Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Riverston School offers a range of opportunities for learning from the age of 1 year. A balance of structured play and focussed tasks, ensure an equal balance of all aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into 7 key areas of learning

The 7 areas of learning and development shape the educational programmes we provide in the Early Years setting. All these areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting childrens' curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three prime areas are:

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

and are supported by four "specific" areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
    Understanding the World
    Expressive Arts and Design

1. Communication and Language

In this area of learning, the children are provided with opportunities to communicate with both adults and other children; practicing and developing their range of vocabulary and communication. They are encouraged to explore, enjoy and learn about words in a range of different contexts. When the children join the Pre School department they begin to access daily phonic focus sessions, we use a balance of Letters and Sounds and Jolly phonics to teach early phonetics. Mark making is a huge focus within the Early Years Foundation Stage; this is taught through a wide range of experiences including corn flour, paint, sand and more formal writing materials.

2. Physical Development

Physical development is on-going throughout the day within the Early Years departments, the children are provided with opportunities to develop and practise fine and gross motor skills. They are encouraged to work with the equipment to develop confidence, hand eye co-ordination and control, both indoors and out. The children begin more formal PE lessons from Pre School with a specialist Gymnastics teacher supporting them to use the gym apparatus confidently and safely. The children also enjoy using the bikes, slides and climbing frames alongside regular visits to the park to develop their physical skills

3. Personal Social and Emotional Development

Riverston Early Years departments aim to provide opportunities and activities for the children to feel valued so that both a strong self-image and self-esteem are promoted. The children are encouraged to be confident and independent in the classroom and in the outdoor environment. They gain an understanding of both right and wrong and learn to build relationships with adults and other children. There is a strong emphasis on sharing fairly, taking turns and expressing emotions clearly and appropriately within the Early Years.

4. Literacy

Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials - books, poems, and other written materials, in order to ignite their interest.

5. Mathematics

The children develop their understanding and awareness of mathematics, the children are provided with opportunities to investigate using number, measurements, pattern, shape and calculation. The children are encouraged to sing songs and complete practical activities to gain an understanding of counting, number recognition, quantity and the mathematical language needed to work with and solve simple problems.

6. Understanding the World

The children within the Early Years Foundation Stage access weekly Forest School sessions, where they get the opportunity to solve problems, make decisions, experiment, plan and question. The children are encouraged to be very independent and explore and find out about their environment. Each child is encouraged to find out about past and present events by discussions with adults, family members and other children’s experiences. Throughout The Early Years Foundation Stage we develop the children’s awareness of the cultures and beliefs of other people from around the world.

7. Expressive Arts and Design

The children are provided with opportunities to explore sound through music and dance, with a specialist Music teaching beginning more formal teaching in Reception Class. The children are encouraged to use their imagination through role play and are supported by adults to organise their thoughts and feelings. Art and craft, as well as deisgn and technology plays a huge part of daily life within the Early Years departments and the children have access to a wide range of stimulating resources and materials in order to explore, investigate and play.


The Structure of the Riverston EYFS Day 

Our Nursery and Pre School department operates a morning, afternoon or a full day programme for children aged of one to four. The children can attend the department on a flexible day by day programme which can be tailored to suit each individual family’s needs. The day begins with a free play session where the children are encouraged to use a variety of equipment and resources. Each room in the Early Year’s department has a computer, role play area, sand and water facilities and an easel for the children to enjoy free art activities.

The curriculum is catered to develop from individual children’s interests and we are proud of the strong links we make with children and families ensuring all are involved in the child’s individual learning journey throughout these important years.

The timetable also offers many physical activities; the children enjoy regular trips to the park as well as a movement to music, sport and gymnastic sessions weekly.

When the children join Pre-school, French is taught once a week by a specialist member of staff and music is taught formally from Reception class and the specialist teacher encourages the children to sing, perform and play the instruments whilst accompanying them on the piano. Individual music sessions are encouraged from the age of 5 years; the children particularly enjoy learning piano, guitar and drumming.

Extra-Curricular Clubs

Afternoon Clubs are offered to children aged three and above. This programme allows children to try new and exciting activities such as football, drama, art and choir.

EAL (English as an Additional Language)

Riverston Early Years department has an EAL coordinator who can offer individual English lessons/activities on a one to one or small group basis for those children who may require some extra help. The EAL coordinator is available to provide advice and support to both families and the Early Years department staff members.