Dorney School

The Little Village School with a Big Heart

Early Years Reception

Curriculum Overviews


Early Years Foundation Stage

Our EYFS is designed to give children the best possible start to their life at Dorney. They are welcomed in to a carefully planned environment and provided with a wide range of tailored learning opportunities.

Planning overviews for each term are listed below.


EYFS Curriculum at Dorney School



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.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. The Foundation stage promotes teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and gives children the broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

The Foundation Stage has four primary principles. The four guiding overarching principles shape our Early Years class.

Every child is a unique child

Every child in our classroom is a resilient, capable, confident and self-assured child, who is constantly learning. This means that children develop at their own rate and in their own individual ways.  The health, well-being and safety of our children are of utmost importance. We are inclusive and make certain that no child or family is discriminated against.

Positive relationships

Children learn to be strong and independent through the positive, secure relationships they form with other children and the adults in the classroom. We work closely with parents thus creating a network which has a positive impact on children’s development and learning. The children work closely with the adults in the classroom which develops a warm, trusting relationship with them, giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for.

Enabling environments

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers. By making use the outdoor area and the indoor area, children are exposed to a rich and varied learning environment. Adults in the EYFS support children in each area of their learning and development. Activities are planned on the children’s interests in the environment


Learning and Development

Every child develops and learns in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. At Dorney School Foundation, we identify that learning through play is a child’s work and that children learn best through physical and mental challenges. When children learn through play they are discovering the world around them and how it works in their own way. Learning experiences with a selection of resources and materials provide opportunities for investigation and experimentation, construction and representation, creation and imagination, learning skills and concepts, repetition, consolidation, socialisation and emotional security. Early experiences affect children’s attitudes to learning. They create the basis for future learning.


The Characteristics of Effective Learning
Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:


playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things and ‘have a go’
active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things


These underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
There are seven areas of learning and development. Each area is significant but they are all interconnected.

The prime areas, which are crucial for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive, are:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development


Alongside the prime areas, there are four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.

The specific areas are:


Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design 


In our Foundation Stage, we strive to provide educational programmes that involve activities and experiences for children, as follows:

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.



Reception Induction 2022- 2023