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A foundation for success since 1932


At Ribblesdale School, we are committed to providing a safe and nurturing setting that promotes the highest standard of education for our youngest pupils. Our Early Years team is committed to creating an environment that is rich with possibilities, developing children’s independence and putting them right at the centre of their own learning.

The aim of our EYFS curriculum is to work in partnership with parents and carers to develop independent, happy learners who thrive in school and reach their full potential – whatever their starting points. We strive to understand and follow children’s interests and provide opportunities through the EYFS curriculum to support learning and consolidate and deepen knowledge in order for children to take their next steps. The staff in the EYFS will create exciting indoor and outdoor provisions that support learning and independence. All children will make good progress from their starting points and staff will work to prepare children to reach their Early Learning Goals at the end of Foundation Stage to ensure they are ready for KS1.

The Foundation Stage

The Foundation Stage is the period of education between the ages of three and five. (From Nursery to the end of Reception).

The EYFS is based upon four overarching principles:

A Unique Child:

Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured.

Positive Relationships:

Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling Environments:

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them to build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Learning and Developing:

The importance of learning and development. Children develop and learn at different rates.

Within the Foundation Stage, children work towards achieving the ‘Early Learning Goals’ by the end of the Reception year. There are seven areas of learning and development, these are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This encompasses all aspects of relationships and building self-confidence and awareness. It includes emotional wellbeing, knowing who you are and where you fit in, and feeling good about yourself. It is also about developing respect for others, social competence, self-regulation and a positive disposition to learn.

Communication and Language

This area of learning includes developing skills and confidence in listening, understanding, paying attention and speaking. It includes increasing vocabulary and understanding words and their meanings. These experiences could be enjoying listening to and joining in with stories, following instructions or simply asking nicely when joining in and playing with others.

Physical Development

Physical development is about improving skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement. Physical development combines two very important aspects; it helps children gain confidence in what they can do and enables them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active.


Literacy takes the love of stories, poems and rhymes and helps children start to hear and use the sounds within words to read and spell. It starts with phonics, moving swiftly into reading words and then to understanding simple sentences and texts. It also follows on from the physical development aspects, e.g. gaining control over mark making, moving into writing letter shapes and then using these to write for a variety of purposes.


This area of learning includes counting, sorting, matching, seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships and working with numbers, shapes, space and measures. Mathematical understanding is developed through stories, songs, games and imaginative play, so that children enjoy using and experimenting with numbers.

Understanding the World

Children develop crucial knowledge, skills and understanding that help them make sense of the world. This forms the foundation for later work in science, design technology, history and geography. It focuses on aspects of people, cultures and communities in the wider world.

Expressive Arts and Design

Being creative enables children to make connections between one area of learning and another and so extend their learning. This area includes exploring and using media, and expression through art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play.