Teaching and Learning in FS1

The Early Years Foundation Stage

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old.

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including childminders, preschools, nurseries and school reception classes.

Areas of learning

Your child will mostly be taught through games and play.

The areas of learning are:

3 Prime Areas

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development
4 Specific Areas
  • literacy
  • mathematics
  • understanding the world
  • expressive arts and design

Observational assessment

Practitioners can use observational assessment to understand children’s learning. Practitioners watch, listen and interact as children engage in everyday activities, events and experiences, and demonstrate their specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Observational assessment is the most reliable way of building up an accurate picture of children’s development and learning. This is especially true where the attainment demonstrated is not dependent on overt adult support. Observational assessment is central to understanding what children really know and can do.

Child-initiated activity

Children with effective learning characteristics: 

  • are willing to have a go 
  • are involved and concentrating 
  • have their own ideas 
  • choose ways to do things  
  • find new ways of doing things  
  • enjoy achieving what they set out to do

To accurately assess these characteristics, practitioners need to observe learning which children have initiated rather than only focusing on what children do when prompted. Children need rich opportunities to initiate ideas and activities so that they can develop the learning characteristics which are assessed by the EYFS profile. These characteristics also support lifelong learning.


The EYFS is broken down into four age bands, called Development Matters bands: 16-26 months, 22-36 months, 30-50 months and 40-60 months.

For each age band, and each area of learning, there is a series of statements relating to a child’s development: for example, ‘notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures’. Teachers will tick off these developmental statements as they see your child demonstrating them.

Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. Within each of the development matters bands there are three seperate achievement levels:

  • Entering: your child is beginning to show evidence of understanding in this age band
  • Developing: your child is developing further undersatnding within this age band
  • Secure: your child's knowledge is secure within this age band

On exit from FS1, practitioners would expect children to be secure within the 30-50 months age band or entering within the 40-60 months age band.

To find out more about the EYFS click on the link below:



Phonics is the process whereby children begin to learn the sounds of letters or groups of letters to develop reading and writing.

The children in FS1 learn Phonics through games and rhymes. Children will learn to hear pattern and rhyme in the spoken word as well as Nursery Rhymes.

Children will also be taught the Letterland programme and Letters and Sounds to get them ready for reading and writing in FS2. Please access the link below for information of how you can support your child at home.


Other websites that can support the acquisition of Phonics through games at home are:

High Frequency Words

As well as Phonics it is important that children learn a sight vocabulary of words that appear frequently in reading, we call these high frequency words. Children will have a Rainbow Word Book that they will bring home everyday, this will give them the opportunity to practise the words at home for 5 minutes everyday. Our aim is that children will learn High Frequency Word recognition a year ahead of Age Related Expectations; eg at the end of FS1 children will know all the words expected for FS2. As chidlren learn the words they will be rewarded with certificates and prizes in class to encourage them. Please click on the document below to see High Frequency Word Progression which details the words children will learn in each year group.
Children can bring their book bag to school everyday. There will be a selection of books to choose from. The majority of these books we would expect families to share and talk about with their child; there is no requirement for child to be able to read at the end of FS1. Some children may become ready to read as they have become able to use phonics to blend and recognise some high frequency words, therefore we  provide a range of reading books which are available in the setting that you may want to share with your child. Please remember that story comprehension and understanding is the priority at this stage. 

In FS1 we are encouraging children to confidently make marks and talk to practitioners about what these marks mean. Children will use a range of materials to do this such as paint, chalk, felt tip, crayon or pencil.
There may be some recognisable letters beginning to emerge in your chils's writing and by the end of FS1 some children may be able to write their name and/or individual words indpendently. 

By the end of FS1 children will have been taught to count forwards and backwards within the number system 1 to 10. They will be able to recognise and match a numeral  to a set of objects. They will be able to say which number is more or less than another number. Maths will be practical at all times using a range of inspiring equipment to aid children in understanding quantity.

What do we mean by mastery?

Integral to mastery of the curriculum is the development of deep rather than superficial conceptual understanding. ‘The research for the review of the National Curriculum showed that it should focus on “fewer things in greater depth”, in secure learning which persists, rather than relentless, over-rapid progression.’ It is inevitable that some pupils will grasp concepts more rapidly than others and will need to be stimulated and challenged to ensure continued progression. However, research indicates that these pupils benefit more from enrichment and deepening of content, rather than acceleration into new content. Acceleration is likely to promote superficial understanding, rather than the true depth and rigour of knowledge that is a foundation for higher mathematics.

For further information about maths in the early years click on the link below.


Each week children will receive a Talk Task. Research shows that for children to create well structured written sentences later in their school career they must first be able to articulate these sentences orally. Children will recieve a task that may involve them debating a subject with family members such as; 'Should schools stop playtimes?' Or finding out about a topic such as 'People who help us'.