Early Years / Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage is an extremely important start to the children’s learning journey. This first step into primary school is an opportunity to get used to school routines, rules, expectations and lay solid foundations for all future learning. The days are planned to support growing independence, learning and fun!

The school day for all children, including foundation stage starts at 8.50am and finishes as 3.15pm – children are dropped off and collected in the courtyard area outside the classrooms. There is a 10 minute break in the morning and an hour lunch break.

Our foundation stage area has recently had extensive upgrades to ensure that the learning environment is inviting, inspiring and celebrates learning.  We want our children to feel immersed in a rich and colourful environment that makes them feel safe, happy and proud.  Further upgrades are being planned for the summer holiday.

In planning and guiding children’s activities in foundation stage, we take into account the three main different ways that children learn in early years, and reflect these in our practice.

Playing and exploring – where children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’;
Active learning – where children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements;
Creating and thinking critically – where children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

A day in our Foundation Stage is comprised of a range of activities in which children can explore his/her learning environment – sometimes individually and sometimes in a group or as part of the whole class working together. Children will sometimes work under the close direction of a member of staff or will investigate independently or with a small group of friends, with staff observing the child’s development at a distance.  This blend of learning provides each child with a platform on which he/she can develop at an individual rate, and in keeping with their emerging learning style.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile summarises and describes children’s attainment at the end of the EYFS. It is based on ongoing observation and assessment in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three characteristics of effective learning, set out below:

The prime areas of learning:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development

The specific areas of learning:
• literacy
• mathematics
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design

Characteristics of effective learning:
• playing and exploring
• active learning
• creating and thinking critically

The children mainly start reading in small groups using guided reading books but we ensure that one-to-one reading is used to support children who would benefit from it. We have Oxford Reading Tree reading books and various other schemes to hook children at the start of their reading journey. Read, Write, Inc. is used as a primary phonic scheme to introduce children to all the letter sounds. A parent session is planned early each year so that parents can support this at home.

At Deanshanger Primary School we use Tapestry, an online learning journal, to record each child's learning steps.  Through a combination of photos, video and comments we make observations of the children's learning to contribute to our judgements for the Early Years Foundation Stage profile. Parents receive notifications when observations are added to their child's learning journal and are able to see these, as well as adding comments and their own observations; something we welcome as the parents are an important part of their child's ongoing learning.



Deanshanger Primary School,
The Green,
MK19 6HJ
Tel: 01908 268920
Fax: 01908 261023
To contact the school office, email bursar@deanshanger.northants-ecl.gov.uk
To contact the Headteacher, email head@deanshanger.northants-ecl.gov.uk