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Edith Moorhouse Primary School Reach For The Stars


Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Early Years Foundation Stage comprises of three classes - Sparks (Pre-School), Blaze and Flame (Reception). We aim to create a happy, caring, secure and stimulating environment where all children can explore, enquire and safely take risks as they begin their journey to reach for the stars. 

Our Early Years Curriculum explained…

Early Years development plays a major role in future achievement for children and as such it is vital that every child is given the opportunities they need to flourish and to prepare them for the next stage in their lives.

At Edith Moorhouse, we understand the importance of cultural capital. Cultural Capital is ‘the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success, the knowledge they need (including vocabulary), familiarity with ways of behaving in different social situations and general knowledge. Cultural capital of parents is usually reflected in children - where parents have a lot of cultural capital, their children will too.

Prior knowledge should never be assumed – every child will start from a different place, as learning is not a linear process. Our Early Years coverage ensures children are not ‘left behind’ from their starting place. Where any gaps in knowledge are identified, these are quickly plugged.

Local context is vital when planning the curriculum to understand the knowledge that each child needs to acquire to reach our ambitious end points. We include a wide range of activities and opportunities for children to talk about and engage in,  including: sport, music, art and literacy. Every child’s interests are different and every child benefits from exposure to this wide range of experiences.  

Structure, routines and the physical environment are all essential in teaching young children and these are carefully considered throughout our Early Years Foundation Stage.

Children learn best when they keep practising something over time (executive function) so learning is frequently revisited. Continuous provision reflects aspects of teaching, allowing knowledge and understanding to be deepened and cemented through child-led play. Staff support children during ‘explorer’ time to engage with activities to deepen learning and support with next steps.

Our curriculum considers what all children should learn, providing many opportunities for speaking and listening. The curriculum was carefully planned to ensure children acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to set them up for success as they transition through the school. Oracy, enrichment and diversity are interwoven throughout to ensure we meet the needs of all of our learners. Activities are carefully planned to meet the needs of the children to achieve full curriculum coverage with planned activities taking account of prior knowledge along with individual starting points. 

Where gaps in learning are identified, children are supported with additional activities and teaching to ensure they are able to fully access the curriculum as a whole, for example, when a group of children were learning about Harvest, it became apparent that some had never grown any food before – they thought all food was ‘made’ at a supermarket. To support understanding, we grew some cress in class and then ate the cress. We also planted potatoes and we had to take care of them for a long time before we could eat them.  Planting opportunities were extended into ‘explorer’ time where children were able to embed their newly acquired knowledge and understanding of harvest. 

In Pre-School we introduce concepts to children and support them with their learning during short directed teaching opportunities, during ‘key worker’ times, and through small group adult focused activities as well as through play.

In Reception we introduce concepts to children and explicitly teach certain aspects. We then ensure suitable resources are available in continuous provision for children to cement their learning and for them to move their learning forward. 

Our early years pedagogy includes:

  • play-based learning, with appropriate interaction with adults
  • guided play, where adults have learning outcomes in mind
  • short periods of direct instruction to introduce new knowledge

There are three Prime Areas in the EYFS curriculum:

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

These Prime Areas are crucial to children’s early learning and their later success in life. They are interlinked and provide a heavy focus for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage at Edith Moorhouse. Active children generally regulate their emotions and achieve better at school and children who have more developed language and communication skills generally have better emotional well-being. The focus on these three aspects in the Early Years Foundation Stage is therefore very important.

Communication and Language are fundamental to every aspect of young children’s thinking and learning. Communication and language are vital for social and emotional development as they enable children to build relationships with peers and adults, to express their needs and to talk about things that are important to them. Rate of language and communication development is very dependent on interactions with adults, with every interaction being a teaching and learning opportunity. Quality interactions are encouraged at every opportunity within our Early Years unit and adults support language development by commenting on what children are doing and echoing back what they say, with added vocabulary. Adults model new vocabulary and support children with using newly acquired vocabulary throughout each day. Specific vocabulary is planned and taught daily. Vocabulary development is a key priority at Edith Moorhouse. Daily reading, stories and rhymes are key in supporting language development along with our daily poem.

Children develop warm, positive relationships with adults who help them to understand their emotions and to support friendships with other children. Through PSHE, children are taught about emotions and building relationships and then supported with these aspects as they explore the environment. Adults model how to resolve conflicts, how to take turns, to share and to work collaboratively and children are supported as they learn to master these important skills. Children are always encouraged to say please and thank you and this is modelled throughout the Early Years unit by all staff, along with using kind words and kind hands. Children learn about healthy foods and are encouraged to eat a daily healthy snack. They learn about the importance of looking after their teeth and they are supported to manage their own personal needs independently.

Physical Development is crucial for children’s health and fitness and participation and enjoyment of sport and physical activities at an early age feeds through to enjoyment of sport and healthy living later in life. Obesity is a major problem in society and the importance of being active and eating healthily is a key focus of our Early Years curriculum. Adults model new physical skills such as jumping, skipping and hopping, to support children with physical development and incorporate newly acquired skills into playground games.

Working in partnership with parents, we provide a wide and varied curriculum, supporting children with every aspect of learning, aiming to ignite curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Through a combination of child-led play, adult-led play, focused activities and teaching, children learn to explore and to set their own challenges and goals in each area of their learning. At Edith Moorhouse, we support this achievement through:  


Communication and Language - quality conversations in a language rich environment, reading frequently and engagement in stories and rhymes, storytelling and role-play

Physical Development – gross and fine motor skills development, lots of small world opportunities, active games (to encourage a wide range of movements)

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – children are supported to manage emotions, interact with others, eat healthily, make friendships and resolve conflicts peacefully

Literacy – we aim to develop a love of reading, enjoyment of rhymes, poems and songs along with development of language comprehension, decoding (reading unfamiliar words), transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring in speech before writing)

Mathematics – we support children to develop a deep understanding of numbers to 10 and beyond, we investigate number patterns and learn about shape, space and measures

Understanding the World – we provide a wide range of experiences to support understanding of the world around them

Expressive Arts and Design – we develop children’s artistic and cultural awareness, exploring a wide range of media and materials

Working in partnership with parents, following our ambitious curriculum and meeting the needs of our children ensures children are equipped with all essential skills and knowledge ready for their transition into Year 1 on completion of their time in our Early Years Foundation Stage.