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EArly years foundation stage - EYFS


In Early Years at Cavendish we pride ourselves on the following:

  • All children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum with first hand experiences that gives them the wide range of knowledge and skills needed for good progress through school and life.
  •  Quality and consistency in teaching and learning so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
  • A close working partnership between staff and parents and/or carers to support children’s learning and development.
  • Every child is included and supported through equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice. 



In Early Years we have a Nursery with 26 places. We begin the day with a soft start between 08:45 and 08:55. Nursery runs until 15.15 for children attending for the full day or morning-only places finish at 12.00. We have one Reception class with 30 places. It begins with a soft start at 08.45 and finishes at 15.15.


In Early Years at Cavendish we follow a curriculum based on the statutory EYFS framework. The EYFS framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. However, 3 areas known as the prime areas are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design 


At Cavendish we plan activities and experiences for children that enable children to develop and learn effectively. We also take into account the individual needs, interests, and stage of development of each child in their care, and use this information to plan a challenging and enjoyable experience. Where a child may have a special educational need or disability the curriculum is adapted accordingly to ensure the needs of the pupil are being met. 


At Cavendish each area of learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful play, and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activities.

Both Nursery and Reception have their own outside classrooms which are used every day. The children are offered ‘free-flow’ during the day where they can choose to learn inside or outside. Early reading and phonics is key in Early Years. As a school we use ‘Little Wandle’, a systematic synthetic phonics programme that has been validated by the Department for Education. Children in Nursery learn phonics through singing, rhymes and other activities. We follow the Little Wandle ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidelines. Children in Reception have daily timetabled phonics lessons using the Little Wandle programme. Across Early Years our learning environments and activities are planned carefully to support and develop the children’s phonic skills as we recognise the importance of early reading.


At Cavendish, ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development processes. Staff observe pupils to identify their level of achievement, interests and learning styles. These observations are used to shape future planning. Staff also take into account observations shared by parents and/or carers.


We recognise that children learn and develop well when there is a strong partnership between staff and parents and/or carers. Nursery and Reception parents and/or carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress and development through formal and informal meetings and conversations throughout the school year.


The impact of our carefully planned Early Years curriculum will allow all children to take part in a wide range of valuable and meaningful experiences and learning opportunities at their own level. They will experience a smooth transition between Nursery, Reception and Year 1. They will leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning.