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EYFS Teaching and Learning

Brambleside EYFS Teaching and Learning 2022-2023

The Team

2 x Early Years Teachers, 2 x Early Years Practitioners & 3 X Teaching assistants

Communication & Language

  • WellComm: During the first term of school, identified children are assessed using the WellComm assessment. This identifies any gaps in children’s understanding and allows staff to focus on these with interventions.
  • Vocabulary: Staff use conversations with children to develop vocabulary as we believe that new vocabulary should be learnt in context to enable the children to then use the words themselves. Adults ensure they are using ambitious vocabulary during their conversations, as well as up-levelling words children say. For example, child says, “it is cold today”, adult replies, “it is freezing!” In addition to this, adults discuss vocabulary in books during story time and add these words to the classroom displays.
  • Speech sounds: During the first term of school, identified children carry out a speech sound assessment to identify exactly which sounds the children are working on. From this, class teachers and the SEN Co-ordinator will decide whether to refer the children or target the child in other ways for example constant modelling & encouraging the children to repeat the words back correctly.
  • Time to talk: In Foundation Stage, we believe the most effective way to improve children’s communication & language is to give them time to talk. Because of this, the children get partner talk time during all sessions, as well as at least 2 hours of playing to learn daily, allowing them the opportunities to talk to adults as well as children as positive role models.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development

We want children to leave Foundation stage as confident, happy, independent and resilient children and learners. Our Foundation Stage is set up in a way that promotes this throughout the school day. This is through independent learning areas such as independent snack where the children pour their own drinks and spread their own jam, as well as cooking areas where by the end of Foundation Stage the children should be able to prepare their own cakes. Adults are also there to nurture and give the children the skills they need to bounce back, develop their relationships, manage their own emotions and develop their skills to deal with conflicts etc.


In Foundation Stage, we make sure that children develop their Phonics skills through daily, discrete Phonics sessions alongside initiatives to develop a love of reading.

  • Reading scheme: Children access self-choice books twice per week to take home and share with adults from the ’Rising Stars’ reading scheme. The children will take a book from a book band set by the teacher, which will align with the sounds they have learnt in Phonics.
  • Shared reading: The children have at least one daily whole class reading session during carpet times to promote a love of reading.
  • Discrete Daily Phonics teaching: Phonics is taught in 30 minute sessions, 5x a week, starting from week 2 of school. Brambleside follow the ‘Rising Stars, Rocket Phonics’ scheme.
  • Phonics interventions: Teachers quickly identify children with gaps in their Phonics and introduce weekly interventions by Autumn 2 term depending on the area of Phonics they are struggling with, e.g. memory of sounds / oral blending etc.
  • 1:1 reading at school: All children will be read to at least once with an adult at school each fortnight, with the teacher being the main adult to read with them. Some children will read once per week, and others reading 2 or 3 times per week.
  • Reading for engagement – Reading teddies: The children have ‘Reading Teddies’ which they adopt in the first term of school to read with at home. They are encouraged to share this on Tapestry.
  • Reading for engagement – Star of the day: Star of the day takes home ‘William the Reading Wizard’ and a picture book from the classroom to read during the evening at home.
  • Reading for engagement – Lending Library: We have a lending library where children have the opportunity to take home a picture book of their choice to share at home with their family.
  • Reading for engagement – Family Reading: On a Tuesday afternoon from 3:00pm- 3:15pm, parents are invited in to share a story with their child before going home.
  • Reading for engagement – Books throughout provision: There are reading areas and books throughout the provision in Foundation Stage, as well as an area dedicated to stories with a puppet show, huge reading chair and small world etc.


  • Helicopter stories: The children are invited to tell a story to an adult while the adult scribes to encourage story-telling vocabulary and get a real sense of the purpose of writing. Throughout the year as the children become more confident with writing, the adults will use their knowledge of each individual child to encourage them to take part in more and more of the writing.
  • Child-initiated writing within the provision: These will be linked to interests children have shown, and will be placed into the provision to enhance it and provide challenge. Children will be shown how to use these through modelling in the provision.
  • Writing folders: Pieces of writing that children have completed in school, whether adult-led or child initiated, will be placed into a writing folder to show progress across the year.
  • Handwriting: Handwriting is specifically taught during discrete handwriting sessions, following the ‘Nelson Handwriting’ scheme.
  • Drawing Club: Children will take part in ‘Drawing Club’ sessions, where they will have the opportunity to draw and write based on a story.


  • Number time: The children will have 4x 25 minute number time sessions each week. Number time will mostly consist of number aspects, however some Shape, Space and Measure is taught during this time.
  • Maths within the provision: All areas of the provision will be carefully planned to ensure there is an aspect of Maths that the children can be challenged in. For example, having collections of small objects available to count in the mud kitchen, or having the opportunity to measure and make their own dough in the playdough area. The adults will challenge the children in both their Shape, Space and Measure vocabulary and their early number skills.

Assessment and evidence

  • Tapestry: Tapestry is used to capture WOW moments from the children at school, as well as to allow the parents to give us an insight into the child’s home life.
  • Baseline: The children carry out the NFER government baseline when entering school, and all children will be assessed by teacher judgement by October half term and uploaded to ‘Insight’.
  • Assessments throughout the year: The children will be assessed again at Autumn 2, Spring 1, Spring 2 and then finally for their Early Years Profile during the Summer Term. These will all be teacher judgements inputted onto insight in the same format. Teacher judgements will consist mainly of teacher knowledge of each individual children, as well as evidence such as tapestry, writing folders, and Phonics tracker assessments.
  • Moderation: Judgements will also be moderated within the team as well as with subject leaders.

Learning in Foundation Stage at Brambleside & Environment

Adults very carefully plan the teaching, learning and play environment within Foundation Stage. Adults will ensure that there are many purposeful adult-led activities planned to ensure the children are exposed to lots of knew knowledge and learn many new skills.

In addition to this, resources in the provision will be purposefully added based on assessment to promote skill development. For example, if the adult has assessed a child as easily building sand castles in the sand pit with the spades and buckets, they may add in small utensils such as spoons to develop the strength in the fingers and add challenge.

During play, adults are always available to communicate with, challenge and scaffold the children in their play, ensuring the children are always learning, rather than engaging in low level play activities.


  • Interventions within play: If a child has a particular target, the adult will try and support the children in their play with this. For example, if a child is really struggling with segmenting simple words, an adult might see them building a house outside and encourage them to write labels for their room, for example ‘bed’ etc.
  • Quality first teaching: Following settling in and the baseline assessments, teachers will plan carpet time sessions that challenge all children. Adults will be on hand to ensure all children can access the learning, and support and children that need it.

Home Learning

  • Phonics and Tricky Words: Children will be sent home with ‘I can blend’ sheets from Phonics tracker, while they are reading wordless story books. They will also be sent with tricky words to practise with match the words they are learning in their Phonics sessions.
  • Texts – Parents are sent texts for any important information.
  • Workshops / information evenings: These are held throughout the year to ensure parents are confident with the teaching and practising of children’s reading and writing.
  • Homework: Homework is sent home each Friday via Tapestry & parents are encouraged to take photos and upload these onto Tapestry for us to see.
  • Tapestry: Parents are encouraged to upload wow moments of their children onto Tapestry for us to see, in addition to the focus week information.