Bishop Aldhelm's CE

Primary School

Loved by God; United in Learning



 “Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to their full potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life Chances.” Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 

Early childhood is the foundation on which children build the rest of their lives. It is not just a preparation for the next stage but is vitally important in itself. For young children there is no distinction between work and play. Learning for young children is a rewarding and enjoyable experience in which they explore, investigate, discover, create, rehearse, repeat, revise and consolidate their developing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. During the foundation stage, many of these aspects of learning are brought together effectively through playing and talking.

The Team

Hello and welcome to Foundation Stage page! 

Mr Sharp is the Assessment & Transition Leader with responsibility for Early Years.   His class is Shark class (FRS). In Mr Sharp’s class you will also find Mrs Hawkins.

Mrs Torok - is one of our Foundation teachers. Her class is Turtle class (FST). In Mrs Torok’s class you will also find Miss Rivers.

Mrs Whines – is our other Foundation teacher. Her class is Whale class (FAW). In Mrs Whines' class you will also find Mrs Martin.

The Aims of the Early Years Foundation Stage

 At Bishop Aldhelm’s, we believe that all children are entitled to the best possible start to their school life, both intellectually and emotionally, in order to enable them to develop their full potential. 

We aim to support each child’s welfare, learning and developmental needs by:

 • Recognising that all children are unique and special.

 • Understanding that children develop in individual ways and at varying rates - physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially and emotionally.

 • Providing a safe, secure and caring environment where children feel happy and know that they are valued.

 • Fostering and nurturing children’s self-confidence and self-esteem through their developing awareness of their own identity and role within the community.

 • Teaching them to express and communicate their needs and feelings in appropriate ways.

 • Encouraging children’s independence and decision-making, supporting them to learn through their mistakes.

 • Developing children’s understanding of social skills and the values and codes of behaviour required for people to work together harmoniously.

 • Supporting children to develop care, respect and appreciation for others, including those with beliefs, cultures and opinions differ to their own.

 • Understanding the importance of play in children’s learning and development.

 • Providing learning experiences in play which reflect children’s personal interests and areas of curiosity in order to encourage and develop their natural desire, interest, excitement and motivation to learn.

 • Providing experiences which build on children’s existing knowledge and understanding in order to challenge, stimulate and extend their learning and development.

 • Providing effective learning opportunities in a range of environments, inside and outside.

How we organise a day in Foundation

We organise the day to provide a balance between the following:-.

 •Child initiated Activities - children make choices from within the learning environment to meet his/her outcome for learning.

 •Adult Initiated Activities- practitioners provide the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning. This includes a daily 20 minute phonics session when children develop their early reading and writing skills. Details of our phonics programme can be found here.

 •Adult Directed Activities – Children engage in planned activities to meet specific learning outcomes.

At Bishop Aldhelm’s we recognise that young children learn best when they are active and/or involved. We understand that active learning involves other people, objects, ideas and events that engage and involve children for sustained periods. Therefore, we believe that Early Years education should be as practical as possible and our EYFS setting has an ethos of learning through play.

We recognise the importance of children’s play. It is an essential and rich part of their learning process, supporting them in all areas of development. Play is a powerful motivator encouraging children to be creative and to develop their ideas, understanding and language. Play is also flexible and able to suit the preferred learning style of the child. It can provide multiple ways for children to learn a variety of different skills and concepts.

The EYFS Curriculum

The EYFS is guided by a framework called ‘Development Matters’ that sets out the learning, development and assessment requirements for all children until the end of their reception year. All early years’ practitioners are required to pursue daily rich activities to support each child’s educational development across seven areas of learning.

This guidance has been reviewed and the goals for the end of reception year have been updated.

At Bishop Aldhelm’s we are always keen to be at the forefront of any changes in education and we are excited to become an ‘early adoptor’ school before the statutory implementation in September 2021.

The reforms bring about some exciting changes and if you have had a child who has been in reception in recent years things may look slightly different. However, the EYFS framework has never prescribed a particular teaching approach and the new framework holds true to this value. Our philosophy of early year’s education remains the same with play and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do.

You can find the detailed ‘EYFS early adopter framework- Development Matters’ document by clicking HERE

What does this mean for your child?

Nothing will change for your child. We will continue to offer them the highest quality learning experiences and develop their interests and fascinations in the world around them. They will be unware of any changes.

 What does this mean for parents / carers?

We want to work in partnership with you, ensuring the best for your child. On occasion, we will want to talk to you about how your child is learning and developing, as well as offer ideas on how to further support your child’s learning at home. Talking, playing and reading with your child is the best ways to help them to learn and develop.

In the final term of the year, a profile will be completed for your child. This provides parents/carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their attainment against expected levels, and their readiness for year 1. Throughout their year in Reception, the children will be observed and assessed through their play in order to gain insights and make reasonable judgements against the early learning goals. We will use the terms ‘emerging’ or ‘expected’ to describe our judgements.


Helpful documents

The following link provides more information on Letters and Sounds.

We encourage children to always form their letters and numbers accurately.