What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the Reception year. At HJPS the EYFS comprises two year-groups; Nursery (ages 3-4) and Reception (ages 4-5). The curriculum is delivered through the framework of the Revised EYFS which became statutory in England in September 2012. 

At HJPS, this is taught through secular and the Jewish Studies curriculum. Meaningful cross-curricular links are made where possible and all key events in the Jewish calendar are celebrated. 

Children at this age learn in many different ways and teachers provide opportunities where children encounter experiences which deepen and consolidate their understanding by playing, talking, observing, planning, questioning, experimenting, testing, repeating, reflecting and responding to adults and each other.

The EYFS curriculum encompasses seven key areas of learning.

The three prime areas of learning are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

The four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied, are:

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

We consider the individual needs and interests of all children to plan challenging, enjoyable and stage-appropriate experiences in all areas of learning, both indoors and outdoors. 

We deliver learning for the seven areas through purposeful play and a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. We believe that play is essential for children’s development in that it builds their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems and relate to others.

Teacher/Parent Partnership

Emphasis is on teachers and parents working in partnership to address the individual needs of each child and this is actively encouraged.

Preparation for Key Stage 1

The programme offered in the Early Years is designed to develop the key learning skills to better equip the children with the transition into Key Stage 1. The balance of adult-led and child-initiated learning shifts as children progress through the Foundation Stage in order to help children prepare for the more formal learning they will experience in Year 1.

Jewish Studies in the Foundation Stage

The main areas of learning in the Foundation Stage are:

  • Hebrew Reading: The children learn the names and sounds of the letters in the Aleph Bet.
  • Chagim: The children develop their knowledge and understanding of all the Jewish festivals.
  • Parashah: The children have a weekly Parashah lesson in which the content of the Parashah as well as the values we can learn from it are discussed.
  • Jewish Living: The children develop their knowledge of topics such as The Jewish Home, Berachot, Kashrut and Tefillah. This is done through “hands-on” and interactive workshops and projects.