Learning in the EYFS

Here at Chapel End the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) work together in a Unit.

This means that while the children are in EYFS (Nursery and Reception) they will learn in the same building as they follow the same curriculum but at their individual level.
The children will have access to all areas of the curriculum (both indoors and out) at all times.
The children will be split into Nursery and Reception for teaching inputs and will all have a named teacher.


All about Learning in our EYFS Unit

Sessions are planned with a balance of child initiated and adult led activities (including carpet time). Resources are introduced throughout the year to support children in the seven areas of learning both through self directed play, and with adults supporting and extend their play.

Each day your child will be have access to the indoor and outdoor areas. During group carpet times the children listen to stories, learn to sing songs and take part in phonics and mathematics activities. They have the opportunity to listen to adults and to each other as information and ideas are shared.

We have snack time in the morning and afternoon where the children sit together in small groups with an adult enjoying something to eat and a drink whilst chatting to their friends. At lunchtime children are encouraged to eat using knives forks and spoons. Social eating and drinking are an important part of personal, social and emotional development.


Our curriculum

Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:

Communication and language

  • develop their language skills in a language rich environment

  • develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves

  • speak and listen in a range of situations

Physical development

  • be active and interactive

  • develop their co-ordination, control and movement

  • understand the importance of physical activity

  • make healthy choices in relation to food

Personal, social and emotional development

  • develop a positive sense of themselves and others

  • form positive relationships and develop respect for others

  • develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings

  • understand appropriate behaviour and have confidence in their own abilities


  • link sounds and letters to begin to learn to read and write

  • ignite their interest in reading by being given access to a wide range of reading materials


  • develop and improve their skills in counting

  • understand and have a deep understanding of number

  • calculate simple addition and subtraction problems

  • compare quantities, explore and represent patterns

Understanding the world

  • make sense of the physical world

  • develop their knowledge of their community

  • explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment

Expressive arts and design

  • explore and play 

  • share their thoughts, ideas and feelings

  • develop skills in art, music, movement, dance, role play and design and technology.


A child’s individual learning characteristic will determine the way they respond to both the teaching and learning taking place in the environment.  Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS 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.


Each room in our Unit is carefully laid out to allow children to access the resources they need to play linking their own  learning needs and interests. 

Areas inside our Unit

Our sand area contains various resources such as spades, buckets, sticks and small world toys, which allow children to build and imaginatively play.

Our water area contains various resources such as pipes, funnels, containers and small world toys, which allow children to pour, fill and empty containers and play imaginatively.

A maths area, with resources linked to counting and numbers,  2d and 3d shapes, sizes and measuring time.

mark making area, with resources for drawing, writing and mark making.

Role play areas include a domestic home,  allowing children to develop their ability to take on a role, tell a story and other personal and social skills such as turn taking, putting dressing up clothes on and working together.

workshop area for children to access a range of tools such as scissors, glue, hole punches and sellotape, for creating their own collages, models and designs.

The painting area contains a range of tools and materials for painting and other art work so that children can produce their own multi-media artwork.

The malleable area allows children to use a range of tools with play dough and other materials to develop their creative, sensory and fine motor skills. 

A book area contains books and puppets related to our current focus, as well as a wide range of information, fiction and poetry books to choose from.

Our construction area include wooden blocks and smaller construction toys such as mobilo and magnetics as well as a variety of loose parts. In this area children can join pieces together and build models using their imagination and fine motor skills. 

Areas outside

Bikes, trikes and scooters allow children the opportunity to learn and practise their riding skills on a roadway which incorporates a slight hill and several twists and turns.

Our role play resources are open ended and the children are encouraged to create various role play situations e.g. a cafe, a building site! We also have our very own boat on our playground!

Climbing frames allow children to climb, move along and balance. They incorporate steps and tyres.

Our large sand pit contains various resources such as spades, buckets and moulds which allow children to build and imaginatively play on a large scale with their wellies on.

Our large water area contains various resources such as pipes, funnels and containers, which allow children to pour, fill and empty containers and play imaginatively on a large scale.

digging area currently contains plant pots trowels and small forks for children to dig longside a mud kitchen where the children can make potions etc.

construction area with large wooden bricks, material and builders tools allow children to work alone or with others to make large scale models, using their imagination.

We also have a number of themed trugs for the children to access e.g. music making, windy days and rainy days.