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Early Years Foundation Stage at The Holt

We have developed educational programmes that enable our children to become curious, enthusiastic learners who thrive in an environment that fosters our school values and nurtures each unique child as they complete their Early Years education, move onto the National curriculum and beyond. Our curriculum is based on the 7 statements in the EYFS statutory Framework 2021. Each prime and specific area of learning is interwoven through a variety of experiences, topics and activities that provide opportunities for discovery, interaction, and learning.


Prime areas:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) is crucial for children to be healthy and happy and is fundamental to their cognitive development. At The Holt we provide a safe environment to nurture relationships and our school values (Respect, Resilience, Responsible, Reasoning, Reflective, and Resourceful) provide a scaffold from which to develop the skills the children will need now and as they grow to become independent adults and members of society. The adults are excellent role models for the children and guide them to become independent in looking after their bodies, health, and personal needs. Older children in the school are also important role models. Interactions with prefects and children from other year groups show the children that they are part of ‘The Holt’ school community. In term 1 our focus is establishing positive relationships with the children and supporting them to build friendships. We introduce our school values and teach the children the different ways in which we celebrate their achievements. Our first book ‘Have you filled a bucket today’ (Carl McCloud) illustrates to the children how they can change how another person is feeling and their own feelings too. We use this and our ‘Dilemma Drops’ to teach the children to talk about feelings and learn to resolve conflicts peaceably. Our PSED programme   provides a strong foundation from which to nurture a can ‘can do’ attitude towards learning and achieving. It also develops communication skills and awareness of emotions. This is built on throughout their journey at The Holt Primary School.


Communication and Language

Spoken language underpins all 7 areas of learning and development. Interaction with adults and peers is crucial, as is a language rich environment. We provide this through:

  • Talking time (as a class, small group and one to one) throughout the day including snack time, when exploring and investigating, ‘My News’ time and topic work discussions.
  • Story time – not a time just for listening but also a time for discussing the various texts and the new vocabulary we come across.
  • Role-play – children develop/embed new vocabulary by using new words in play. This is supported by the adults in the setting.
  • Songs, rhymes, and poems – these engage the children and give them an opportunity to repeat words and phrases in a fun way.
  • Provision – activities and games provided to embed language in a range of contexts.
  • Our Class ‘Book of Books’ – a great way of recalling texts and talking about them and the activities linked to them.


There is always an opportunity to talk and skilled questioning and modelling by adult enables the children to develop a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.


Physical Development

Physical development is a part of every aspect of learning. Development of gross motor skills develop strength, co-ordination, agility, balance, and stability which enable children to control their bodies when developing their fine motor skills. Physical activities, with a focus on both gross and fine motor skills are embedded throughout the setting. They are linked to our topics and all areas of learning and development. These are provided through P.E sessions, and provision both indoors and outdoors. From building and balancing with large scale construction, riding bike, threading, crafting, running, dancing and signing when singing, we are always moving and learning.


Specific Areas:



We are passionate at The Holt about developing our children’s love of reading and children reading for pleasure. This begins in the EYFS! Linked to Communication and Language, the children experience a rich diet of texts, rhymes, poems and songs and each is an opportunity for talking about and developing comprehension skills. Texts are enjoyed as part of story time and linked to topic work as well as a pleasurable activity in our reading area. The texts we explore are recorded in our class ‘Book of Books’ and becomes a treasured account of the children’s interactions with texts.


We follow the Read Write Inc programme which teaches the children sounds, segmenting and blending then speedy reading. The children also learn letter formation, talk for writing and spelling to enable them to write phrases and simple sentences by the of Reception Year. The children are also provided with opportunities to write independently through provision throughout the setting.



Using the NCETM programme for mastering number the children are engaged in fun inputs and activities to develop a deep understanding of number to 10. Using a variety of manipulatives throughout provision and with small group activities the children build their knowledge and vocabulary. Shape, space and measure are explored through provision as well as used to develop reasoning skills when mastering number. The children are given opportunities every day build and apply their skills in different contexts. From sorting and building to playing games and keeping score, the children are encouraged to look for patterns and spot connections through engaging activities where they can explore their knowledge and ‘have a go’ and talk about what they notice.


Expressive Arts and Design

The children have access to a wide variety of materials with which to be imaginative and creative. They are encouraged to find resources independently but are also given adult support to explore different media and ways to combine these. Expressive arts and design give the children an opportunity to communicate understanding and express themselves. Repeating activities and building on them offers opportunities for reflection and problem solving. As well as physical development, EAD is also an opportunity to develop personal, social and emotional skills. Through role-play, friendships are established, and team work though building and creating together. Our class performances, singing and dancing play a vital role as well.


Understanding the World

Threading through all aspects of learning is a growing understanding of the world. Each topic supports the children make sense of their world and community through experiences and offers opportunities to develop communication and language skills to support reading. All topics are linked to a variety of texts which develop knowledge and vocabulary. Each topic is a starting point from which the children can direct the path of discovery. With adult support the children will become investigators and will learn to observe and talk about what they find, compare, predict and discover! 


Building on EYFS in Year 1