Early Years Foundation Stage

At Estcourt Primary Academy we provide a secure and stimulating environment, where our children are nurtured into becoming happy and confident members of our academy. We offer an exciting curriculum, which enables children to make progress by developing a range of knowledge and skills. This prepares them for the next step in their journey. Our ethos of reading at the heart is also clearly visible within the EYFS. We prioritise having a ‘language rich’ environment in EYFS where stories, rhymes, poems and songs provide our children with experiences. Through quality interactions with adults our children gain confidence to be confident communicators.

Our Curriculum

The Early Years Reading Enhanced Curriculum (EY REC) ensures that Communication and Language and Early Reading development is at the heart of the provision.  The aim is to ensure that all children develop a love of life-long learning through a curriculum that promotes the characteristics of effective learning with a focus on reading and storytelling. 

A well balanced and planned curriculum ensures Communication and Language, Literacy and Personal and Social skills are at the forefront of everything we do. Key themes and topics are supported by a progressive range of stories, poetry and non-fiction texts which start in Foundation 1 (F1) through to Foundation 2 (F2) . Children will have the opportunity to explore a range of stories throughout their time in the Early Years which supports the progressive development of language for storytelling, storytelling from memory, comprehension skills, sequencing, drama, and the love of books. 

The curriculum and care practices promote and support children’s emotional security and development of their character. The environment supports children’s learning of the ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced curriculum. Resources are selected carefully to meet the children’s needs, their knowledge, self-belief and cultural capital. Our Early Years setting provides high ambition where there are no limits or barriers on the children’s achievements. Children are highly motivated and eager to join in.

Transition to Year 1 from EYFS is an important phase of education. The curriculum has been planned effectively to ensure that there are strong links in learning for effective progression between the EYFS and the Year 1 curriculum.

Early Reading and Phonics


At Estcourt we teach phonics through the Essential Letter and Sounds (ELS) programme.  This is taught daily and as a whole class, meaning exposure for all. Opportunities to apply their phonic teaching will be planned within the provision.

Within F1, the foundations of phonics (oral rehearsal, visual discrimination, auditory discrimination and auditory sequential memory) are laid. As children enter F2, phonics is delivered from day one, through ELS.  Now fully embedded, this means children have a routine and systematic approach to daily phonics sessions and interventions.

Children will experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent and independent readers and writers.

The reason for doing so is simple: reading is the most important skill we give our children. EYFS actively fosters a love of books and want children to be inspired by the written word. Leaders and teachers want to encourage children to read – and read well – as early in their young lives as possible

We focus on the development of learning through inspirational teaching and learning. Using the environment as an additional practitioner.

All practitioners teach skills through offering children the opportunity to play. Practitioners follow the interests of the children and enhance learning provisions in line with this. This provides children with the opportunity, not only acquire enthusiasm for learning, but to enhance their communication and language development. Practitioners intervene and develop the children’s play in line with the ELG.

The Foundation Unit environment is stimulating and engaging and meets the needs of the children. Children have lots of opportunities to facilitate their own learning through carefully resourced provision and skilled adults, who support children through high quality interactions and effective questioning.

In a natural environment, where children, are given time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships, they develop understanding of the world and the environment through the use of emotions, imagination and senses.

Our outdoor area is an incredibly important part of our provision, where our children can explore on a larger scale. In recent months we have invested heavily in our outdoor provision and we continue to make improvements with works also scheduled next academic year.

Partnerships with Parents
Staff and the EYFS Lead believe in establishing strong, warm relationships between parents and carers and children from day 1 of entering the academy and see it as one of the main priorities. The academy ensures that EY staff are visible to parents/carers daily by welcoming and greeting them and the children through the doors in the morning and again on an afternoon therefore allowing accessible discussions as and when needed. It is these valuable discussions that allow fluid communication from one to the other and the opportunity to listen to what parents/carers need support with most. To reinforce this, 98% of parents access the Class Dojo site and staff, including the EYFS Lead, use this platform as a supportive tool to share tips, advice and teaching support for home learning. This is received well by parents. Other effective communication links include stay and play sessions in F2 (every three weeks) and workshops. This year, the academy has bought into Arc Pathway which is used as observation and assessment tool. Parents and Carers are able to access Arc Pathway where the child’s Learning Pathway can be shared as well as photos. Parents can also contribute and add observations.  

Progression from the EYFS – Y1 2023-2024

EYFS REC Long Term Plan 2023-2024

Estcourt EYFS Personalised Goals 2023-2024