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Early Years Foundation Stage

Welcome to the EYFS at Prince Rock



The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Prince Rock is based around the Statutory Framework and Development Matters. These documents underpin the EYFS curriculum at our school. The EYFS contains four guiding principles which 


A Unique Child

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.


Positive Relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.


Enabling Environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. 


Learning and Development

Children develop and learn at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. The framework covers the education and care of all children in the early years provision, including children with special needs and disabilities.





Within the Early Year at Prince Rock, our overarching aim for the EYFS is to ensure all children (regardless of their starting points) leave our early years provision as confident, independent learners with the skills needed to excel throughout their school career and beyond. We ensure that the children are excited, engaged and keen to learn. Our teaching, the learning environment (both inside and outside) and the adults within the unit all support this aim.  


The acquisition and development of knowledge is key to the children’s progress throughout the EYFS and our ambitious curriculum is mapped out to ensure we are highly ambitious in our expectations of all. The development of language is paramount and oracy is a prime focus of our pedagogy in line with the rest of the school. The use of high quality texts to support our learning ensures that our children have access to a wide and rich language base.  

In the Early Years we do not view ‘teaching’ as separate from play or infer teaching to mean one fixed view of how things should be done.

At Prince Rock, we offer a balance of adult-led and guided learning as well as child-initiated learning. Play is an important part of the Early Years; therefore, we have a focus on learning through play, practical activities and ‘hands on’ experiences. We believe this encourages children to make links between new learning and what they already know, as well to take risks and make mistakes, which is the best way to learn! Play also improves children’s personal, social, and emotional development, enabling them to make relationships, collaborate and solve problems. Through play, children can think creatively and imaginatively, following their own lines of enquiry and interests. Here, at Prince Rock, we will always support, guide, and challenge the children in their learning. We offer a balance of adult-led and guided learning as well as child-initiated learning.




    Our highly ambitious curriculum is carefully planned to ensure all children are able to achieve their full potential. It ensures the aims and ambitions of the statutory EYFS framework are met (alongside guidance from Development Matters) and is sequenced carefully to provide the children with the knowledge and skills needed to move into KS1 and KS2.


    Oracy is one of our key areas of importance and there are plenty of opportunities within each day for the children to talk and develop a wide and interesting vocabulary. Staff are well trained and follow the ShREC approach to developing high quality interactions. Strong relationships between the children and staff is paramount as well all follow the Golden Rule (Treat others as you would like others to treat you). We offer our children the opportunity to gain experiences and develop and share their own knowledge of knowledge and strategies; this is embedded through the Characteristics of Effective Learning.


    Playing and exploring – investigate, experience and have a go.

    Active learning - persistence, concentration and recognise achievements.

    Creating and thinking critically - develop ideas, make links and develop strategies.


    Through this approach we ensure the provision is set up to enable a purposeful learning environment that challenges and inspires independent learning. Staff continually audit the provision to ensure all areas are used effectively by all children. We have combined research and proven practice methods alongside Early Excellence audits to shape and develop the provision. Research included but not exclusive to Alistair Bryce-Clegg, Anna Ephgrave, Elizabeth Jarman, EEF Documents and Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction.

    The use of CofEL works alongside the whole school culture of using the learning muscles to help. These also ensure we focus on developing the children’s ability to work independently and develop their ability to work collaboratively, challenge their thinking and persevere with problem solving amongst others.




    We have developed our planning and split this into sections, long term, medium term and short term planning. All planning is knowledge and/or skills focused not activity led to enable the learning to be purposeful to the children.

    Each term we have focused texts which form part of the whole school reading spine. Our highly ambitious Curriculum based around both these core texts (changing each year to develop and strengthen – used a model based on Doug Lemov Reading Reconsidered – Traditional, Rhyme, Non-Fiction, Challenging thinking, Contemporary and Old Favourites) and also incorporates high quality texts within all 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum. Children. This ensures high levels of engagement, high-quality teaching and high-quality learning.

    Lessons both formal and informal use retrieval practice to ensure all children know more and remember more. Teaching is responsive to the needs of the pupils through appropriate scaffold, challenge and assessment for learning within the EYFS setting. 



    Reading within the EYFS at Prince Rock

    From the very first day at  school, we want our children to be successful readers and to develop a love of reading. For the teaching Early reading, we use Read Write Inc Phonics. This highly ambitious systematic phonics scheme ensures we give all of our children the very best start to their reading career. Within RWI, children learn how to decode by reading the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters using RWI.  The children then learn to blend the sounds in the words to read the words accurately.


    All children will be heard read once a week (1:1, small group or whole class) focusing on word reading and applying phonics. Through continuous assessment children who are identified as having gaps in their learning access 1:1 reading with an adult. The adults support misconceptions and gaps in phonic knowledge to ensure all children become more confident and fluent readers.   


    Reading for pleasure

    We have a strong ethos around the importance of reading, including reading for pleasure. As well as taking home a decodable reading book, the children choose their own story book from the library to share at home each week. All children have a daily story, rhyme and song time. Literacy lessons also focus on the comprehension and enjoyment of reading. Across all areas of the curriculum, reading is included as a main focus. Our children love to share books with their peers and adults alike. Learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom ensure reading is our priority. 

    Maths within the EYFS at Prince Rock

    The principal focus of mathematics teaching in the EYFS is to provide the children with a solid foundation of the understanding of number. Children build up their fluency in counting small numbers of items, comparing numbers and solving problems. Pupils also focus on the exploration of shape, pattern and measurement. In line with the whole school approach to mastery, the EYFS also focuses on deepening children’s understanding of core mathematical concepts. This is through a wide range of practical contexts as well as informally through play-based activities. Within the EYFS at Prince Rock, both regular daily whole class lessons and more informal mathematics sessions take place as well as providing opportunities for the children to develop mathematical understanding and vocabulary through child initiated play.


    For all other areas of learning, please look at the individual pages within the curriculum section of our website. 




    We are very proud of the outcomes for our EYFS children. They leave the EYFS with the secure foundations they will need for KS1 and beyond. Oracy is a key component of the EYFS and our children  have developed their vocabulary across all areas of the EYFS to prepare them for the National Curriculum. 


    All children at Prince Rock within the EYFS achieve their full potential regardless of their starting points. They have learnt about and discovered a wide range of topics and interests. They are enthusiastic, well rounded and engaged learners. Children are able to demonstrate use of their learning muscles and are  enthusiastic and keen to learn. Children at Prince Rock are immersed in learning opportunities both at home and in school. 

    We use the RBA, Language Screen, Blank Levels and the LAT Baseline to assess on a formal basis as well as using our daily interactions to develop a complete and full understanding of the children's needs. Retrieval practice is used within many areas, including maths to ensure our children know more and remember more. 


    Children within the EYFS demonstrate sustained shared thinking, purposeful play and all areas of the CofEL can be seen throughout our unit. 



    How do you engage with parents within the EYFS?


    We pride ourselves on strong parental links using the parent-teacher partnerships three C’s.



    Frequent, two-way communication focusing on the each individual child. Parents have access to Arbor and are welcomed when speaking to the teacher and sharing information regarding their child. We hold regular learning afternoons where parents have the opportunity to share their child’s learning. We also encourage parents to share learning from home with us. 



    Creating routines and providing consistence opportunities to enhance learning in school and at home.



    A collaborative, cooperative partnership involves planning and problem-solving to develop specific, positive strategies to help children achieve to their highest potential.



    If your child is offered a place in our EYFS, we run a carefully tailored induction programme from when Plymouth City Council sends out admissions places. 

    Please read the letter below to see an example of this year's carefully planned out induction times. 


    During the year, parents are invited in to share their children's learning, spend time in the library reading with their children and joining in with activities such as Christmas crafts. 

    Class teachers are on the door each morning and afternoon - please feel free to speak to them at anytime. 


    Please contact the school if you would like to find out anymore information about the EYFS at Prince Rock. 


    How can I find out about my child's learning?

    Here are our curriculum overviews for this year. 

    Reading in the Early Years at Prince Rock 

    Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics

    Parent video: Sound blending

    Parent video: How to say the sounds

    RWI Leaflet for Parents