Early Years Foundation Stage - Year R

Early Years Curriculum at Witley

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.


At Witley C of E infant School we want all pupils to access a broad and balanced curriculum giving them the range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress and to help them in their learning journey through school and into adulthood. We aim to achieve this through:

  • quality and consistency in teaching and learning, so that every pupil makes good progress and has the opportunity to flourish
  • a close working partnership between staff and parents/carers
  • our Christian values of  friendship, respect,  joy,  resilience, trust and confidence weaving through our EYFS curriculum
  • every pupil feeling safe, included and supported through equality of opportunity and inclusive practice


All schools follow the curriculum as outlined in the latest version of the EYFS statutory framework that applies from September 2021. The EYFS framework includes seven areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter- connected. However, three areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building pupil’s capacity to learn, form healthy friendships and flourish.

The prime areas are:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

 The prime areas are strengthened and applied through four specific areas:

  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

The ‘Educational Programmes’ for each area of learning set out in the EYFS framework form the basis of our curriculum, which is built on according to the context of our rural school and the needs and interests of our pupils. We provide opportunities within the seven EYFS areas of learning for pupils to develop the foundation knowledge and understanding they will need in Year 1, through experiences, continuous provision, books and stories in an engaging and inspiring environment.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

 At Witley, learning is underpinned by the characteristics of effective learning. In planning and guiding pupil’s activities, practitioners must reflect on the different ways that pupil learn and reflect these in their practice.

The three Characteristics of Effective Learning are:

  1. Playing and exploring - pupil investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’, growing in confidence.   
  2. Active learning - pupil concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements by building resilience. 
  3. Creating and thinking critically - pupil have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


At Witley our pupils will be confident and resilient in their Early Years learning, respecting one another and the world they live in. They will understand how important friendships and healthy relationships are as well as knowing how to keep safe. Our pupils will experience a smooth transition through to Key Stage One and continue to flourish in their learning and their individual personality. The solid learning foundation in their first year will set them up to make continued progress at school and beyond.

For further information about our EYFS at Witley C of E Infant School please click below for our full policy.