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White Court School

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EYFS Intent

Early Years Foundation Stage

Education at White Court starts in our Nursery and Pre-school, where children start their learning in a play-based, child-led, active environment, supported by experienced and qualified Early Years educators.

'Play is the work of the child' Maria Montessori

The Early Years Framework informs our early years curriculum, adapted each year for the individual and unique learners. We have a welcoming and nurturing environment which allows our children to learn through purposeful play. We aim for our continuous provision, both inside and outside, to be as high quality as the adult led provision – ensuring that quality play provides children with the opportunity to

  • Revisit
  • Rehearse
  • Consolidate
  • Learn

We ensure that children develop knowledge and skills within the 3 prime areas of learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development, PSED) through:

  • our high-quality continuous provision and enhancements throughout the year
  • a mix of direct teaching and adult interactions
  • building positive relationships with families

We are equally focussed on supporting all learners through their development in the specific areas of

  • Mathematics 
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Our long-term planning, ensures full curriculum coverage, delivered through the use of quality texts, real-life experiences and subject knowledge shared with the wider school. This is adapted for our individual and unique learners - taking into account specific personal interests, areas of strength and development and ongoing assessment - to deliver our teaching and learning. Every Year is different!


EYFS intent and implementation

Communication and language

“The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.” EYFS Statutory Framework 2021

INTENT: We want our children in nursery & pre-school/ reception to be confident communicators, able to talk about their feelings and activities. We want them to be able to hold a conversation, to retell stories and rhymes and to sing songs.  Throughout EYFS, we want to guide our children towards becoming life-long learners who can realise their full potential.

IMPLEMENTATION: Quality interactions with adults and peers are key to building on the children’s communication skills. Using ambitious vocabulary, alongside quality story texts, will develop the language. This happens in daily routines, small group storytelling time and through the children’s play. As the children progress throughout the year, they talk with adults and peers about new experiences, making links to previous learning and communicate to deepen existing friendships and language. During their reception year, children continue to meet new vocabulary through story times, key whole class texts and through their day-to-day learning and play. In addition to phonics as also use ‘Talk Boost ‘ as a programme as additional language support for appropriate learners

IMPACT: We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years, are clear communicators, have extended their vocabulary and can clearly express their thoughts.  Children in Reception will be confident to talk to adults and peers about their experiences, ideas and feelings using new and embedded vocabulary

Personal, social and emotional development

“Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.” EYFS Statutory Framework 2021.

INTENT:  We want children to be able to manage their own feelings through co-regulation and self-regulation, to understand their feelings and those of others. We want them to develop perseverance and resilience. We want them to understand how to keep themselves healthy.

IMPLEMENTATION: Adults will build strong relationships with the children, through nurturing, positive interactions, though modelling healthy attitudes and guiding the children when necessary. We will introduce elements of the Jigsaw programme to build familiarity to the language and processes involved in a Jigsaw session.  During their reception year, children will learn to be ready, respectful and safe learners through assemblies (Summer term ) and Jigsaw lessons and will be able to talk about the feelings and the reasons for them. Adults will continue to model social scenarios during play and help to children to learn from different behaviours, talking through what happened and what they could do differently if this were to happen again.

Impact: Nursery & Pre-School: Children will have secure relationships with the adults and their peers. They will be able to understand how to handle conflict (with support).  We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years.  Children in Reception will manage their feelings and behaviour in a way in which allows them to access their learning and play and become resilient and lifelong learners. Children talk positively about their school experience and themselves as learners and what they enjoy most and are interested in.

Physical development

“Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.” EYFS Statutory Framework, 2021.

INTENT: We want children to become aware of their bodies and the changes that occur during physical activity. We want children to be able to confidently and independently access sports equipment within the environment. We want children to develop the pre-writing skills and strength ready for writing and confidence to use a range of tools. We use Letter Join to support this development.  During the Reception year, we want to build on the work of families, nurseries and pre-schools to ensure all children develop healthy attitudes and the appropriate physical skills to succeed in their journey through school.

IMPLEMENTATION: Nursery & Pre-school children will have access to familiar equipment throughout the year, with adult support to start, to develop their core strength, their gross motor movements and strength and to start developing their fine motor movements. Certain programmes, such as dough disco follow a pattern for appropriate development. During the Reception year, children will have access to resources and opportunities that allow them to develop control over their movements. Indoors will lend itself to more fine motor activities/smaller movements and outside will lend itself to more gross motor activities/larger movements. Children’s gross motor skills will be further developed through PE guided from our school progression documents and our sports coach Christian.

IMPACT:  Nursery & Pre-School children will be active and understand why physical activity is important to their well-being. They will enjoy being outside, creating games, taking risks and pushing their bodies to become stronger. We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years. YR Children will show control over their movements, including how they control tools for writing, aiming to the physical skills to thrive as they pass through their school life.


“It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.” EYFS Statutory Framework 2021

INTENT: In EYFS we carefully choose books, focusing on quality text to extend children’s reading experience, vocabulary and comprehension and to encourage a life-long love of reading. The main book is chosen with a focus on comprehension and vocabulary, helping to develop understanding and broaden children’s spoken language.

IMPLEMENTATION: Our main text is shared within a small group, with focused and planned questions and vocabulary. We will link in relevant texts/stories to the main story, alongside rhythms of the term/season, through adult-led activities and child interests. During their Reception year, children will experience daily phonics lessons and meet key texts (fiction and non-fiction) including new vocabulary each term, which writing activities and play will stem from. Children will have access to reading, mark making and writing prompts inside and outside, for meaningful purposes. Reading will be developed and celebrated at home through the sharing of home readers and writing will be shared through Tapestry. Children will write with an adult during an adult-directed activity at least once a week, targeting next steps and write in their play, phonics or other opportunities on a daily basis.


“Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.” EYFS Statutory Framework, 2021.

INTENT: We want children in Nursery and Pre-school to have a clear understanding of number, particularly 1-5, and to notice number patterns within the environment and be able to look at a small number of objects and instantly recognise how many there are without needing to count. We will ensure children have a broad experience of a range of mathematical concepts as laid out in the Statutory Framework.  During the Reception year, we want to guide the children towards achieving a passion for maths by mastering fluency skills.

IMPLEMENTATION: Children will be introduced to new concepts through small, adult-led focused groups and will be able to deepen their knowledge and understanding through the enabling environments and quality interactions with EYFS staff.  During their Reception year, children will develop strong foundations in number and numerical patterns through whole class sessions, adult-directed activities, independent activities and play with a range of manipulatives. Teaching will be guided by White Rose and Mastering Number NCTEM approximately 4 sessions a week) as well as play opportunities.

IMPACT: Children will be confident mathematicians, noticing number and patterns, being able to discuss what they see. We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years. During Reception, children will make links between the concepts they have learnt, to apply new learning and solve problems, building fluency skills through a mastery approach.

Understanding the World

“Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension” EYFS Statutory Framework, 2021

INTENT: To offer the children a breadth of experience, linked to the community within which we live, to deepen their understanding of the natural world, their families and communities.

IMPLEMENTATION: Children will be exposed to the rhythms of the year (poetry basket) , through the enhanced provision within the environment, opportunities outside and in weekly Forest School sessions and through adult-led activities. During their Reception year, children will continue to build upon their existing knowledge of rhythms of the year and have daily opportunities to explore the natural world outside, following their own interests. Children will learn about different beliefs through sessions planned from RE Today and talk about current events impacting the wider community through Picture News

IMPACT: Nursery & Pre-School will develop a respect and deeper knowledge of their local environment, the links with their family and an understanding of special events that happen nationally/worldwide. We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years.  Children in Reception will be able to make links between new learning/observations and their own experiences, talking knowledgably about topics of their interest.

Expressive arts and design

“The development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts. The frequency, repetition and depth of their experiences are fundamental to their progress in interpreting and appreciating what they hear, respond to and observe.”  EYFS Statutory Framework, 2021.

INTENT: In the Nursery and Pre-school we want children to be confident to sing songs and remember rhymes and to be able to use their imagination to create a story narrative in their play. We want our children to form and develop an idea, accessing resources independently. We want to provide children with art-inspired experiences. As our children grow and develop, we want them to become positive and confident performers who have a wide range of artistic skills.

IMPLEMENTATION: Throughout all area of learning and development, children will develop their storytelling language through the use of quality books. Art resources will be available daily for the children to use, with enhancements added when following their interests and requests. During the Reception year, children will continue to have access to creative resources, through adult-directed activities and also working on projects of their choosing. They will find out about and try techniques of some famous artists. Children will experience music and singing throughout their week often on a daily basis!

IMPACT: Nursery & Pre-School children will be able to talk about and develop their ideas through art, sculpture, music, dance or storytelling, confidently using the resources available. We will monitor the impact to ensure children are ‘on track’ in the developmental age band 3 -4 years.  By the end of Reception, children will be able to express their thoughts and feelings through singing, music, art and other creative means