At Coppermill we believe that children in our Nursery and Reception should receive the very best possible start to their experiences of education. We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in creating solid foundations that children will build upon throughout the rest of their school journey. We want our EYFS to be a place where children feel safe and happy and grow in self-confidence and aim to ensure that the children in our EYFS develop physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally, whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and learning. We recognise that children in the Early Years learn best through motivating, hands on, play-based experiences in an environment that enables them to explore their learning both indoors and out. We believe that all children are unique and that the learning in our EYFS should be adapted to meet the needs of all so that all children achieve to their potential.


At Coppermill we believe the EYFS curriculum should be broad, balanced and engaging as well as being diverse and representative of the children that we teach. Our Early Years setting follows the non-statuary Development Matters curriculum guidance which supports children in meeting the requirements of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. The EYFS is made up of seven areas of learning and development. All seven areas of learning and development are equally important and interconnected.

There are three prime areas of learning:

• Communication and Language

• Physical Development

• Personal, Social and Emotional Development

And four specific areas of learning:

• Literacy

• Mathematics

• Understanding the World

• Expressive Arts and Design

Our planning, teaching and child led activities ensure that children make progress in each of these areas and are excited by and engaged with their learning. Our curriculum is based around half termly topics that excite and engage children, whilst widening their knowledge and understanding of the world. Each area of learning and development is implemented through well-planned, purposeful play, and a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities. 

Staff respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests and guide their learning and development through warm, positive and focussed interactions. In planning, guiding and leading children’s activities, our staff reflect on the different ways that children learn and include these in their practice. As and when their development allows, our Reception children will engage in more adult-led activities to help children prepare for Year 1.

In addition to these areas of learning, we want our children to develop effective characteristics of learning which will enable them to become learners for life. We carefully plan sequences of learning that provide meaningful moments and learning experiences and offer opportunities to extend children’s knowledge, experience and interests. We use high quality questioning and interactions to check understanding and address misconceptions and to help us to understand each child’s current strengths and next steps to meet their individual needs.


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, ongoing assessment is a vital part of children’s learning and development. We trust the judgements of our staff and ensure that staff spend their time interacting with children and leading learning rather than on formally assessing children. This means that staff can use their knowledge of their interactions with children to identify their current level in each area of learning. Staff also take into account observations and information shared by parents and/or carers. 

In both Nursery and Reception, there are three assessment points through the school year. These take place at the end of each term to record each child’s attainment and progress and to identify gaps in learning and next steps. Pupil progress meetings take place each term with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to identify individuals/groups who require targeted interventions or further support or challenge to enable them to achieve expected progress. Parent’s evenings are held each term to keep parents and carers up to date with their child’s progress and how they can support at home. Children starting Reception complete the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA). This is a short assessment which the children complete within six weeks of starting reception. In the final term of Reception, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the early learning goals, indicating whether they are:

•      Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)

•      Meeting expected levels of development (‘expected)

We provide a written report to parents, reporting their child’s progress against the Early Learning Goals. This information is also shared with Year 1 teachers and reported to the local authority.

Please click here to read our EYFS policy which contains in depth information about our EYFS