
  • Understanding the world - involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design - involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.


​Each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is essential for children’s learning and development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others. We respond to each child’s needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction.
Continuous Provision is how we plan our learning environment. The purpose of continuous provision is "to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult".  Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge the development needs of our children.

Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children so they can lead, take ownership and become immersed in their learning. We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. We also provide 'hooks' or 'scenarios' to support their ideas and to really engage the children in their new learning experiences.

As well as our indoor provision, our outdoor provision provides varied and exciting experiences. This includes our mud kitchen, outdoor learning area and access to a well-planned outdoor space which offers the children those experiences only available in the natural world.


At Okehampton Primary School, our approach recognises the very best practice in Early Years Education, ensuring a safe, happy and secure environment for children to develop and grow. Our curriculum is planned completely through play. Children move through the Foundation Stage at their own pace with Reception children getting support through a more structured curriculum during the day. However, the younger ‘Nursery’ children are welcome to join in with these sessions, giving them an excellent foundation for their future learning. Each child is supported according to their needs whether that be needing additional support or the need to be challenged; continuity and progression are ensured. Our free flow approach between ‘Nursery’ and ‘Reception’ helps our children transition smoothly and successfully into Reception.

EYFS Curriculum Overview

Please head over to Curriculum Overviews to view the EYFS content.