Thorn Grove Primary School

Inspiring Individuals, Creating Success


Thorn Grove, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 5LD

01279 653002

Early Years Foundation Stage

Children learn best when they experience learning first hand, through meaningful interactions with others, through physical activity and through play.  At Thorn Grove we offer a broad and balanced curriculum whilst ensuring that the EYFS curriculum is followed and adapted to the specific needs of our school community.  We teach this curriculum through topics that excite the children.  We gather their ideas and plan according to their needs and interests. 


The EYFS curriculum emphasises: 

Prime Areas of Learning

  • Personal, social and emotional development. Children are supported to: develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; form positive relationships and develop respect for others; develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and have confidence in their own abilities.
  • Communication and language. Children are given the opportunities to: experience a rich language environment; develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and speak and listen in a range of situations.
  • Physical development. Children are encouraged to: be active and interactive; develop their fine and gross motor co-ordination, control, and movement; understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food.

Specific Areas of Learning

  • Daily activities using the Letters and Sounds programme will develop phonic knowledge enabling children to become confident readers and writers.
  • Children are provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills: in counting; in understanding and using number; in calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces and measures.
  • Understanding the world. Children are encouraged to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe, investigate and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
  • Expressive arts and design. Children are enabled to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as provided with opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.  

Based on the EYFS statutory guidance of good practice, our Early Years principles are: 

  • every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured;
  • children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships;
  • children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers; and
  • children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates.


Characteristics of Effective Learning

At Thorn Grove we consider the different ways children learn and reflect this in how we teach, organise our learning environment and support individual children and groups of children. The Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage identifies three “Characteristics of Effective Learning”; children demonstrate these characteristics in different ways depending on the developmental level of the child:

Playing and exploring

This characteristic is divided into 3 aspects; finding and exploring, playing with what they know and being willing to have a go.

Active Learning

This characteristic is divided into 3 aspects: being involved and concentrating; keeping on trying; and enjoying what they set out to do.

Creating and thinking critically

This characteristic is divided into 2 aspects: having their own ideas and making links and choosing.