Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage

We provide a high-quality inspirational learning environment both indoors and outdoors.   This, in partnership with experienced, well-trained, caring and committed teaching professionals means that each and every child has the best opportunity to learn, develop and flourish.    

Learning through play is at the heart of our curriculum and we carefully balance this with child-initiated activities alongside more focused adult planned experiences.  Play is a very important part of all children’s development and we offer a safe and stimulating environment where children can build their skills, knowledge and understanding by having access to a wide range of equipment and materials.  

 We know that parents are the biggest influence on children’s lives which is why we place so much importance on working in partnership with you.    We are delighted to work with children and families from a wide range of social, cultural and religious heritages and we believe this is what makes Hirst Wood such an interesting place.  Therefore, we strongly encourage all prospective parents to come and see us in action … please book a visit and we are confident that you will see how busy children are at nursery, how much they are learning and developing as their knowledge and understanding grows.  Research evidences strong links between children’s independence, motivation and self-esteem which leads to high levels of involvement and achievement.  The curriculum is about the development of children and everything that your child comes into contact with this is the way in which they actively learn about their world.  Teaching staff observe children regularly to inform their planning and assessments to ensure that each individual child’s needs are met. 

Our observations and planning focus on the areas of Learning & Development as set out in Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage; Setting the standards for learning, development and care for children from birth to five (2021).   There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are the prime areas:

• communication and language

• physical development

• personal, social and emotional development

We also encompass support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:

• literacy

• mathematics

• understanding the world

• expressive arts and design

Each area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage has a number of Early Learning Goals which set out what children should ideally be achieving by the end of reception year in their Primary School.   At Hirst Wood Nursery School children have access to a wide range of activities and experiences that actively encourage their autonomy and decision making.    Children’s spiritual and moral development is a vital part of their whole development and we support this by providing opportunities to promote children’s wonder of the world, by developing natural curiosity about the wider world around them such as the natural environment, their home, their family and communities.   If you would like to know more about the Early Years Foundation Stage, please ask a member of staff in any of the Nursery classroom.


A guide to the key person approach – what is it?

The key person Approach is one of the vital principals in the Early Years Foundation Stage and now a statutory requirement of the framework.  It is a mutually respective relationship between a member of staff, the individual child and their family.    It provides the child with a sense of security so that they feel confident to explore and form further relationships.   Every child is welcomed, special and valued and the key person approach recognises this.  You should have received notice of who your child’s Key Person is in the New Starters Information Pack.  Please ask if you have any questions. 


What is the role of the key person?

The role of the key person is to know their individual child and to support their sense of identity and individuality.  They need to be aware of their individual child’s and family’s needs preferences and development.  The Key Person is the teacher or Early Years Practitioner.   Parents are offered termly consultations to celebrate how well their child is doing and to discuss their latest assessment data.   There will be notices outside each classroom and also contained in the Newsletter to let parents know the dates and times of available appointments and we would strongly encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity.    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and will offer early morning, day time and evening appointments to ensure equality of opportunity.


For further information please use the link below;