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Foundation Stage

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


In the Reception classes we aim to create a stimulating environment where all the children can develop warm and secure relationships with adults and peers. This is achieved by providing a place where the children can explore, experiment, observe and discover the world around them. We want them to develop confidence, independence and an awareness and respect of themselves and others.


We hope, within this secure environment, to help the children to become independent learners capable of making choices and decisions for themselves. We shall provide opportunities for challenge; to be creative; to be imaginative; and to be able to explore the new and the familiar with equal confidence.


Many of you will know that Reception year is part of the Foundation Stage. The Foundation Stage is a distinct period of education with its own “early learning goals”. Most children should be able to reach these by the end of this stage. Foundation prepares children for the work of the National Curriculum in Key Stage 1.

The Foundation Stage Profile


When they reach the end of the Foundation Stage, which is when they are reaching the end of their time in Reception class at school, an assessment of their progress is made. This is called the Foundation Stage Profile.


No formal exam or test-like assessment is involved in compiling the Foundation Stage Profile. Instead, the teachers record details of your child’s achievements throughout the seven areas of learning comprising of 17 Early Learning Goals. This is based on the teacher’s observations of your child’s activities during the time they’ve spent in their Reception class. For parents, it provides a useful summary of your child’s achievements so far.


Childhood is important and here at St. Matthew’s we want all our children to have enjoyable and satisfying childhood experiences. It is these important early experiences that affect our children’s attitudes to learning and create the foundations for their later learning in school and beyond.

Seven Areas of Learning


The Early Years Foundation Stage framework is split into seven areas of learning. Three of these are known as the ‘prime areas’ (Communication and language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development) and the other four areas are the ‘specific areas' (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design). The seven areas are then split into further strands as shown in the table below to create the 17 Early Learning Goals.