Early Years

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to the learning and development of all children from birth to the end of the Reception Year. Children join our School Nursery in the first year of EYFS in the September following their third birthday and then join Reception in September of the academic school year when they turn five years old. We have 4 classes in our Early Years:

Nursery classes

  • Robin (morning nursery, 8:30-11:30am)
  • Hedgehog (afternoon nursery, 12:30-3:15pm)

We do currently offer provision for those children eligible for the 30-hour nursery entitlement.

Please visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-30-hours-free-childcare​ to see if you are eligible.

Reception classes:

  • Golden Oak
  • Red Oak

The Early Years is an important time in your child’s life that develops and celebrates children’s confidence, imagination and explorative natures. At Honilands we encourage children to be risk takers and to recognise the power of resilience. We encourage the children to aspire to be the best they can be!

The Early Years Curriculum

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) which is the statutory framework that sets the standards that all Early Years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.  The children learn through a balanced curriculum of fun, structured lessons and by following their own interests in a well-resourced and exciting environment.

The Foundation Stage curriculum is divided into seven areas of learning. These are as follows:

The prime areas are:

  • Communication and Language
  • Personal, Social and Emotional development
  • Physical development


The specific areas are:

  • Literacy development
  • Mathematical development
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive Arts and design


Our curriculum enables the children to learn and develop skills, attitudes and understanding in these areas of learning:

Our curriculum is also designed around ‘The Characteristics of Effective Leaning’. These highlight the importance of a child’s attitude towards their learning and their ability to play, explore and think critically about the world around them. The three characteristics are:

  • Playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’.
  • Active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties.
  • Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things.

As part of our practice we: 

  • Provide a balanced curriculum, based on the EYFS, across the seven curriculum areas, using play as the vehicle for learning;
  • Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.
  • We provide early intervention for those children who require additional support;
  • Work in partnership with parents and carers;
  • Plan challenging learning experiences, based on the individual child, informed by observation and assessment and by the children’s own ideas and interests;
  • Provide opportunities for children to engage in activities that are adult-initiated, child-initiated and adult supported;
  • Provide a secure and safe learning environment indoors and outdoors.

Early Reading /Core books:

To encourage our children to develop their enjoyment of books and to surround them with key vocabulary, we link our teaching opportunities to popular story books (core books).


Core Book List

During their time in the Oak family the children will be introduced to Phonics. In Nursery the children will have plenty of opportunities to explore games and rhymes focused on sound discrimination and rhyming, when ready they will be introduced to letter sounds.  It is an incredibly exciting time for the children as they begin to use these skills to read words independently. We use a Phonics scheme called Read, Write, Inc (RWI).  Please come and ask us about this if you want any more information.


Children are observed continually, in order to assess their stage of development and to plan their next steps of learning.

As of September 2021, all children in Reception are assessed against the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) within the first 6 weeks of starting Reception. The assessment looks at the children's skills in speaking and understanding, literacy, phonics and early mathematics. Please click on the below link to find out more about it.  


Information for Parents - Reception Baseline Assessment

In Nursery and Reception, teachers make assessment judgements on children’s all-round progress at the end of each term. At the end of Reception, children’s achievement is reported to parents against the Early Learning Goals (ELG) in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. The children are assessed against each ELG as follows:

  • Expected- meeting expected levels of development
  • Emerging- not yet reaching expected levels


Please click on the below link to find out more about the age-related expectations for children in the Early Years.


Information for Parents: What to expect in the Early Years



Observations of children’s achievements are collated in their own personal, online Learning Journal (Tapestry). Tapestry is a secure online Learning Journal to record photos, observations and comments, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, to build up a record of your child’s experiences during their time with us.

Parents/Carers receive a notification when evidence has been added to their child’s journal. Parents/carers are encouraged to add their own comments and also to upload their own observations to show us what their children are able to do at home. Home Learning is also shared via this.

Parental Involvement

We welcome and actively encourage parents to participate confidently in their child’s education and care in numerous ways.  

  • Holding information evenings before the children start school;
  • Talking to them about their child’s interests and needs during our school and home visits (home visits pre Covid) carried out each July;
  • Being welcoming and approachable and having an open-door approach for parents to voice concerns/ask questions;
  • Inviting them to termly parent consultations after their child’s termly focus week. Progress and next steps are shared.
  • Valuing parents’ contributions to Tapestry.
  • Inviting parents into school for Stay and Play sessions, Parent Cafes, Family Fun days and more.
  • Encouraging parents to share their child’s Phonics/Reading journey by uploading weekly videos of the sounds they are learning.
  • Providing termly curriculum leaflets highlighting how they can support their child at home;
  • Sharing learning and information regarding our core books on Tapestry so that they can discuss them with their children.
  • Inviting parents into school for ‘parent phonics’ sessions to demonstrate how we teach phonics and help them support their child;
  • Welcoming parents into school as ‘Mystery readers’.
  • Providing parents with termly reports after their focus weeks and an end of year summary report detailing achievements and their child’s EYFS profile;

We also draw on our links with the community to enrich children’s experiences by taking them on outings and inviting members of the community into our setting to talk about their lives, work and experiences.

Please click on the below links to find out more about the Early Years Framework:

Statutory Framework for EYFS

Non-Statutory Curriculum Guidance

Development Matters 2021

Birth to 5 Matters

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