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‘Enjoy learning together; building foundations for life.’

The Foundation Stage

  • Our Philosophy

    In the Reception classes the children are cared for and provided with a safe, stimulating and challenging environment in order to promote independence and a passion for lifelong learning. In partnership with parents and carers we create an environment that allows children to thrive and develop inquisitive and questioning minds.

     At Pannal School we have a 60 place reception unit.  The children have access to all areas of the curriculum (both indoors and out) at all times.   Children are taught within whole class sessions, group adult led sessions and self initiated learning facilitated by an adult.

    The Foundation Stage team work together, to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, based around the interests of the children. This is divided into seven areas. There are three prime areas:

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

    and four specific areas:

    • Literacy Development.
    • Mathematical Development.
    • Understanding the World.
    • Expressive Arts and Design. 

    Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected.

    Learning takes place both inside and outside and each plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development and learning.

  • Play in the Early Years

    We take the time to play with our children and model good quality interactions. Play is fundamental to every child’s development and we seek to develop every child’s play in a positive and constructive way so as to underpin the majority of the Early Learning Goals in a child-initiated and self-motivated manner. We consider the benefits of play to be wide reaching and holistic for children to develop successfully and to achieve their potential within the EYFS and to gain an excellent foundation to be able to continue their education at Pannal.

  • Learning through Children’s Interests

    We believe that young children learn best through activities that interest them, we usually take themes children are interested in and give small activities for parents to engage their children in during the weekend via a weekly newsletter.  Children will share any interests they have developed over the weekend at the beginning of a school week through a Home Journal.  This helps to spark off interest and children’s learning is displayed over the week on our ‘Learning walls’ in the classroom and also outdoors.  Learning is clearly visible for parents on a daily basis as the activities progress throughout the week. 

  • The role of parents

    We believe that all parents have an important role to play in the education of their child. Parents are made to feel welcome and valued in their dealings with all members of staff and we consider them to be an integral part of our ongoing cycle of summative assessment. We recognise the role that parents have played, and their future role, in educating the children.

  • Transition

    We have developed a positive approach to transition at both ends of the Reception year in order to allow as smooth a transition as possible from nursery right through to year 1. It has been developed for both children and parents as we recognise that this is an important part of a family’s life, not just the children’s when starting school in September all children and parents are offered the same experience which includes:


    • The teacher visits all children in their Playgroup or Nursery setting prior to their starting school;
    • The children have the opportunity to spend time with their teacher in school before starting school at 3 visit sessions to experience a morning and an afternoon with current Reception children and a morning with all members of their new class;
    • Inviting all parents to an induction meeting during the term before their child starts school where parents get the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and look at the classroom environment as well as a presentation on the curriculum and any early questions or concerns can be addressed;
    • Arranging for children to start school over the first three weeks of term. We stagger the starting time of each child over this period, so that the teacher can welcome each child individually into our school. We encourage parents to stay if there are problems with the child’s settling phase however understand that every parent and every child is different and we tailor each approach with the needs of both in mind in order to allow the child to settle as quickly as possible.
    • We are always available from June right up to starting in September and beyond as and when parents feel they need us.

    Once into school children start to experience life outside the Early Years early on as they become involved in whole school activities and assemblies, using the library and being a part of the wider school community. We then introduce the notion of transition to year 1 as we start to visit the nurseries in preparation for another year and current Reception children are offered a range of experiences to prepare them for year 1. These include: 

    • Small group visits to each of the year 1 classrooms to experience a working year 1 class and to become more familiar with the teaching staff
    • All year 1 teachers spend a session in the Early Years classrooms in order to see the children in their own environment.

    Based on these experiences, our knowledge of the Reception and Year 1 children and the predicted group dynamics we split into 2 classes and the children spend a whole morning in year 1 with their new teacher and classmates.

  • Assessment

    On entry to the Reception classes in September children are phased into school in small groups.  This enables staff to help children settle into school and along with the sessions within the summer term will enable staff to assess a child’s individual abilities and plan accordingly.  The evidence that is collected on entry into school and throughout the year is kept within a child’s individual Learning Journey, accessible to children and parents on a daily basis.   The observations made of the children are linked with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum, evidence is collected to inform curriculum planning to ensure that at the end of Reception most children should be achieving the Early Learning goals. Formal assessment of the EYFS profile is completed at the end of Reception, these results are sent through to the Local authority. Parents are informed of these statutory profile results and we provide the opportunity to discuss progress regularly at parent meetings in the autumn and spring term plus a formal report at the end of the year.  All Foundation Stage staff are readily available on a daily basis to discuss any concerns etc.

    Parents comments are invaluable and we encourage all parents to regularly access their child’s learning Journey.  

  • Reading

    Click here to download the presentation from the parents' meeting about reading.

    For further information regarding the Early Years Foundation Stage or our practice please speak to our staff or find attached reference to Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012).

    Department for Education (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, available to download

    from: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/early-years-foundation-stage-2012/ 

    Department for Education (2012) Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage, available to download from: 


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