Early Years Foundation Stage

Nursery & Reception
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Our Vision

Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at West Oxford Primary School.

Our provision provides a strong foundation for the children’s future learning, including developing a positive attitude to learning. In giving the children a broad range of knowledge and skills we lay the foundation for excellent future progress throughout their school and life.

Our Approach

To make this happen, learning and development opportunities are planned around each child’s needs and interests and regularly assessed and reviewed.

Adults respond to individual needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interactions in an encouraging, stimulating and a well-resourced indoor and outdoor environment.


How To Apply

To see how to apply for a place for your child at the West Oxford Community Primary School at the Early Years stage, you should visit our Admissions page.


In the Reception year, it is the adult’s role to extend and provide further challenge to children’s learning.

Here we seek to initiate and offer great depth to the children’s experiences. Adults skilfully interact and sensitively scaffold, support and enhance the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding.

In addition, we seek to help the children to develop their thinking through their participation in activities and with the skilled involvement of the staff.

Our Strategy and Vision


Our Aims

We aim to meet each child’s needs by:

  • caring for the whole child’s health, both physical and mental, their feelings and their thinking and spiritual development
  • ensuring each child has the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to achieve success and to build a thirst for lifelong learning
  • teaching the foundations of reading, writing and maths that will develop basic (essential) skills and to enable them to access the wider curriculum

We also take great care to provide:

  •  a stimulating environment, indoors and out, providing many opportunities for children to be curious, ask questions and to be eager to discover and learn
  • opportunities, time and space for children to pursue their own interests, and time to interact and share with others
  • opportunities for each child to make choices and decisions to develop their independence
  • ethnically and culturally diverse experiences including resources and stories which reflect different cultures and values

All while…

  • creating a purposeful atmosphere, where teachers can focus on teaching and pupils on learning
  • working closely with parents/carers and respecting the fact that they are experts in the knowledge of their own child.

What Children Learn

The content of the Curriculum is planned in the seven areas of learning and development.

Three Prime Areas:

  • Communication and Language – children develop skills and confidence in speaking and listening in a range of situations.
  • Physical Development – children develop their co-ordination, control, and movement through being active.
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – within clear boundaries and expectations, children form positive relationships, develop social skills and respect for others and understand appropriate behaviour.

Four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy – development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. Opportunities are provided daily for developing fine motor skills and handwriting is formally taught and practised every day in reception.
  • Mathematics – involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
  • Understanding the World – finding out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive Arts and Design – exploring a wide range of media and sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.

The Outdoors

It is important to develop learning opportunities outside as outdoor learning provides opportunities for: the acquisition of gross motor skills, taking risks, fostering a love of nature and the environment, large (and possibly messier) play which is not possible indoors, learning experiences suited to the outdoor environment and physical fitness.


How Children Learn

Children learn through:

  • playing and exploring
  • learning actively
  • creating and thinking critically

In the Foundation Stage teachers make professional judgements about the balance between activities led or guided by adults and those led by children. This balance shifts towards more activities led by adults as children move from early years and towards Year 1.

Adult directed activities are those which are directed by the adult and are useful in the teaching of specific skills such as demonstrating how to use tools or equipment. In our Reception class, daily teaching of literacy and maths starts from the outset and is a key part of our curriculum.

Adult guided activities are those which the adult initiates. These activities are often playful or experiential. They are open ended and motivate a keen interest in learning.

Child-initiated experiences take place within an environment the adult has set up and planned but will be wholly decided upon by the child, based on the child’s own motivation and remains under the child’s control.


Children have daily access to well-planned stimulating learning environments, indoors and outdoors.

These environments give children opportunities to be active and physical as well as quiet and reflective. Each classroom has sufficient chairs and tables for children to be seated when appropriate, and also plenty of carpeted areas for children to engage in activities. There will be periods of time each day when all children in reception will be engaged in learning activities at their tables as class teaching is gradually introduced and developed throughout the Reception year.

The early years environment – inside and outside is viewed as a whole, providing different areas where resources, materials and activities are freely and easily accessible.

The areas of learning in the environment include:

  • role play area
  • book/reading area
  • mark making/writing area
  • mathematical area
  • construction area
  • small world area
  • music area
  • creative area
  • malleable area
  • ICT opportunities
  • sand/water areas

Our Week

What you can expect to see during a week in Foundation Stage:

  • daily maths and literacy lessons in reception
  • cooking
  • Nature Detectives (outdoor learning)
  • circle time – PSED/CL
  • P.E indoors/outdoors
  • arts and crafts
  • role play corner/activities
  • sensory table
  • carousel of activities in reception (to support focus work)
  • 1-1 reading
  • guided reading
  • regular writing challenges
  • exploration of technology
  • regular maths and literacy opportunities

Additional activities/events

  • class trips
  • special event assemblies
  • visitors (specialist)
  • exploring local area

Parents should be involved in the assessment process on a regular, ongoing basis and be encouraged to participate in their child’s learning and development. At West Oxford we set weekly homework so that parents can be involved in their child’s learning.

Homework includes:

  • homework activity books
  • sound books (Reception)
  • reading books (Reception)

    30 Hours Funding

    We offer the government 30 hour funding entitlement.

    Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare:

    Will I qualify for 30 hours free childcare?

    • They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
    • This equates to £120 a week (or c.£6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or c.£5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
    • This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
    • The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
    • Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
    • Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
    • Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (i.e. they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
    • If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds Who will not qualify? A parent will not meet the criteria when:
    • Either parent has an income of more than £100,000
    • Either parent is a non-EEA national and subject to immigration control (and has no recourse to public funds)

    What happens if a parent loses eligibility?

    They will receive a ‘grace period’ – this means they will be able to keep their childcare for a short period. Once the ‘grace period’ has lapsed, the parent may be entitled to the universal 15 hour entitlement. The length of this ‘grace period’ will be confirmed in September.

    How this will work in our nursery:

    • We offer our nursery places on a part time basis, in the form of 3 hour sessions, over 5 days a week.
    • Morning sessions run from 8:50 – 11:50am Afternoon sessions run from 12:10 – 3:10pm
    • If you are eligible for the 30 hour funding your child can attend the nursery on a full time basis from 8:50 – 3:10 every working day.

    We offer the 30 hour funding with the following conditions;

    • The 30 hour funding can only be used in our school nursery, i.e. we do not allow parents to split their free entitlement with a private or voluntary sector.
    • Your child must attend at least 24 hours a week. This allows for good staffing and curriculum planning as well as supporting the financial viability of the provision.
    • Nursery places at West Oxford Community Primary School are in high demand and there is often a long waiting list. Therefore, if a place is not being used effectively, i.e. the child is attending the nursery consistently less than 24 hours a week a meeting will be held to discuss alternative hours for your child.
    • We will allocate all nursery places on a first come first serve basis regardless of whether you are eligible for the 30 hour entitlement.

    If you think you may be eligible for the 30 hour funding please follow the link below where you will need to apply online. You will be asked to provide us with your national insurance number and a code. We will collect this information from you in September.


    If you think you are eligible for the funding but do not require your child to attend for the minimum of 24 hours a week, you are still entitled to your free 15 hours a week. Your child will attend a morning or afternoon place. You do not need to apply for this entitlement online. If you are not eligible for the funding you do not need to do anything.

    You are welcome to use our day care service even if you are not eligible for the 30 hour entitlement.

    Day care places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Day care sessions run from 12:10 – 3:10 every working day and cost £6 per hour. You will receive a monthly bill, which can be paid by cheque, bank transfer, cash or child care vouchers.

    Transitions and Home Visits

    Home Visits

    In our setting we aim to provide a caring, happy and stimulating environment to encourage and support children’s learning. We recognise the importance of staff, parents, carers and children working together in partnership to ensure the best possible start for the children.

    Therefore before starting, there is an opportunity for all new foundation stage children to be visited at home by Laura Cheeseman and a member of her team. This will help make transition into Nursery easier and happier for your child and will provide another opportunity for us to share information and for you to ask any questions you may have about our provision and routines. These home visits will be approximately 20 minutes long and will take place early September, January and April.

    Transition Sessions & Visits

    We are committed to ensuring all of the changes children go through during their school life are seamless and successful. Moving to a new nursery or onto school is one of the biggest transitions a child will make and therefore we aim to ensure that children are prepared for this move by making this transition as smooth as possible.  In addition to ‘home visits’ set aside dates for new parents and children to attend one of our transition sessions in the month of July.

    During a transition session:

    • Your child will be free to engage in play and take part in planned activities
    • Your child will enjoy meeting our current nursery class and their new peers and friends
    • You will meet our team of enthusiastic teachers and support staff that will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

    There will also be dates set aside in October, November and December for potential parents to visit our school prior to applying for their child’s Reception place.