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Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5. This is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun, secure whilst supporting their development, care and learning needs.

Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes, out of school clubs, and childminders registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. This provides a set of requirements that we adhere to ensure that all children who attend our provision are safe and healthy and that they are supported to learn and develop to their full potential. The EYFS requirements cover the following:

  • The learning and development requirements shape the activities and experience we provide for your child.
  • The early learning goals provide a general level of progress, covering knowledge, skills and understanding that we will support your child to work towards having by the end of the academic year in which they turn five.
  • The assessment requirements detail how we will monitor and plan for your child’s progress.
  • The safeguarding and welfare requirements are steps we follow to ensure your child is kept safe and has their welfare promoted.
  • Our policies and procedures explained in detail the steps we take to satisfy the requirements of the EYFS in our everyday practice. Please ask any member of our team to view our policies and procedures or we can provide you with copies to take away and read. We are inspected and regulated by Ofsted on the quality of our childcare provision against the requirements of the EYFS.

We believe that young children learn best through planned purposeful play. The characteristics of effective learning are:

Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically.

Our continuous provision of activities and experiences provide opportunities for each of these and cover all of the seven areas of learning and development as defined in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.

The three prime areas, which are crucially important for young children are:

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

These provide the basis for successful learning in the other four specific areas, which are:

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

We help children gain broad knowledge and skills to provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life.

We assess and monitor progress continually and complete summative assessments on a termly basis, ensuring that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.

Our Continuous Provision

We are lucky to have access to a large and attractive outside area which is used for learning on a daily basis and provides ample space for physical development including the use of trikes, scooters, balancing and den building equipment.

Our wet play facilities include water (inside and out), a large sandpit, play dough and messy trays. These give lots of opportunity for physical development moving and handling equipment and early mathematical skills around shape, space and measure.

sand play

We provide a wide range of art, craft and mark making equipment, again assisting physical development, moving and handling one-handed tools and equipment; also creative and literacy skills.

Plenty of creative and mark making opportunities are also provided in our outside environment.

We have a wide selection of construction toys for the child to explore and use, building with a purpose in mind.

Our range of small world toys helps children to develop an understanding of the world and people and communities around them. Children learn to play initially alongside and then with each other and can be imaginative building stories around the toys.

The role play area is particularly pertinent for communication and language development, imaginative play and building relationships. It often takes the form of a ‘home corner’ but is varied to follow the children’s interests.

role lay

Our comfortable book area is well stocked with a range of books and enhancements such as puppets. Children are encouraged to look at books independently, with friends, and in adult-led activities.

We have a range of maths resources including numbers, shapes, games and puzzles in many forms.

maths table

In addition to technological equipment such as cameras and torches, we have a touch screen computer, loaded with a range of age-appropriate software.

We encourage investigation and provide resources to promote this.

Our continuous provision is regularly monitored and adapted to ensure that it is providing suitable learning and development opportunities to suit the needs and interests of each individual child.

Adult‐led Activities

Children are allowed to lead their own play for a large part of the sessions. Our experienced practitioners use their judgement of when to observe when to take part, when to model or when to lead play. We also have a number of routine adult‐led times, these include;

  • Story and rhyme time ‐ children develop listening and attention, understanding, self‐confidence and reading skills.
  • Snack and lunchtime – children learn to follow routines and tolerate delay, they develop health and self‐care skills and physical skills when helping with snack preparation or self‐serving.
  • Listening/Letters and Sounds games – we use activities from the Letters and Sounds Phase One Teaching Programme
  • Other adult led activities are planned according to individual children’s stages of development and interests.

The children’s development is enhanced by regular trips. These include walks around the local area, ‘Praise and Play’ sessions at St Cross church and a range of activities at Appleton Thorn Primary School. More occasional visits have been to the Arley Estate and catching the bus to Build a Bear. 

Ofsted Comments

"Children are confident, happy and they behave very well."


"Staff have a good understanding of how children learn and they know children very well. They provide a broad range of activities and experiences, which supports children to make good progress across all areas of learning."


"There are strong links with the local community."


"Staff organise the environment particularly well to help children to be as independent as possible in leading their own play and learning."


Ofsted Inspection Report, January 2017

Opening Times

Mon 9AM - 12PM 12PM - 3PM
Tues 9AM - 12PM 12PM - 3PM
Wed 9AM - 12PM 12PM - 3PM
Thurs 9AM - 12PM 12PM - 3PM
Friday 9AM - 12PM 12PM - 3PM

Contact Us

  • Appleton Thorn Pre-School
    Stretton Road, Appleton Thorn,
    Warrington. WA4 4RT
  • 07938 511441

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