EYFS and Key Stage One

Welcome to Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One

Contact information
🇮🇪 Ireland – Maria Hattersley – maria.hattersley@abbotsleaschool.co.uk


The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the academic year in which a child has their fifth birthday.

The EYFS is statutory and is detailed under the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. It forms a basis for developing essential skills such as communication, listening, persistence and collaborating with each other. The three prime areas cover the knowledge and skills which are the foundations for future progress, and which are applied and reinforced by the specific areas. All areas of learning are equally important and are interlinked.

Prime areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical development

Specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive arts and design

At Abbot’s Lea School we continue each child’s journey through the EYFS into Key Stage One as this enables us to show progress against each child’s individual next steps. We build their resilience and ability to follow a routine and develop their engagement with adult led activities and group circle times where appropriate.


We follow the statutory framework and guidance detailed in the EYFS.

We provide a broad and balanced Early Years curriculum:

  • based on first hand experiences and purposeful interactions
  • through ‘in the moment planning’ opportunities and carefully planned adult or child-initiated activities
  • which develops the skills and attitudes children will need as they move through the school and in life
  • We aim to foster a love of learning and ensure all of our pupils love coming to school by making each day happy, positive and fun
  • We aim to instil the Characteristics of Effective Learning such as independence, resilience and confidence through our planned environment and activities
  • We aim to develop all of our pupils’ ability to communicate effectively develop their ability to self-regulate through the support of our Multidisciplinary team
  • We aim to build positive relationships and work in partnership with our families to support every child to develop and learn.


At Abbot’s lea School we have a holistic approach to education, valuing each child as an individual with different starting points on their learning journey starting regardless of the age or time of year they may join us. In our EYFS/KS1 we continue the EYFS journey until each child is ready to move onto Key stage One National Curriculum.

We believe play is a powerful tool for learning, through this we ensure our Characteristics of Effective Learning are at the heart of our plans and provision. Through play children explore and develop learning experiences, which help them make sense of the world. We ensure a multi sensory approach to learning is tailored to suit each individual based on their developmental journey, ensuring opportunities for developing emotional resilience and self regulation using our Zones of Regulation © tool box.

Based on our knowledge of the students, we provide a rich and varied ‘enabling’ environment, with planned resources to encourage exploratory play-based learning and challenge. The learning environment encompasses both indoor and outdoor provision, which are of equal importance. Children are encouraged to experience all areas of the learning environment in all weathers. We encourage children to plan their own selection of activities balanced with adult initiated activities.

At Abbot’s Lea School, our children are learning when they –

  • Access resources independently
  • Go to lunch, try new foods, line up and become independent in their hygiene routines
  • Use their senses to explore and investigate
  • Develop persistence and positive attitudes to learning as detailed in the Characteristics of Effective Learning
  • Follow routines
  • Play alongside and with others
  • Collaborate and learn from one another through shared experiences

To guide our planning and identify where each child is at in their developmental journey, we use the new Development matters. For smaller steps of progress within the three prime areas we use an EYFS Developmental Journal.

Each student has individual ‘next steps’ within the seven areas of learning. We use one next step for reading, writing and Maths to create a bespoke ‘My Plan.©’ Each plan is created in line with our philosophy of education where we place equal value on the academic development, specialist support and life skills development of our pupils.  Each plan is created and reviewed termly in collaboration with families.

Upon entry as an EYFS student, we baseline their starting points according to the new Statutory Reception Baseline Assessment.

Following our assessment, we analyse the data to show us the gaps and strengths of our cohort of children. From this we redevelop and enhance our learning environments in order to support and challenge our students based on where their gaps and strengths lie.

We carry out the statutory Phonics screening for pupils in Year 1 in the Summer term, due to the disruption of Covid 19, we will be administering the phonics check to our year 2 pupils in Term 2 as per government guidelines.

Formative assessment in EYFS/KS1 is continuous and takes the form of observations, examples of child-initiated work and samples of adult led activities and interventions. We use ‘Evidence for learning’ to keep observational records and create a Learning Journey. Each child’s Learning Journey is available to parents and carers at all times via the app. All records and information are passed onto new teachers to ensure a smooth transition each year.

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