Caddington Village School

Early Years Foundation Stage

We firmly believe that early child development sets the foundation for lifelong learning and behaviour: early experiences are important in shaping how successful children are later in life.

Our youngest pupils, in Nursery and Reception, follow the revised 2021 Early Years Framework which can be accessed by following this link.  This is divided into 7 areas of learning:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World 


We have interwoven the Early Years Framework with the Chris Quigley curriculum to enable a fluid transition for our children into Year 1. Children are taught through a creative, thematic approach and are encouraged to participate in their learning by offering suggestions for themes and topics. Assessment takes place on Tapestry, to which both Early Years staff and parents contribute in order for us to gain a holistic perspective of the development of each child. 


The Early Years Foundation Stage framework is made  up of four overriding principles which our early year’s education is based upon:

• Unique Child – Every child is unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

• Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

• Enabling Environments – 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 carers.

• Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early year’s provision including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

At Caddington Village school our aim is to build relationships with each child and offer a learning environment that can support, enhance and invite each child’s curiosity. We believe by building strong bonds with children we can encourage confidence and competency to allow each child to flourish regardless of backgrounds, circumstances or needs. We aim to work collaboratively with parents and carers to encourage independent, enthusiastic learners who thrive and reach their full potential. It is our intent that children who enter our EYFS begin their lifelong learning journey by developing physically, verbally, cognitively and emotionally whilst also embedding a positive attitude to school and a love of learning.  

We are passionate about learning, devoting our time to create a fun and loving setting, which delivers the best in early education. Our ethos is to focus on the whole child, meeting their individual needs through positive and motivating experiences that will, in turn, create a secure foundation for lifelong learning and behaviour. These early experiences are important in shaping how successful children are later in life and we offer exposure to a variety of skills that will allow them to access the key stage one curriculum.

As we feel that Early Years is an integral part of our school and a foundation to our
children’s journey, we provide a caring and nurturing environment using a Hygge approach. It provides a caring and nurturing environment with dedicated and experienced staff that then implement activities to form bonds with children. It is a word that describes peace,tranquility, calmness and friendship. Reception promotes a nature-based approach to learning, developing children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. The environment offers experiences to learn through play and ensures that the Early Years curriculum is implemented, alongside adult focus tasks. This ensures that we offer a relevant and ambitious, curriculum to prepare all groups of pupils effectively to be able to succeed in key stage one when they leave the Early Years. Our curriculum follows the revised 2024 Early Years Framework. We have interwoven the Early Years Framework, with the Chris Quigley curriculum and birth to 5 matters principles, to enable a fluid transition for our children into Year one. Children are taught through a creative, thematic approach and are encouraged to participate in their learning by offering suggestions during our themes and topics, enabling them to learn characteristics of learning. They are encouraged to do this through;
• engaging in playing and exploring
• actively learning through motivation
• thinking critically and being creative

Children are offered a variety of resources to encourage their learning by using a variety of resources, learning apps and skilled staff.  Reception children have access and use; Purple Mash, FFT phonics. Explorify, Tapestry and White Rose maths. Nursery follow the FFT phonics scheme and  progress to use other resources as they move into reception. Children’s learning is supported by collaborative working within a learning journey and floor books for nursery and reception. Reception children develop their literacy skills and understanding of topic subjects through the use of writing books as well as the use of the ‘Poetry Basket’.

The experiences and daily tasks allow children to revisit and demonstrate skills through being deeply engaged in play. Our children will grow to be confident, competent lifelong learners and good citizens. The children at Caddington Village school experience a smooth transition between Nursery, Reception and beyond. Effective communication and collaboration ensure the children leave the EYFS with a solid foundation of learning of which to build upon. We use online learning journals across the EYFS, supplemented with exercise books in Reception for phonics and writing tasks, which evidence to the children and their families the successes throughout their time in Early Years.

As a team, we carry out regular internal moderation sessions and also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that these judgements are consistent with a range of other settings. Assessment starts with careful observations which are then used to inform planning of each child's next steps to support the curriculum. Learning and teaching is thus effective when children feel a sense of belonging, curiosity and competence showing resilience and tenacity. By monitoring assessment procedures regularly, we can effectively demonstrate what learning is taking place and how each child is progressing in all seven areas of the EYFS curriculum. Progress toward the ELGs (Early Learning Goals) will ensure a positive disposition to learn, this is part of statutory assessments that are carried out at the end of the reception year. Assessment takes place on Tapestry, to which both Early Years staff and parents contribute for us to gain a holistic perspective of the development of each child. Children have a baseline assessment at the beginning of their journey and then termly assessments for phonics and white rose maths. Nursery children have checkpoints carried out to identify areas that need to be supported in their journey through nursery. Staff use the Cherry garden learning scheme to support children who are yet to access the EYFS.   

As children develop through their reception year, their progress is evaluated on their attainment outcomes in relation to the seven areas of learning. These seven areas are split into prime and specific areas of learning but are all interconnected. Children are provided with opportunities to gain skills and knowledge across all areas of learning and we aim for them to reach the Early Learning Goal in each area of development. These Early Learning Goals (ELG's) complete a statutory assessment that contains seventeen statement descriptors, they should be decided on with professional judgements taken from evaluations of children's achievements and understanding to have a holistic view of the child's learning outcomes.

A ‘good level of development’ can be defined as a child reaching the ‘expected’ level of development at the end of their reception year. GLD stands for 'Good Level of Development'. It is a measure of attainment, not progress. Achieving a good level of development will help a child to make a good start in Year 1.

We use an online journal to enable you to see what your child has been doing, during their time at nursery and school. The platform we use is called 'Tapestry', it is as an easy-to-use, secure app, allowing us to capture key learning moments and milestones for staff and parents to engage comment and reflect on. The Tapestry works seamlessly to enable these memories to be kept as a permanent record of each child’s unique journey. It builds a very special record of a child’s experiences, development and learning journey through their early years education. Using photos and diary entries, that are created by both early years educators and the child’s parents or carers, it shows a holistic view of how the child is progressing in their own areas of development. 

Observations can be made from home to share in class which children enjoy sharing in the classroom and helps staff learn more about each child's interests. There is an opportunity for activities to be set up and therefore children can access extra supportive activities from home and engage them further in their learning journey. The platform is also used as a tracking tool where children's development can be tracked and therefore be supported in areas of development. 

Setting up your account

Completing the 'all about me' page

Adding an observation from home

Setting notifications whilst using Tapestry

How to download your child's journal

Starting school poster

Is your child ready to learn - central beds leaflet

Our nursery is part of our school and is part of our Early Years Unit. Children can access the school grounds where they can explore a large playground, and a grassy field with trees, gardening areas and seating.  With an exclusive early years playing area children can play in their own outdoor space. Our nursery is staffed by highly experienced and superb early years staff to ensure that this provision is of the highest quality.

We offer morning and afternoon provision - 8:40am - 11:50am or 12:30pm - 3:20pm. Our nursery is run and managed by the school, we take children from 3 years until they start in Reception class, and we work closely to provide a smooth transition into school. We offer a calm and fun classroom, qualified, dedicated, and experienced staff, fantastic outdoor area providing stimulating learning experiences with imaginative and stimulating learning activities.

Why not come and have a look at our Early Years unit yourself, contact us for a tour. Please telephone the school office and arrange to visit.

'A day in our setting'


Children will be welcomed in to hang up their belongings on a personalised peg. They will take part in register and share any exciting news, while discussing the day ahead. 

Phonics session 

Children will take part in FFT phonics 'first steps' and then through the day play fun, phonics games to encourage learning about letters and sounds, using various resources.  

Exploring time 

Children will have time to explore and choose from resources. There will be small group and individual activities for children to access with adult support. These will be around a focused topic, but we will also incorporate the interests of the children.  

Outside time 

Children will be able to explore outside where there are various opportunities to choose from different resources and activities. 


During snack time children are offered fruit and milk, in line with our healthy eating policy. 

Math session 

Number, colour and shape are learnt through games that the children will take part in during group activities.

End of session  

Before children have a singing session, they are encouraged to tidy areas they have played in. There is an opportunity to  discuss their day, sing songs together and then prepare to find their adults by gathering their belongings.  


We encourage the children to bring their bags in and find their coats so it is important they know what these look like. If they can practise this before attending their sessions this will really help with their independence. Please ensure all items are labelled.


If your child needs support with toileting, please inform us so we can help where required. If they need changing while in setting please provide nappies/pull ups and wipes. We are happy to support toilet training, please provide lots of changes of clothes so that we can be prepared for any accidents. 


Please inform us who will collect your child and if this is to change at any time. We will not release your child unless we have your permission. 


Please dress your child appropriately according to the weather (wellies and coats where necessary) and in clothes that they can get dirty. We do provide aprons, however Early Years can be a messy environment and aprons do not cover everything. 

Nursery and reception children will require a uniform. Reception children will also require a PE kit before starting. Children will be informed of their PE days for reception and they will attend in the PE kit for these days. 

We have a large outdoor area and would encourage children to bring wellies to leave at school so that they can access all areas. 


We have ‘Stay and Read’ sessions on Friday mornings, where you can  
enjoy a book with your child in our setting. 

Prime areas

Young children learn best when they feel secure enough to be active, to play and explore and to engage in creative and critical thinking.

The children are warmly welcomed into classes by our friendly nurturing staff. First thing in the morning and before home time, we come together as a whole group and enjoy stories and singing. Friendships are easily made, as all the children get a chance to play together throughout the day. We encourage the children to feel valued, have high self-esteem, be confident to take risks and feel safe and secure, so they go on to have all the skills necessary to make them lifelong learners.

Children are encouraged to follow our rules and boundaries. We use Makaton daily to support our rules, such as kind hands and sharing. This promotes good behaviour and reminds children to respect and be kind to others.

Building Blocks - Children's Speech and Language Therapy for Luton and Bedford ( is a really helpful website tool for any advice regarding speech...

At Caddington Village School we provide an environment for young children to express themselves and speak and listen in a range of situations allowing them to develop their language and communication.
Our fun role play area is changed frequently and based on our current themes in nursery. The reception classes have role play areas with open ended natural resources for children to explore their imagination, develop communication and social skills. Role play is a great way of encouraging learning through play. 
Small group activities led by the children’s key person, provide opportunities to focus on targeted learning for example children recognising their own name, learning and using numbers, phonics or discussing emotions. Activities are adapted to meet the children’s abilities, rather than age. We also offer 'lift off to language' and 'bucket time' when required, to support children to offer them the best opportunities possible.

Our well-equipped outdoor area, complete with large grassy area including a climbing frame and slide, gives an plenty of opportunities for physical activity, including running, stretching and climbing. Children always have access to trikes and other ride on vehicles. The children can practice their ball skills with our wide range of play equipment. The staff love to play alongside the children and access many resources that they support in choosing.

We teach our children the importance of good hygiene. Children are encouraged to always wash their hands after using the toilet, before meals and throughout the day following activities. We promote healthy eating and offer a choice of fruit, milk and water at snack time. Children are encouraged to self-serve.

Specific areas

We have a fun, learning through play approach to maths. With our fantastic range of resources, activities are varied and keep the children interested and ready to learn. Maths is taught in lots of different areas, such as stories, cooking, singing, sand and water play. There are so many opportunities for counting, sorting, measuring and recognising shapes. The children experiment and learn through play, problem solving and take on new information all of the time. The scheme ‘White Rose’ is used in reception to support teaching of maths and the children enjoy a combination of activities following this and other resources such as top marks and purple mash.

The children in our school have constant access to a fantastic range of books, giving them plenty of opportunity for independent reading. Our books relate to the current topic, which is extended into other activities. We encourage writing at a young age, providing mark making materials in every area of the setting. Our phonics is first introduced in nursery through fun games and activities and then using the FFT 'Success for All' phonics scheme. The children progress to saying the sounds ready for moving up to reception class. This helps to prepare your child and will help to develop the skills necessary for later reading and writing. The children are exposed to a multitude of books that are engaging and diverse, along with poems from 'The Poetry Basket'. 

Our spacious outdoor area gives plenty of opportunity to explore the natural world around them. The children also have access to our main school grounds. They enjoy looking at the many wild birds, trees and plants whilst outside. We love planting seeds and growing vegetables and flowers, where the children have fun digging and helping to water the plants.

At Caddington School we value and respect diversity and plan a range of activities including stories, visits and role play to enable children to develop an understanding of cultural customs and traditions.

The children have access to a wide range of art materials. They are able to self-select resources and use them to create their own works of art. At Caddington Village School we love painting, drawing and using chalks in the outdoor area. We have fun exploring a variety of messy activities for example, water play, sand play, mud kitchens, making perfume, shaving foam and sensory bags. We are also very lucky to have a sensory room that we can access weekly. 

We sing songs and dance together every day, which the staff enjoy as much as the children! We encourage every child to join in. The children can choose from a great selection of musical instruments and enjoy exploring ways of making different sounds.