Merrow C of E Infant School

The Early Years Foundation Stage


Our Early Years Vision at Merrow

We provide excellent and motivating education, tailored to individual needs in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment. Success is celebrated; independence is encouraged; everyone is valued, respected as an individual and is eager to learn with enjoyment. The school has a fun, motivating and happy atmosphere where children reach their full potential.

We make a difference to our pupil’s lives.

We recognise and value that your child arrives with their own unique combination of skills, experiences, and values. At Merrow, we seek to build on these, working in close partnership with parents, to ensure that all our children’s needs are met and that they become active, enthusiastic, and independent learners.

Our Reception Team aim to provide a consistently high standard of education and care. We provide a bespoke Curriculum, relevant to our setting, which builds on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.  Activities will include a mix of:

  • Child initiated activities – children make choices from within the learning environment to meet his/her outcome for learning.
  • Adult initiated activities- practitioners provide the resources to stimulate and consolidate learning.
  • Adult directed activities – Children engage in planned activities to meet specific learning outcomes.

At Merrow, our intention is to develop an ethos in which all will thrive. Diversity and differences will be valued, respected and celebrated by all, and these aspects will contribute to the richness of our school life and learning.


Parent Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage

What is the Early Years Foundation Stage framework?

The Early Years Foundation Stage is from 0 – 5 years and finishes as your child moves into Year One when they begin their Key Stage 1 curriculum.

The framework includes 7 areas of learning and development that are equally important and inter-connected. 3 areas, known as the prime areas, are seen as particularly important for igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building children’s capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.

The prime areas are:

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

The prime areas are strengthened and applied through 4 specific areas:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


What are the characteristics of effective learning?

As you will know, young children are rarely still! They are ‘busy bees’ and so the EYFS gives attention to how young children learn. The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning identified by the EYFS 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, and enjoy achievements; and
  • Creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.


Reception Baseline Assessment and Early Learning Goals

Within the first 6 weeks that a child starts reception, staff will administer the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA).

At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child. Pupils are assessed against the 17 Early Learning Goals, indicating whether they are:

  • Meeting expected levels of development (‘expected’)
  • Not yet reaching expected levels (‘emerging’)

This is a statutory assessment and the results are reported to Surrey LEA & the Department for Education (DfE).

We have two parents’ evenings a year, in the Autumn and Spring Terms. Towards the end of the Summer Term parents are given a report which shows the assessed levels against the Early Learning Goals and comments about the Characteristics of Effective Learning.


Useful Links

Phonics -

Statutory guidance -  

To find more information about "What to expect in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), click here

For information given at our Early Years Welcome meeting (23rd September), please see the notes for parents.