At Pencoys we aim to provide our children with a learning environment where they develop the skills to become independent, resilient learners driven by their curiosity. To ensure children make outstanding progress in EYFS, we take into consideration their individual starting points, prior learning and experiences from both their home and prior settings. We value parents and carers as their child’s first educators. We work in partnership with them to establish good relationships which best support all aspects of their child’s development.

Learning in Foundation Stage at Pencoys is focussed around the individual needs of the child. We design our curriculum so that our learners always want to know more and are confident to be creative, critical thinkers. Children learn to foster positive relationships and develop self-confidence, empathy and respect for themselves and others; supporting their well-being.

We place an emphasis on fostering a love of reading, storytelling and language development to support our children to become skilful communicators. We explicitly develop vocabulary through a range of learning opportunities this widens our children’s understanding of the world. We feel that in nurturing these qualities that we are preparing children to have the skills and knowledge they need for their journey through school and life.


Our approach is underpinned by the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and all experiences are linked to the seven areas of learning within this. All learning is promoted using the Characteristics of Effective Learning which are; playing and exploring, active learning and creative and critical thinking.

 The seven areas of learning are broken down into three prime areas and four specific areas. All areas of learning are important and inter-connected.


Prime areas:

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

Specific areas:

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

We place reading at the heart of our Early Years Curriculum at Pencoys because we recognise the importance of developing not only children’s love of reading but expanding their vocabulary, storytelling and understanding of the world. This directly supports their spoken language and writing development. We understand that children learn best through first hand experiences and as such we ensure that all of our children are given as many opportunities as possible to experience the things that they are learning about. This includes celebrating festivals, going on trips, welcoming visitors to the school and real-life learning opportunities.

Practitioners have a secure knowledge and understanding of how children learn and model their expectations clearly. Children learn through a balance of child-initiated and adult led experiences. Through continuous provision activities both indoors and outdoors children have the opportunity to practise their learning independently, during this time adults will also guide and extend the play using careful questioning. Children are encouraged to self-assess risk as they explore the learning environment freely. The day is structured so that children receive direct teaching for English, Mathematics and Phonics. We follow the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme to ensure a prompt start to children’s development of reading and we meet with the parents so that they can support their child with this at home. The knowledge and understanding from RWI feeds directly into the children’s writing which we develop further through the use of Talk for Writing. In maths we follow the White Rose scheme of learning and teach number facts using the mastering number programme.


Assessment starts with careful observations that are used to inform planning. Through assessing in this way we can effectively demonstrate what learning is taking place and ensure each child is making progress. By doing this we can see that children can articulate what they know and understand in an age-appropriate way. They demonstrate positive learning behaviours by listening attentively and responding appropriately. The children in the Foundation Stage of Pencoys become independent, resilient learners driven by their curiosity. They have the skills and knowledge to be prepared for their next stage of education and are secure in their prime and

specific Early Learning Goals (ELGs).


We offer 30 hour Pre-School places to those who are eligible. Please visit our Pre-School page or contact the school for more information.