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Early Years Foundation Stage

At Oakwood we are incredibly proud of our Early Years environment and curriculum.

Pupils always achieve highly with us due to expert teaching and the dedication of our highly professional team.

Our setting is often visited by other professionals as an example of excellence.

Year R is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all Early Years providers and schools must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children are ready for school and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. 

In the Early Years children will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.

To learn more about the EYFS please click here to view our policy.

Children will usually develop the 3 prime areas first.

These are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s healthy development and future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.

 These are: 


  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Planning for Learning

At Oakwood Infant School we use the 7 areas of learning to plan the learning journey for our children.

The curriculum is then carefully designed to be flexible and responsive to each child’s unique needs and interests.

Every week the teachers review the children’s learning and plan for their next steps using what they know the children need to achieve and also the children's own interests. They talk to the children about what they have enjoyed and what they want to learn next. As a class team they then help to co-construct some of the learning that will take place the following week based on what they want to discover and what would interest them. Their ideas and examples of their learning are all included in their own ‘Floor Book’ and they use this to discuss and celebrate their learning.

We also use the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ approach in the Early Years where the children become an expert team of Problem Solvers. During the year the team is contacted by different clients who have problems for them to solve – whether it’s a Troll who is worried about his bridge or a Scientist who has discovered some dinosaur eggs, our Year R Problem Solver Team is always ready to help! 

Children in the Early Years learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking. Their learning will take place both indoors and outdoors. Each area of the classrooms and outside area is deliberately designed to stimulate the children’s learning, creativity and collaboration. Our Year R staff know each child’s next step in the different areas of learning and they use the environment to plan for learning through play, questioning and adult interaction. Any children who are finding it difficult to grasp new concepts receive carefully planned interventions in smaller groups. This may be in the Specific Areas of literacy or mathematics but may also be in the Prime Areas of communication and language, physical development or personal, social and emotional skills.

A Typical Day

No two days are the same in Year R but here are some of the activities our children will engage with:


  • Registration
    A time to come together as a class at the beginning of the day and after lunch
  • Circle Time
    A time to talk as a class or in small groups, share ideas and feelings. This is also a good time to discuss any problems and reach shared agreements
  • Milk and Fruit
    A social time, where children learn to share and use their manners
  • Direct Teaching
    Whole class and group teaching sessions, including phonics, reading, writing and mathematics
  • Objective Led Tasks and activities covering all the areas of learning that have been
  • Provision designed to meet specific learning objectives
  • Continuous Provision
    The opportunity for children to direct themselves to resources and activities based on their own interests
  • Story time
    A favourite time of the day, with maybe the opportunity to act and join in

Weekly Activities


All children have a Dance, Games and/or Gymnastics session each week, which includes the opportunity of outside activity. All children change into their PE kit for these sessions and parents are asked to make sure that they have their PE kit in school every day.


All children have access to the school library and have a dedicated time where they can learn how to browse and select a book to take home and share. In Year R library exchange starts from the second half of the autumn term.


Every class has a dedicated music session each week which will involve singing and using a range of percussion instruments.

Religious Education

Religious Education is a statutory requirement and the school follows the Hampshire Syllabus, which is non-denominational but broadly Christian in character. Religious Education may occur each week or can sometimes be taught as a block of work over a period of days. If you do not wish your child to take part in Religious Education at school this must be put in writing to the Head of School.

School Assemblies

Assemblies are a time for the class, year group or school to come together to learn and reflect. These take place on a daily basis and are in line with the school’s collective worship policy. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or parts of collective worship assemblies by making a written request to the Head of School.

Teacher Time

All children at Oakwood have the opportunity to share something with the class that is special about them. During the year your child will receive a ‘Golden Ticket’ which will invite them to be the teacher for 10-15 minutes and talk to the class about whatever they wish. Children choose to bring things in from home, create a PowerPoint or just talk to their classmates and answer questions.


Reporting Your Child's Absence 

All parents are required to inform their child's school if they are absent.

If your child is unwell, please call the School Office Absence Line giving your child's name, class and reason for absence:

Sample Message: "Mary Smith Ash Class - High Temperature