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During your child's time in Nursery and Reception, they will learn skills, acquire new knowledge and demonstrate their understanding through seven areas of learning and development.

EYFS Children insects

Children should mostly develop the three prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.

EYFS awe and wonder holy cross

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the remaining four specific areas. These are:

  • Literacy;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the World; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

These seven areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. Our teachers will support your child to make sure that the activities provided are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it is designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.

The emphasis on how children learn has huge potential to transform Early Years practice and empower children as confident, creative lifelong learners.

At Holy Cross, our children are encouraged to follow their interests and make independent choices about their learning all the while being supported to develop their thinking skills through skilful adult interactions. 

‘What children learn is important, but how children learn is even more important if they are to become learners in today’s society.’ Helen Moylett
How Children Learn, Nancy Stewart (2011)



EYFS children garden Holy Cross

Writing whiteboards EYFS Holy Cross

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.

This is document we use at Holy Cross to plan for children in the Early Years: 






Assessment at the end of Reception

Assessment plays an important part in helping parents, carers and practitioners to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan activities and support. Ongoing assessment is an integral part of the learning and development process.  It involves practitioners observing children to understand their level of achievement, interests and learning styles, and to then shape learning experiences for each child reflecting those observations.  In their interactions with children, practitioners should respond to their own day-to-day observations about children’s progress, and observations that parents and carers share.  To this end we make systematic observations and assessments of each child's achievements, interests and learning styles.  We then use these observations and assessments to identify learning priorities and plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child.


Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (above).  Practitioners will indicate whether children are meeting expected levels of development:

  • Emerging, not yet reaching expected levels of development for age
  • Expected
  • Exceeding, , beyond expected levels of development for age


Year 1 teachers will have access to the Profile report together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. These will inform transition meetings between Reception and Year 1 teachers about each child’s stage of development and learning needs and assist with the planning of activities at the start of Year 1.

Playdough EYFS Holy Cross


Educational/Learning Apps for Early Years Parents

One Billion Maths Apps - MATHS APPS ages 3-5

Bugs and Buttons

TinyTap - Kids Learning Games 

Domi Domi Blocks - Hand/Eye coordination, attention, focus and pattern

Jolly Phonics - App to support the Jolly Phonics programme 

Ladybird Books - I'm reading for Phonics 

Hoopa City - Problem Solving and City building

Endless Wordplay - Rhyming games