Crakehall Church of England Primary School

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Crakehall Church of England Primary School

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Our Curriculum

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)


Welcome to the wonderful world of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) at Crakehall Church of England Primary School.
EYFS follows a different framework to the rest of the school, and our children learn in different ways that reflect their age, needs and interests. Vocabulary connected to EYFS can be confusing, so we hope this page helps to demystify EYFS as well as describe what makes EYFS at our school unique.

To find out more click on each headline.

What is EYFS

310328350_564315742161233_4392163963905558992_nThe early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. All schools and Ofsted-registered early years providers must follow the EYFS, including preschools, nurseries and school reception classes. You can read more about the EYFS Framework here: EYFS Statutory Framework (DfE, 2023)

Who works in EYFS?

We are lucky to have a dedicated, experienced, and enthusiastic EYFS team, who work together to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our children. Our passionate team believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life and work hard to support each child to fulfil their potential. We meet regularly to invest in our professional development and share ideas about how we can improve our provision and practice – to us, Early Years is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle!

Miss Burnside

Mrs McCafferty

Mrs White

DSCF0158 DSCF0155
Class Teacher General Teaching Assistant General Teaching Assistant

Our school vision starts from day one in Foundation Stage.

306083359_541718344420973_6432153688596760485_nGrowing Together to:

  • build strength through resilience
  • value myself and others
  • understand our world

'Growing in relational wisdom, love and compassion' (Luke 2:40)

What do we intend for children in EYFS to be and how do we implement this?

In Foundation Stage, we begin our SOULRICH journey by “Doing What Makes Our SOULs Shine”.

EYFS Curriculum - Theory into Practice  


Sammy Social

Our children are kind, thoughtful and supportive of each other. They know how to share and can work together as a team to solve problems. We are a community of learners and are supported through our strong relationships with our children’s families, our Early Years team, Governors and our Church and village community.


Olivia Organisation

We begin to gain organisation skills in EYFS. We are in charge of looking after our own belongings; we organise our books and diaries by keeping them safe in plastic wallets and bring our diaries into the classroom each day. We independently use our pegs and trays to organise our belongings. From day one, we are responsible for tidying our classroom to a high standard, ensuring all resources are stored appropriately. We begin to learn how to organise our writing onto a line.


Una Understanding

We work hard to understand the world around us. We visit our Forest School site very regularly to explore the natural world. Each week, we communicate in a different language. We learn about festivals and traditions in many different cultures. We know our local community and understand our place within it. Our teachers are especially keen for us to understand how we are all unique and special!


Laura Leadership

We are given opportunities to lead in group work and during investigative play. We lead our own learning by reflecting on our interests and sharing our existing contextual knowledge and use it to build deeper connections.


Raj Resilience

At every level, Team Crakehall don’t shy away from challenges. Together, we face challenges head on by building resilience and strength as we grow together. We understand what resilience is from very early in our school life; we never give up!


Izzy Independence

It is important that we use our Raj Resilience and Charlie Communication skills to be independent individuals. We look after our own personal belongings and needs and feel proud to be a member of our class. Adults encourage and support us in having our own ideas, choosing ways to do things and we feel prepared enough to give anything a go.


Charlie Communication

Our children are excellent communicators and are comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures to express themselves and explain their ideas.  

In EYFS, both children and staff are highly engaged readers that enjoy sharing a love of books together.


Harvey Health

Our children feel safe and secure, enabling them to have the confidence to question, experiment, and take risks. They have the confidence to try new things and persevere in the face of challenge. We help to keep our children safe by giving them the knowledge and understanding to make healthy choices for their bodies and minds.



All children enjoy coming to school and are instilled with a love of learning that will sustain them not only during their time in education but throughout their lives.

When children leave Foundation Stage, they are equipped with the skills they need to read, write and explore number.  A strand of our school vision that we are particularly passionate about developing with pupils throughout the curriculum is ‘understanding the world around us’.   We believe that children need to understand the importance of their place in the world, the impact they have and be exposed to opportunities to build their cultural capital.

To help put our vision into practice, we have five themes which repeatedly recur throughout the year, ensuring that children have a broad and balanced curriculum. The themes are as follows:

All About Me

  • Create a sense of our unique self
  • Develop our own interests through new experiences
  • Learn how to make healthy choices for our bodies and minds

My School

  • Year 6 buddies
  • Global warrior award (child-initiated charity work)
  • Recycling hub for school
  • Daily Collective Worship

My Community

  • Links with our village and Church
  • Walk around our village regularly to observe changes
  • Sponsor a local farm
  • Explore what makes North Yorkshire special

My World

  • Celebrate religious festivals and cultural events
  • Learn about different countries; their customs, culture, religions and languages
  • Making comparisons about our lives to those in history or other parts of the world

My Planet

  • Explore seasonal changes
  • Develop a love of nature (through Forest School)
  • Grow our own food
  • Learn to care for and respect our environment

What is the impact of our vision in EYFS?

Our children leave EYFS ready to start the National Curriculum in Year 1. They are confident, competent readers who can apply phonics in their writing. They have a strong understanding of number within 10 and are ready to apply this understanding to larger numbers and a wider range of mathematical concepts.

Sammy Social

  • Our children show excellent social skills in the way that they communicate with their peers, other children in the school and adults.
  • Children are kind to themselves and their peers, their behaviour and manners are impeccable.
  • Children are provided with the relevant teaching and support to give them the best opportunities to meet their ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ Early Learning Goals.

Olivia Organisation

  • Our children look after their belongings independently and are ready to progress into Year One with the relevant skills.
  • Children can organise letters on lines and words into sentences when writing.
  • They know how to keep workspaces efficient by keeping them tidy and organising resources in effective ways.

Una Understanding

  • Our children are Global Citizens: children have the knowledge, skills and values to engage with the wider world.
  • In the words of Greta Thunberg ‘No one is too small to make our difference’, our children are empowered and understand that small actions can make a big impact.
  • Children have been given experiences to allow them every opportunity to meet their ‘Understanding the World’ Early Learning Goals.
  • They can compare their way of life with contrasting cultures and religions.
  • Our children know how to look after the environment and are experts in the natural world around them, thanks to their Forest Schools experiences.

Laura Leadership

  • Our children can lead play by listening to the views of others.
  • They encourage participation and show sensitivity towards the needs of others.
  • Our children aspire to be the leaders that they have modelled to them by older children; whether it is ‘Play Leaders’, ‘Picture News Team’ or ‘Year 6 Buddies’.

Raj Resilience

  • Our children show resilience in the face of challenge and relish opportunities to learn.
  • Their resilience skills allow them to make progress in all areas – they don’t give up and have a determined, positive attitude towards their learning.

Izzy Independence

  • Our children are independent learners.
  • They work to resolve any disputes themselves before asking for adult support.
  • Our children independently use resources in the classroom to support them with their writing. For example, they know where to get grapheme mats to support them with writing and use these independently, in a way that successfully supports their writing.
  • Our children use their resilience to increase independence with looking after themselves; getting changed for Forest Schools or PE, putting their own coats on and off, looking after their own belongings.

Charlie Communication

  • Children have the terminology to clearly express their thoughts, feelings and needs
  • Children are confident when talking to different people, demonstrating their rich vocabularies and conversation skills
  • Everyone in EYFS is an enthusiastic reader and can talk passionately about their favourite books
  • Our relationships with parents and carers is very effective. Families provide positive feedback about their children’s experiences in EYFS and the support they receive from the EYFS team.
  • Parents feel well informed and connected to their child’s school life through interactions with staff, Tapestry, Teams, parent teacher consultations and written reports
  • Children develop strong friendships, they play and learn together by listening and taking turns. They understand how to resolve conflicts calmly and independently

Harvey Health

  • Our children know how to look after their bodies and minds.
  • They know the importance of good dental hygiene, a healthy diet and keeping hydrated.
  • They know how to articulate how they are feeling and have strategies to self-regulate.


What are the principles of EYFS

Screenshot 2023-01-17 193457In Early Years Foundation Stage, there are four overarching principles:

Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environments = Learning and Development

How do children learn in EYFS?

310441199_560189392573868_6471021580121636495_nAt Crakehall CofE Primary School, we recognise that all children develop at different rates and learn in different ways. The three characteristics of effective learning 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 their achievements
  • Creating and thinking critically: Children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things


In FS, our day is a structured with daily teaching inputs in SSP (phonics) and Maths. In September, whilst the children are settling into their new routines these inputs are short and snappy and we spend longer in free-flow. As the year progresses, our inputs become longer and more frequent to enable the children to be school-ready and prepared for the challenges of Year 1. Beyond the classroom, we also enjoy our weekly Forest School sessions and welly walks where we engage in outdoor learning and on Thursday’s we do PE.


Children are provided with lots of ‘free-flow’ time, in which they learn through play. Throughout free-flow, children can explore the indoor and outdoor classroom and choose their own learning whether that be role play, construction or an art activity. There is always an adult-led activity on offer which the children can also elect to do, often linked to our ‘book of the week’ – Gruffalo crumble anybody?

What do children learn in EYFS?

IMG_9319There are seven areas of learning and development that shape learning in EYFS.  All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected.

The Prime areas

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

To ensure our children make good progress in these prime areas, each child is assigned three next steps by their Key worker for them to work towards. Progress is discussed in our weekly team meetings and staff share ideas on how we can enable children to meet their goals by supporting them with questioning (based on Bloom’s taxonomy), modelling language and with resources within the provision.

The Specific areas

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


How do the 7 Areas of Learning relate to the National Curriculum (Y1 - Y6)?

This table shows how the 7 Areas of Learning relate to the National Curriculum.  Please note that this is a 'best fit' model as all 7 Areas are inter-related and the Prime Areas inform everything that children learn in EYFS.

Communication & Language PSED Physical Development Literacy Mathematics Understanding the world Expressive Art & Design

All Subjects















Design Technology


Design Technology


You can read more about what children will be learning in each of these areas and how they can be supported here: Development Matters

A year in Foundation Stage

Please follow this link to see our long term plan for the year.

Synergy Trust Schools

About Synergy Schools

Synergy Schools is a federation of primary schools in the north of North Yorkshire. The federation was formed in September 2018 after the 2017-18 academic year, when Brompton-on-Swale and Crakehall CE Primary Schools successfully shared senior leadership capacity.